If electricity price rises were a shock…

Households facing double-digit rises to electricity prices from midyear now also face soaring gas bills, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Power companies will “need to look at speedy initiatives” in providing assistance to households, the executive officer of the Physical Disability Council of NSW, Ruth Robinson, said.

Double-digit price rises from the middle of last year, along with double-digit price increases again this year, would make it doubly difficult for many families to cope.

”We are deeply, deeply concerned,” Ms Robinson said yesterday. ”I can’t tell you the number of calls we get. The usual ways of managing rising electricity bills don’t apply to all families.

”Some people just can’t change their pattern of usage.”

Carolyn Hodge, of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, said: ”In country areas, we have a significant number of people spending more than 10 per cent of their income on energy. So there is the need for increased assistance.”

Read more …

Related content:

Call to tailor power rebates for regions, NineMSN, 30 April 2012

Power price rises: rural consumers hit hard, PIAC, 11 April 2012

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