Consumers set to struggle as gas prices soar

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) today announced significant increases in regulated gas prices in 2014/15. Customers on standard contracts from AGL in the Sydney area will see prices increase by up to 16.9% from 1 July 2014.

‘A family on the regulated price is likely to see their gas bill increase by $152 or more from 2013/14 to 2014/15,’ said Oliver Derum, Senior Policy Officer in PIAC’s Energy and Water Consumers’ Advocacy Program.  

‘PIAC is concerned about the sacrifices that some consumers will be forced to make to afford this increase. While electricity prices are beginning to stabilise, this heaps further pain on those struggling to afford essential services’ said Mr Derum.  

‘We encourage consumers to look around and make sure they are on the best gas contract for them. Consult the government’s independent comparator website to see what other offers are available in your area.’

This major price rise is being driven by increases in wholesale gas costs. The development of natural gas export facilities in Queensland will raise the price of wholesale gas in Australia. The export terminals will give producers the option of selling their resources overseas, where the price is higher than in Australia.

While uncertainty exists about the timing and size of this increase, IPART’s decision includes significant increases in the allowance for wholesale cost.

More information, including IPART’s draft report, is available here.

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