'My bill went up $1300': Residents launch petition in fury over power price

Sarah Lowcock's latest power bill sparks call for more choices in Central Queensland.
Sarah Lowcock's latest power bill sparks call for more choices in Central Queensland.

THE people have spoken and they're not happy about their power prices.

A petition was launched by Sarah Lowcock, calling on more alternative choices to Ergon Energy for Central Queenslanders, after being slapped with a $2185.94 power bill.

"My bill went up like $1300 from the last bill and nothing's changed,” she claimed.

"I've seen bills higher than mine too.”

The Gracemere resident is clearly not alone in her struggle with her quarterly bill having secured 3538 supporters.

Many people on The Observer's Facebook page were angry at what they paid for power.

Benji James said power prices were a joke.

"I was away for work for almost four months, was home probably a week out of that all up and had the whole house turned off at the meter box and still got a $340 bill,” he wrote.

Lea Coolwell said there needed to be more competition than just Ergon.

Vikki Miro Valle, the director of Vikki Ship Supplies said electricity bills were one of their business killers and cost up to $3700 per month.

"Before I even wake up in the morning I already owe Ergon Energy some $100 for electricity for the day,” she posted.

"Not a nice feeling. Working hard to pay electricity bill.”

Angela Laing said 'we are screwed'.

"Ours has nearly doubled and don't know how we are going to afford it,”she posted.

"We've even cut back on usage but not helping”

Ms Lowcock's petition is calling for more options to provide competition in the region.

"Central Queenslanders only have access to one power company and we are all fed up with our high bills and no explanation into why they are so high,” the petition reads.

" We are reaching out to other power companies to consider bringing there service to our area.

"Over the last bill we have all got, our bills have increased a lot, a lot of customers bills are over $2000, and other bills are over $1000, lots of customers are seeing an increase of $500 towards there bill with no explanation, most customers we've spoken to haven't changed anything with there power usage.

"Central Queensland businesses and non businesses are struggling as it is and with a large increase in their bills (it) isn't fair.

"After our recent weather events, Cyclone Marcia and then Cyclone Debbie our region needs your support, we need a company who will look after there customers and not try to send them bankrupt.”

An Ergon spokesman said Ergon Energy does not set electricity prices for regional Queenslanders.

"They are set by the independent Queensland Competition Authority,” he said.

"Regional Queenslanders benefit from the Community Services Obligation provided by the Queensland Government which equalises prices with SEQ through its Uniform Tariff Policy.

"Ergon Energy provides payment arrangements and hardship arrangements for customers having difficulty paying their bills through its support programs Ergon Energy also provides advice on how to manage bills.”

What you said:

Vikki Miro Valle: Electricity bill is one of our business killers! Up to $3700 per month. Before I even wake up in the morning I already owe Ergon Energy some $100 for electricity for the day. Not a nice feeling!

Benji James: It's a joke, I was away for work for almost four months, was home probably a week out of that all up, and had the whole house turned off at the meter box and still got a $340 bill.

Angela Laing: We are screwed. Ours has nearly doubled and don't know how we are going to afford it. We've even cut back on usage but not helping.

Robert Minter: My bill was double what it was this time last year plus we now have solar and Ergon admitted they made a mistake and are investigating our last three bills.

Lea Coolwell: We need more competition not just Ergon.

Jacqui Dempsey: I had a big house and a pool. I moved to a smaller house and no pool and my bill is much dearer. It's killing my budget and I cannot afford to get solar so I am stuffed.

George Craigie: This is what happens when you allow corporation to own public utility, it's called corporate greed.

June Bean: Just me and my two babies on single benefits struggle so hard at $1000 bills I think are way to high for just us.

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