16 April, 2024

Energy costs are shocking

Residents are venting their frustration at skyrocketing power costs with one homeowner’s bill, tripling in the last quarter despite having 32 solar panels.

Energy costs are shocking - feature photo

The issue comes as Queenslanders have just days to respond to the 2024 Household Energy Survey, which allows people to state their concerns with the electricity system.

Burpengary resident Rebecca Griffiths is with AGL and pays her power bills monthly, but over the past year her bill has doubled, despite being told her rates and usage haven’t changed.

Her power bill used to average $100 to $130 per month, with minor variations.

Suddenly in June 2023 her bills started coming at $180ish and then skyrocketed to over $200 per month by October, with her January 2024 bill coming to almost $300.

“I contacted AGL through the app by sending them messages, as I like to have everything in writing, but was just getting told nothing has changed and couldn’t get an answer for the increase”, she said.

Rebecca ended up calling them only to get bounced around different departments and after an hour and a half trying to get an answer for the increase she gave up and hung up, with no answers and no option except to pay the doubled bills.

“As a consumer I can question it as much as I want but in the end still have to pay the bill or get blacklisted, so it’s a form of bullying”, she said.

“It’s just me, my four year old daughter and a housemate who is only home at night.

“I have done everything to try to cut back the bill, including not using air con at all this summer, not having heating in winter months, and the rebates haven’t done anything as my bill remains the same high price every month.

“I can’t afford it as a single mum, especially with cost of living prices rising, too.”

An Upper Caboolture resident who requested to remain anonymous has expressed a similar experience, despite being with a different provider and having 32 solar panels.

Despite having the solar panels and saying nothing has changed in their usage, their latest quarterly power bill from Alinta (January to March 2024) came to $1800, triple the amount of the previous quarter, which was $600.

The Sentinel reached out to AGL, with a spokesperson saying AGL is aware increased energy prices “have put pressure on households and businesses amidst the broader cost of living pressures facing Australians at the moment”.

“We are committed to supporting our customers during this difficult time of cost-of-living pressures with our $70 million customer support package.

“We encourage customers to get in touch with us early if they are fi nding it diff icult to pay their bills. We know from past experience that seeking help early can make an enormous difference.”

Their suggestion to reduce bills is to switch hot wash cycles for a cool cycle, air-drying clothes, and sealing cracks around windowsills and doors.

Energy Queensland CEO Peter Scott said the long-running Household Energy Survey was a joint initiative of Energex, Ergon Energy Network and Powerlink Queensland, who are encouraging more residential customers to share their insights this year.

“Every customer’s input into the Queensland Household Energy Survey matters and 4200 households participated last year. The more we understand about what’s happening on the home front, the clearer picture we have of what the network of the future needs to cater for”, he said.

“Energy affordability has always been a top priority for us and all the feedback from our customers reinforces that approach.”

Member of Parliament for Petrie, Luke Howarth, said people can look for State and Federal Government rebates to assist paying for bills, but adds “these are only a short term solution as higher costs get baked in unless policies change”.

Any readers wanting to share their power shock experience, contact marina@


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