South Australia households who’ve joined a people power movement to drive down electricity prices say they’ve been shocked by the result.
For the first time ever, many have seen bills drop – and it’s prompted a new push for discounts.
The quarterly electricity bill has always filled the King family with dread.
With three sons they’ve struggled to reign in their power use.
“There’s always something on”, says Roy King. “They walk out of rooms and leave lights on computers on.”
But their hip pocket stress has recently been cut by 14 per cent, since they took advantage of a group discount deal negotiated by One Big Switch last year.
“It’s lowered our quarterly electricity bill by about a hundred dollars.”
SA’s average power bills have doubled over the past seven years.
“South Australia might just be the new home of bill stress in Australia,” says Joel Gibson from One Big Switch.
Despite market deregulation, a quarter of SA households are still paying the standing, or “regulated” rate.
Gibson says “that means they’re not getting any discount at all, and they’re doing themselves out of what could be a double digit discount.”
The energy regulator predicts there’ll be 10,000 power disconnections in SA this year because of unpaid bills – that’s double the rate of a decade ago.
One Big Switch says that can be avoided if consumers use people power.
A new campaign runs until the 18th of October.
For more information visit the website. www.onebigswitch.com.au/