Heat on to pay power bills

Anglicare is concerned about a big increase in Tasmanian families seeking help to pay overdue electricity bills.

Aurora Energy says it is due to its efforts chasing up overdue bills and not because of recent price rises.

Aurora issues about 70,000 bills every month and in the past month about 8,500 customers have sought an extension.

Spokesman Richard Wilson says it is only slightly higher than the company's monthly average of 7,000 people seeking bill extensions.

But he says it is unlikely price rises which came into effect on July first are to blame.

"It may well be a contributor in some cases," he said.

"I mean 10.85 per cent was another double figure increase in power costs, but it is more the case that we are contacting customers because we don't want to let this get out of control for anybody.

"We want everybody to be able to make their payments and to do so affordably." But Anglicare's Anthony Plisek says the rise is significant and price pressure is playing a part.

"Some of them are between $800 and $2,000 in arrears," he said.

"Through all sorts of reasons, through loss of job, unemployment of course, increased prices...whether it can be attributed solely to the carbon tax we don't know that, but there's lots of things happening that we normally deal with."

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