The State Liberals are deeply concerned that South Australia’s surging electricity prices will result in a spike in the number of people disconnected as a result of their inability to pay their power bills in the coming months.
“South Australia had the highest per capita rate of disconnections in the nation in the March quarter when 2531 customers had their power cut off,” said Shadow Minister for Energy Dan van Holst Pellekaan.
“Given South Australia has the highest electricity prices and highest unemployment in the nation it is not surprising the .335 per 100 rate of disconnections is significantly above that of other states and territories.
“Higher electricity prices will result in higher unemployment which in turn will lead to more disconnections, higher electricity bill debt and more people on hardship programs.
“There is a direct connection between South Australia’s high level of unemployment and high disconnection rate.
“Unfortunately the recently announced price rises of up to 12 per cent for households and small businesses will only exacerbate the problem and result in even more customers being disconnected.
“South Australia also had the highest number of customers in the nation on hardship programs in the March quarter with 13,192 or 1.75 customers per 100 experiencing difficulties in paying their bill.
“South Australia’s average electricity bill debt of $775 will also rise on the back of surging electricity prices.
The Weatherill Government’s disastrous mismanagement of South Australia’s electricity system will see all South Australian customers – from our largest companies to pensioners paying more for their power.
“Spot prices in SA are on average 150 per cent higher than the national average in 2016/17.
“Over the next four years, SA’s contract electricity prices are 34 per cent higher than the national average and almost 57 per cent higher than Victoria.
“The Weatherill Government’s incompetent stewardship of this essential service will impact heavily on South Australian households and businesses for the next decade.”