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Power bills to skyrocket by $540

Australian money and electricity meter
Electricity prices are expected to jump 35 per cent, according to one of Australia's biggest retailers. (Source: Getty)

Electricity prices are expected to soar 35 per cent next year, according to warnings from one of Australia’s biggest energy retailers.

“Next year, using the current market prices, tariffs are going up a minimum 35 per cent,” Alinta Energy chief executive Jeff Dimery told The Australian Financial Review’s Energy & Climate Summit.

“It’s horrendous, it’s unpalatable. We don’t want energy consumers getting their power bills and setting fire to them.

“There are real issues around energy pricing that we’ve got right now. And I think the public are going to get more attuned to that.”

According to data from Finder, the average quarterly power bill for a family with two children is $387.

Under the predicted 35 per cent rise, families would be slugged with an extra $135 per quarter, or about $540 per year.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had increased energy costs, the summit heard, as well as the cost of transitioning away from fossil fuels.

The estimated increase would follow the increase in household tariffs of up to 18 per cent, which came into effect on July 1 this year.

Origin Energy chief executive Frank Calabria said electricity prices were likely to increase when new tariffs were set next July “based on wholesale prices”.

EnergyAustralia chief executive Mark Collette said soaring wholesale prices would flow through to household bills.

However, the two energy companies disagreed with Alinta’s 35 per cent forecast.

Early bedtimes, shorter showers to cut costs

As power prices rise, more Aussies are cutting back to save on bills.

According to the Finder survey of 1,057 respondents, more than half of Aussie households (57 per cent) were making lifestyle changes to soften the blow of electricity price spikes.

More than a quarter of Aussies (28 per cent) were taking shorter hot showers to reduce energy costs, the survey found.

Other changes included not heating the house in the evenings (25 per cent) and going to bed earlier to stay warm (18 per cent).

“Higher energy prices are compounding the existing cost-of-living pressures and millions can’t manage,” Finder energy expert Mariam Gabaji said.

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