Supply charges are costing up to $550 a year – Herald Sun

HOUSEHOLDS are paying up to $550 a year for power before flicking on a switch.

Efforts to save money by using less electricity are being thwarted by new price surges of up to 74 per cent for fixed supply charges, a Victorian energy cost investigation reveals.

“Companies are cranking fixed charges to compensate for falling electricity demand to protect revenue and profit margins,” St Vincent de Paul Society energy expert Gavin Dufty said.

“They also need to pass on the cost of distribution, and government programs such as smart meters and green schemes.”

Electricity bills include a set daily service-to-property charge, which does not change no matter how much you use, and consumption rates that alter depending on use.

The St Vincent de Paul Society’s January review tracked basic “standing offer” supply prices for an average household.

But Mr Dufty said the general cost trends also applied to many customers on market contracts.

Simply Energy’s $552 default charge for the SP AusNet region, up 15 per cent compared with last year, was the overall biggest.

Among the steepest changes were Lumo Energy’s charge in the United Energy network, which surged 74 per cent to $429. Click Energy’s in the CitiPower area climbed 62 per cent to $456.

Origin’s rates rose 7 to 23 per cent depending on location, while AGL’s increased 3 to 19 per cent. EnergyAustralia’s increased 4 to 6 per cent.

Lumo marketing and sales general manager Tim Harrington said its standing offer rises were the first in 18 months and remained competitive.

The “vast majority” of customers were on cheaper market offers.

Click Energy chief Dominic Drenen said: “The increase brings us more into line with the major companies.

“However, Click offers discounts on total bills, unlike most retailers, so overall remains one of the most affordable providers”.

The Vinnies report notes supply charges vary significantly between retailers.

“Low consumption households should look for energy offers with a low fixed daily charge,” it advises.

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26 Responses to Supply charges are costing up to $550 a year – Herald Sun

  1. thomas says:

    There is an election coming up soon. Lets all vote together and toss out both labor and liberal, and vote in someone who will listen to the people, but we must all stick together and be firm about voting them out.

  2. How can one disconnect from the grid completely? I’ve been living OS for the last two years, and the power co says I cannot disconnect my house back in OZ due to something about safety.. I’m like, I’m not living there.. house is empty.. why am I paying for your service if I’m not using it?

    • Paul says:

      Look up BlueGen on the web. The price is coming down and the system is going into mass production, so it should be under $10,000 within 18 months (it was around $50,000 two years ago but dropped to $40,000 and now it’s around $30,000). BlueGen is a generator (24/7) but not in the conventional sense, i.e. it has no reciprocating engine.

      Instead it employs an electro-chemical reaction to produce more than enough electricity to cover the baseline needs of two standard houses – all in a unit about the size of a domestic washing machine. One downside is that it has to be connected to the natural gas supply, which it uses to produce electricity, free hot water (~ 200 litres per day) and carbon dioxide. In simple terms the reaction is: Methane (natural gas) + Oxygen (from the air) = Carbon Dioxide + Water + Electricity + Heat.

      Is the outlay expensive at $10,000? Yes, but how much do we spend on a new or used car? BlueGen (and similar systems) will be an investment, as it will eventually pay for itself.

      Gas is the cleanest of fossil fuels but it still adds to the ‘Carbon Footprint.’ However, there is a burgeoning industry in methane gas production from plant waste (1 tonne of grass clippings can produce 75,000 litres of methane gas!), resulting in a close to carbon-neutral footprint, because the carbon dioxide produced in this way is part of the natural cycle, whereas burning fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas) releases carbon dioxide that has been locked into the Earth for millions of years – this contributes to global warming and probably climate change.

      The other downside to the BlueGen system is that (presently) it must be connected to the electricity grid in order to feed back the excess power it generates, however, the consensus is that it will eventually be a truly standalone system independent of either the gas or electricity grids. This means goodbye to the power companies.

      Furthermore, the development of new battery technology for the storage of power generated from the home (solar & wind) looks promising (just google Aquion Energy or Flow Cell batteries).

      The BlueGen system (and others), has the power companies very worried, so they will use everything in their power to discredit it in order to protect profits. However, it was developed by the CSIRO, so their efforts should be short-lived.

    • Mick says:

      Just stop paying the bills.

      • Paul says:

        If you do stop paying the bills they will still charge you for a connection. You have to advise them in writing that you want to disconnect from the supply.

