Blacks Beach Cove family slapped hefty power bill.
Blacks Beach Cove family slapped hefty power bill.

'It's crazy': Shock as power bill jumps by $900+

RESIDENTS needing to keep cool over the summer continue to be hit with another whack to the wallet.

Hannah Partridge lives in a house in Blacks Beach Cove with her partner and four-month-old baby and said she almost fell off her chair when receiving her Ergon Energy power bill this week. "I nearly had a heart attack," she said. "I was like a cartoon, my eyes nearly popped out of my head."

Her last electricity bill around $600, she was shocked to discover she was charged $1536 for this quarter.

She admits she has the air-conditioning running most of the time, but keeps it at 24-25 degrees during the summer so it didn't overwork.

She also uses the dryer around three times a week, the dishwasher a few times a week and boils the kettle a couple of times per day but this usage has been no different to any other time of the year.

"We had to set up a payment plan and they (Ergon) told us by the time we finish paying this one (bill) off, we will be sent a new one," she said.

"I just think it's really crazy. I don't understand how we've used so much."

Queensland Competition Authority's draft determination on regional power prices, released this week, forecast a slight decline in regional power prices in 2018-19 after State-owned generators were ordered to halt practices that substantially drove up wholesale energy costs and delivered windfall profits to the State Government.

However, the predicted savings of $35 a year will be wiped out for families that move into new homes or those that require a replacement meter.

Smart meters, which give power companies the ability to remotely connect, read and control electricity use, were made compulsory in Australia from December 1.

The QCA has recommended households on tariff 11 should pay 27.590 cents a day if they have a smart meter, about $100 a year, compared to 9.481 cents for those with an accumulation meter.

The charge will jump to 46 cents a day for households with smart meters that continue to be manually read by their energy company.

Ergon Energy Retail encouraged people having difficulty paying their bill to contact them on 131046.

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