Bill shock - AGL's electricity price hike to cost households extra $300 a year

Bill shock: Many households in Young might not be able to juggle their utility bills after AGL  said it would increase electricity prices by 16.1 percent and gas prices by 9.3 percent on July 1.
Bill shock: Many households in Young might not be able to juggle their utility bills after AGL said it would increase electricity prices by 16.1 percent and gas prices by 9.3 percent on July 1.

Residential AGL customers in Young will have to pay on average $300 per annum or 16.1 percent more for electricity in the next financial year. 

AGL, the third biggest player in the New South Wales energy market, said it would increase electricity prices by 16.1 percent and gas prices by 9.3 percent on July 1.

Prices across all retailers rose by an average of 8 percent last year according to a St Vincent de Paul Society report. AGL's increase is more than double that.

AGL is the first of NSW's energy retailers to announce price hikes with others expected to announce their pricing structures before the end of the financial year.

"The average increase across AGL's residential electricity customers in NSW is estimated at $5.70 per week (or $296.40 a year), including GST," a spokesman said.

"The average increase across AGL's residential gas customers in NSW is estimated at $1.60 per week (or $83.20 a year), including GST."

AGL based its calculations on last year's total usage and assumes no change in consumption profiles, time of use or customer numbers. Customers on different tariffs will experience different changes to their prices.

"Any decision by AGL to change prices is based on a detailed consideration of a range of factors including costs, market conditions and the value we offer customers," the spokesman said.

The average annual electricity bill for a NSW household on the Ausgrid network is currently $2200.

Young Salvation Army spokeswoman Lesley Newton said the increase would hurt vulnerable local families.

"These price increases coupled with increased energy use during our winter and summer months will result in bill shock for many households in Young," she said.

"AGL needs to make commitments to those doing it tough by allowing easier access to hardship programs, and the State Government must move to introduce more generous concessions to assist low income and vulnerable households."

NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin reminded the public about the rebates and vouchers on offer and described the hikes as a "blow" for consumers doing it tough.