  3. Kev says:

    As you can see Jemena is the highest at a sum of $195 just for meter totals since concept till 2015 far right ,and look out for ongoing costs after 2015 !
    2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Total till
    Jemena $134.63 $136.70 $153.95 $173.38 $195.26 $219.90 $1013.82

    CitPower $104.79 $91.36 $99.31 $107.92 $117.29 $127.46 $646.15

    Powercor $96.67 $95.01 $102.96 $111.57 $120.90 $13101 $658.12

    SP Ausnet $86.10 $93.83 $107.23 $122.60 $140.14 $160.19 $710.14

    United Energy $71.80 $92.12 $106.57 $123.30 $142.64 $165.02 $701.45

    These amounts have been decided on and rubber stamped by the Australia Energy Regulator from submissions by the 5 Distribitors and in 2015 they will submitt for ongoing costs for these meters

  4. Rob Guy says:

    Some good news for all us off-grid consumers, Sufficient electric power to carry the average Aussie household -over night or for several rainy days.

    Renewable energy sources are great, but they all rely on something quite uncertain. Unfortunately, the wind and the sun don’t always respond to our prayers. A means of storing electrical energy close to the source could be the solution. Flow batteries have been drawing the attention of the engineering community because the power-conversion unit and the storage tank are separated (unlike the standard solid-electrode battery configuration). This means that the chemical storage tank could be as large as needed. But until now, flow batteries relied on expensive commodities such as vanadium and platinum.

    Last week, Harvard scientists demonstrated a new type of metal-free flow battery based on a chemical fluid consisting of organic molecules called quinones dissolved in water. These molecules are pretty similar to those that store energy in living beings. They’re naturally abundant and inexpensive, so they could be a cost-effective approach to storing massive amounts of energy. In addition, the tanks can be sized according to the application. See;

  5. Sick Of Their Lies says:

    Everyone needs to understand, it’s only going to get worse………and a lot worse.
    Water and Gas “Smart” meters are starting to be rolled out across Victoria, (and other states of Australia as well), which will result in more of the same charges and costs associated with the electricity “smart” meter roll-out, with all the dangers and health issues associated with these dangerous devices…… times three!
    We all need to fight this by saying enough is enough…..or is everyone going to just sit there and take it?
    We simply cannot do that.
    It’s up to us to send a clear and firm message to all the criminals involved with the “smart” meter rollouts of all 3 essential services, electricity, water and gas, which includes the Government, their associated bodies and departments, the distributors, the installers and anyone else involved in this gigantic scam on the public, that we don’t want them, we never wanted them, and that they can take their “smart” meters, and for a whole number of reasons, shove them where the sun don’t shine, for all eternity.

    I’m also very concerned by the amount of dangerous microwave cell towers springing up all over the place, with no concern for public safety either. MONEY and BIG BUSINESS rules unfortunately, and these criminals will do whatever they want, and do whatever they need to, to ensure that they make as much money as they possibly can, before the 12 year old, out of date, “thermal” effect standards, set by ARPANSA (that are currently in use!), can hopefully be looked at, reviewed and upgraded to reflect the real issue with all this, being the negative Biological health effects that this dangerous microwave RF radiation has on us all, which is currently not being addressed.

    At the moment, we are like sitting ducks, with no-one looking out for us.

  6. Robert Scott says:

    This is why I have disconnected from the grid completely and now generate all my needs with solar and battery storage for overnight & inclement days. I live in Sale, Victoria if I lived in QLD then you would be silly not to go solar off the grid. I have spent $10K on equipment to do this with my own labour and it’s the best lump sum I have ever spent.

    • Sharron says:

      Great Stuff!

    • Concerned says:

      Robert – You are fortunate to have the money to be able to do this and I don’t doubt for a minute you have worked very hard all your life to save this money. I am on a pension and this figure is out of reach for me and people like myself who exist on a pension. We are sitting ducks, but still very interested in what SSMA post and also the Comments posted by others, like yourself. Good on you.

      • John M says:

        @Concerned. I sympathize greatly with anyone on low fixed incomes but I’m not going to be a sitting duck for anyone. I’m unemployed currently myself, and broke. I also only rent the house I live in. But, I’m soon to start selling whatever I can to buy off grid solar gear. I firmly believe the longer people on fixed incomes leave it, the harder it will be to attempt to do even in small increments. Utility cost increases will only ever rise now with no increases in pensions etc to cover cost of living increases. We are going to be rung out by greedy corporations and government for every penny they can extract. The poorest of people have to start finding ways to adapt to and circumvent this greed or potentially one day be put in the horrible situation of choosing whether to eat or pay a utility bill. If people can even look at, and aim for buying what is necessary to independently power their refrigeration needs it’s a huge start, and a large chunk off the power bill. A fully integrated and wired off grid solar house system is very expensive. An independent system built along the lines of camping/RV use is less so and can be expanded as funds permit, and relocated if necessary.

