Power prices pushing households to switch providers

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Aussie households are voting with their feet as power prices surge to previously unheard of levels.

The cost of energy is surging for households, with more Aussies than ever voting with their feet and abandoning more expensive providers.

Victorians have made the switch at the greatest rate of 34 per cent – compared to 29 per cent nationally – in part due to initiatives by the Andrews government making it easier to compare costs.

Wholesale electricity hit a new record of $349 per megawatt hour in June on the back of global pressures including the Russian invasion of Ukraine, The Australian has reported.

Old and unreliable coal-fired power stations have also been blamed for creating gaps in the market which contributed to local price hikes.

The June price was a 162 per cent leap on the year before and experts say the pressure is likely to continue.

Futures prices of $222 per MWh across the National Electricity Market (NEM) represented a 44 per cent jump from where they were in May.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told a gathering of energy experts in Sydney on Wednesday the invasion of Ukraine was “exacerbating global energy insecurity, impacting the supply and price of energy and reshaping energy markets”.

He described Australia’s NEM as being under “enormous strain”, also citing the previous government’s limited investment in renewables and propping up of existing infrastructure.

“Everyday Australians don’t just pay for their power, but for the cost of building and operating an outdated grid,” Mr Albanese said.

Households in Victoria can compare energy retailers online at Victorian Energy Compare, which also comes with a $250 electricity rebate for those that do.

Elsewhere residents can call their retailer and ask if they are getting the best deal for them. They can also check online at the Australian Government’s Energy Made Easy website.

Some smaller retailers have struggled to survive amid the surging wholesale prices, prompting regulators to intervene.

This week the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) suspended member-owned retailer Power Club from operating.

Around 400 of the retailer’s customers were automatically switched to other providers under the Retailer of Last Resort allowance which ensures the ongoing supply of essential energy services.

It follows the similar fates of other small retailers Weston Energy, Pooled Energy and community-owned retailer Enova Energy which all went under this year.

Originally published as Households jump ship as power prices surge to record high


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