Media Release | 22 February 2013
Electricity becoming a luxury in QueenslandNational Seniors Australia believes proposed increases to electricity charges will financially hurt and demoralise older Queenslanders, following a report from the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) released today.
The QCA’s draft determination indicates that seniors will need to find up to an extra $250 a year to cover the increase in electricity charges.
National Seniors chief executive Michael O’Neill said the impacts of the proposed increase are inescapable as the fixed component of the electricity charge contributes the largest increase.
“While seniors will face up to a 26% increase in their electricity bills, heavy users of electricity will only face an 18% to 19% increase in their bill,’’ O’Neill said.
“This latest increase is a further blow to seniors who continue to bear cost of living increases.
Usage patterns are very clear in showing that seniors are small and efficient users. Under these proposals, with the emphasis on increases in the fixed costs, seniors would be punished for their efficient usage patterns.
Seniors will also struggle to meet two further increases in 2014 - 2015 and 2015 – 2016.
Should these proposals proceed, National Seniors will be pressing the Queensland Government to increase the electricity rebate to offset the increases.
“Without a corresponding increase to the rebate, the increase announced today may lead to a rise in the number of disconnections amongst older Queenslanders who are already finding it hard to meet the increasing cost of living,’’ O’Neill said.
Michael O’Neill is available for comment.
Media contact: Casey-Ann Seaniger 0422 391 627
With 200,000 members Australia-wide, National Seniors is the consumer lobby for the over 50s. It is the fourth largest organisation of its type in the world.
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