South Australians Slugged 17% More For Electricity

As of yesterday, thousands of South Australian households will be paying over 17% more for their electricity.

AGL’s electricity standing contract prices increased by 17.44% from the beginning of August. For the average household consuming 5,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year on an AGL SA standing contract, this will translate to an annual bill increase of around $226.

According to Essential Services Commission of SA, most of the price hike is due to an increase in network prices that went into effect on July 1.

While the Commission says less than 30% of small customers are under the standing contract, market contract prices were also likely to change around 1 August and those customers should be informed of any price changes by their retailer.

The latest round of price hikes will likely see South Australian households further delving into energy efficiency strategies and other ways to cut the rapidly escalating costs of electricity.

Uptake of home solar power systems has been steadily increasing in the state; boosted by the Solar Credits rebate and South Australia’s solar feed in tariff incentive. Under the feed in tariff initiative, solar households receive 44c per kilowatt hour for surplus electricity generated by a rooftop solar array that is exported to the mains power grid.

However, this generous rate will only continue to apply for new connections established under the scheme until the end of September. From October, households joining the program will receive 22c per kilowatt hour for surplus electricity generated.

According to information on solar solutions provider Energy Matters‘ web site, a 1.41 kW entry-level solar power system can offer savings of around $720 a year based on a electricity price of 25c per kilowatt hour and a 50% feed-in rate. Some of the company’s clients have opted for larger systems to wipe out their electricity bills altogether.

Electricity generated by solar panels is exported into the grid during times of low consumption; for example, when no-one is at home. Actual feed in tariff benefits can vary greatly depending on a household’s electricity consumption profile.

Energy Matters is currently offering a number of discounted solar packages to help more South Australian households go solar before the feed in tariff rate is reduced.