South Australia’s major energy companies – AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin Energy – will be increasing electricity prices by as much as 16-20 percent by the beginning of July.
The decision to hike prices by such an amount will mean the province is home to the most expensive electricity in the world, surpassing Denmark.
AGL is to increase prices by 18 percent, with Origin Energy’s rates going up by 16 percent and EnergyAustralia hiking its tariffs by 19.9 percent. Energy commentators have been pointing out that for some time Australian consumers nationwide have been paying more for electricity than the actual value it holds as a resource.
Continuing price rises is forcing many businesses’ hands regarding relocation. Several industrial sites have closed down in recent months and years, with Plastics Granulating Services announces its departure from South Australia just before the new price increases.
Based in Adelaide, 38-year-old Plastics Granulating Services said it was forced to close because its electricity bill rose by $100,000 in the space of 18 months. It is a big loss to the local economy, as the site not only cleared 10,000 tonnes of plastic waste a year, but also converted it into plastics to be used in other industrial products.
Managing Director Stephen Scherer told ABC: “I hate to think of how many hours I’ve wasted on the AEMO website with tools to monitor spot pricing, to assess the implications of power, the trends of power and the future costs of power. We were basically marking time, draining ourselves of cash.”