$240 million of power pain bites deep

Origin Energy’s announcement today that it is jacking up residential electricity prices by 16 per cent means that combined with AGL and EnergyAustralia’s price rises, South Australian households will be paying at least $240 million more for electricity next financial year.*

“Had Jay Weatherill invested just $8 million a year in keeping the Northern Power Station open South Australians would have been shielded from these shocking electricity price rises,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“Jay Weatherill’s disastrous decision to force the Northern Power Station to close will deliver another sledgehammer blow to South Australia’s ailing economy and jobs market.

“The extra $300 or more South Australian households will pay for electricity next financial year comes on top of steep rises in the price of power this year.

“The fact South Australia has the highest electricity prices in the country and the nation’s worst rate of unemployment are directly related to Jay Weatherill’s disastrous energy policy.

“Jay Weatherill’s headlong rush to force cheap base load power out of South Australia in favour of intermittent power has delivered the most expensive and least reliable electricity supply in the country.

“As a consequence of forcing South Australia’s cheapest generator to close net imports from Victoria have increased by 48%, pouring South Australians money into the coffers of Victorian generators.

“Adding insult to injury there have been six major blackouts since the closure of the Northern Power station increased the fragility of South Australia’s electricity grid.

“The fact AGL (18 per cent), EnergyAustralia (20 per cent) and Origin Energy (16 per cent) have moved in unison to jack up their prices makes a mockery of Tom Koutsantonis's recommendation that households ‘shop around’ for the best deal.

“Only a change in Government will free South Australians from the nightmare of ever spiralling electricity prices that the Weatherill Government has delivered.”

*(Based on $2000 average bill increasing by 16 per cent for 771,000 residential connections)