    • Need Help says:

      Hello Robert, out of interest which batteries did you use and what have you got for backup generator wise?

    • Brigitte Kerrutt says:

      Hi Robert, I would love to hear more details about your setup as I am on the brink to do the same. Please contact me under maybe with phone so that I can contact you. But, would the stand-alone-setup guarantee that the service fee will not apply to your house? An electrician told me otherwise…

      • Citizen for Democracy says:

        Brigitte, even if you were sent a service charge invoice, you just wouldn’t pay, as there’s nothing they can do to you once you are disconnected from the grid – you simply don’t need them anymore. How could they force you to pay? Threaten you with disconnection?

    • Hi Robert,
      That’s wonderful you’ve found a way to do that. Would you mind letting me know what system you went for and where you sourced the materials. We’re in process of doing the exact thing, sick and tired of being exploited by the utility suppliers.
      Thank you in anticipation


    • Jason says:

      Onya Rob.
      I’m in Moe (for now), and only had my grid-connect system put up because it was a cheap way, at the time, of getting panels with which to go stand-alone. It’s long ago paid for itself.
      Where did you get your battery-bank ~ and what did you consider in picking what you did? Size and price?

    • Take your power back says:

      Robert, would you mind making notes of what you have completed for your off grid system and share it with SSMA so that it may be forwarded to others.

    • Linda Nemeth says:

      Hi Robert like several others I am very interested in what you’ve done. Could you perhaps post the information on this site for others to copy? Alternatively could you email me some info.

  7. Maud Crossing says:

    Smart metering is based on deceptive promises by utilities that they can assist people to use less power and save money. The facts are now exposing that smart meters are one of the biggest cons ever sanctioned by a lame duck Government void of the courage to protect the people under its care from greedy corporate exploitation.

    • Maud,
      When has the Victorian Government ever shown any due care of respect for Victorians Health or Welfare? Never to my knowledge, that’s my answer to this bunch of self-serving hypocrites of Labor and the incumbent Liberal parties of the Victorian Government.

  8. Laurence Edwards says:

    It is way past time that the governments, both state & Federal, stepped in & legislated against this virtually criminal rort. – If governments do not want to stand up, they should be thrown out. –

    • Mr Laurence Edwards,
      Well said, but it is not a virtual criminal rort, it is a huge criminal rort by both the past Labour government of Victoria and this also incumbent Liberal Party Victorian Government which is in no way LIBERAL at all, but is joined at the hip with these five foreign owned Electric Power Companies. These two Victorian Governments and the five Electric Power Companies of SP AusNet and Jemena and United Energy and Powercor and City Power are still Ripping-Off their customers daily as they have no competition, but are assigned different areas of Victoria to prey upon their customers like ravening wolves.

      This Victorian Government don’t give a Brass Razoo about their citizens health or welfare which makes this Liberal Party government just like the last Labor Victorian Government a bunch of CRIMINALS also joined at the hip with the five foreign owned Electric Power Companies. All of them need to be dragged into COURT and charged with robbing the Victorian People and allowing their citizens to be constantly poisoned by the Microwave radiation from these daft and dangerous Type 2B Electric so-called but far from Smart Electric Microwave Meters.

      The World Body of Scientists which are entirely independent of the Microwave Industry have more than enough evidence to prove that it is these Electric Microwave Type 2B Carcinogen so-called but far from smart meters which are causing from three ( 3 ) per cent and up to eight (8) per cent of the Victorian and the rest of the world’s population to suffer from such modern ailments as Tinnitus or ringing in the ears to chronic sleeplessness to aching muscles and or muscle spasms and or bleeding noses and or takicarditis and or arrhythmia etc., and worst of all sudden heart arrhythmia where patients fitted with the heart pace-makers then need the patient/s to be rushed to hospital by ambulance to get their heart pace-makers readjusted after a dopey and now proving to be DEADLY and DOPEY Microwave so-called Smart Meter/s have been fitted to the Victorian private owners’ and small business owners’ properties, some of whom are people fitted with heart Pace-Makers.

      We the people of Victoria demand of this Victorian Government that every Microwave Electric so-called but far from Smart Meter be immediately removed at the entire cost to the five (5) foreign owned Electric Power Companies and also that the entire cost of then reinstalling the Safe and Passive Analog Electric Meters be also born by these five (5) foreign owned Electric Power Companies, anything Less than this is EVIL.

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