Ergon Energy criticises claims of electricity bill increases

NO HIKE: Ergon Energy has dismissed reports power prices will double in the next five years.
NO HIKE: Ergon Energy has dismissed reports power prices will double in the next five years. Nev Madsen

PREDICTIONS that electricity bills could double in the next five years have been criticised by Ergon Energy, which insists there's nothing to suggest prices will rise above inflation.

The claims come after a furious reaction from Warwick residents to an economist's prediction that power prices could double over the next five years.

Queensland-based economist Jonathan Pavetto said electricity prices would continue to rise because the government was used to the revenue.

Daily News readers took to social media to vent about the predicted rise.

"Ergon should be ashamed of themselves, people are struggling now to survive," Stanley James wrote.

Michelle Wright said it would mean early night lights out for some.

"That's what the pensioners do, they go to bed as soon as it gets dark to avoid big electricity bills," she wrote.

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An Ergon Energy spokesman told the Daily News there was nothing in Ergon's submissions to the AER that would cause a rise in power prices beyond the level of inflation.

"Ergon's original submission and its revised proposal have been designed to ease pressure on electricity prices while upholding reliability," he said.

"The proposal represents a reduction of more than $1 billion on Ergon's 2010-2015 spend."

Despite the outrage, some Warwick residents have come out in support of Ergon.

Jeanette Ruth Dobson wrote a passionate defence on the Daily News Facebook page.

"Our electricity bill has only been around $230 which is very cheap considering that's for the three months," she wrote. "I'm happy for an increase considering it's been so cheap."

Topics:  bills electricity ergon energy warwick

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