New year, new increases to costs for households and businesses

New year, new increases to costs for households and businesses

Posted on: 22 January 2024

It’s a new year and new increases to the cost of living for South Australians are in the pipeline, with water bills set to skyrocket, electricity bills still the most expensive in the nation and the number of households on hardship programs on the rise.

According to plans from SA Water, the average household bill in Adelaide is poised to surge by $71 per year, with those in country areas bracing for a $65 increase from July this year. The average metro business is facing a hefty $289 per year increase to their water bills, with country businesses up for a $250 per year increase.

ESCOSA will release its draft determination in response to SA Water’s business plan this month.

A recent report by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) confirms South Australia has the highest residential electricity median market and standard offer prices per kilowatt hour in the National Electricity Market.

Sadly, the report also reveals the proportion of South Australian customers on hardship programs is going up – and that only 40 per cent of those are receiving a concession, meaning the remaining 60 per cent are receiving zero support from the Malinauskas Labor Government.

Shadow Treasurer, Matt Cowdrey, said Peter Malinauskas needs to step in and do everything he can to ensure these steep increases do not proceed.

“Under Labor, the typical South Australian family is already more than $20,000 worse off a year, so the last thing they need is a new wave of financial pain through their water bills,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“The former Liberal Government delivered historic reductions in water bills by almost $200 a year for South Australian households and more than $1,000 a year for businesses.

“We know Peter Malinauskas and Stephen Mullighan have benefitted from the pain being felt by South Australian families. While everyone has been paying more for everyday essentials, housing and utilities, the state Labor Government pocketed an extra $2 billion in revenue above what was expected in their first budget.

“At a time when South Australian families are struggling, Labor has failed to prioritise returning additional revenue via broad cost-of-living relief.”

Shadow Minister for Energy and Net Zero, Stephen Patterson, said Peter Malinauskas has failed to prioritise energy affordability while South Australia is in the grips of a cost of living crisis.

“It is clear now that South Australian working families are paying some of the highest prices for electricity in the country under this Malinauskas Labor Government, yet despite that we have the lowest grid reliability and are being warned to brace for blackouts this summer,” Mr Patterson said.

“We need Peter Malinauskas to outline a new plan or strategy to help South Australians battle rising energy prices during this cost of living crisis.

“The AER report paints a bleak picture of South Australian working families struggling to pay their sky rocketing power bills and make ends meet and SA having the highest proportion of customers on hardship programs.

“Peter Malinauskas must come clean with South Australians and explain why his only energy policy is to spend $600 million of taxpayer money on an experimental hydrogen power plant - that Labor has admitted won’t lower household bills.”