Real Stories of Power Bill Hardship A P
I moved from Sydney to Qld. I stayed with AGL as I was on a contract, only to realise the unit price was ridiculously higher than NSW. Many of my friends have moved to Asian countries because as pensioners it is becoming too expensive to live here. Single pensioners just cannot manage. I am trying to save money and find it is getting harder and harder to live. Can’t afford air conditioning in summer or heating in winter. I am cold at the moment and never use my heater. I also can’t afford to run the oven. I have no idea why Qld electricity is so expensive.
To keep bills at a level that I can only just cope with I no longer use air conditioning and heating unless it is absolutely necessary. I try not to use the oven or cook top and now rely on food I can cook and eat by microwaving. Only putting lights on when I have to and one room at a time. The worst is now only showering every second day to save on water heating costs. All in all as a pensioner my quality of life with a disability has been severely eroded due to the ever increasing cost of power.
My story is simple I’m a single mother who works 5 to 6 days a week trying to manage the cost of living. My son just finished high school and is starting uni. The govt gives him little help so I’m doing everything. I don’t have a bank balance as I live from pay to pay. Just got my latest bill and I had to ask for an extension as 2 weeks isn’t enough time. As it is after paying rent, petrol and bills we live in $100 for food and if he needs clothing or anything it comes out of that food money. So an increase means less food money for us.
We do not have the opportunity to change providers to get a better deal in fact we have NO choice and no bargaining opportunities to get a better deal and as you say high price rises become impossible for everyone and we are pensioners, if these huge price increases keep happening it will becoming harder and harder to survive.
I am an aged pensioner, I live in an isolated area as far as services go. I use as little as possible electricity and have had an increase in power cost by some sixty dollars over the last four bills. Nothing I do, like the one light and fridge only at the one time, seems to help at all the bill rises. I have gas for cooking and wood for heating. What I do not think is fair is we here do not have the option of another supplier to get another price from, the whole thing is rigged towards the so called clean power. We NEED new clean coal fired power stations. Clean coal and uranium belong to the people of Australia.
My partner and I rent a house with no heating and no wood fireplace. We have electric heaters, but don’t use them, cause of the “cost factor”. Therefore our 5 year old daughter, has to get dressed in the cold and dressed after a bath in the cold. Our house is constantly cold, there’s mould growing all over our ceilings, despite being “treated and our roof supposedly fixed” by landlords. Our windows don’t properly seal, so that adds to the coldness of the house. Come summer time, my partner has reverse cycle aircon, but we only use it for 1/2 hour at a time. Again the cost factors. We try to use fans, but they only cycle hot air. So yes we’re really, really feeling the pinch.
My rent for the shop I lease is $1192 per month, my average electricity bill is around $800 per month. In summer it has reached a staggering $1200 in a month. Electricity for businesses is not a viable asset. We have to struggle harder to pay these rising costs, and what makes it worse is that these costs have to be passed on in some way. Power has become a necessity to this country, but those in a position of POWER don’t see that the average basic human being is struggling to cover the cost to enjoy this country’s lifestyle.
We are a single income couple due to my husband having a disability. We are not eligible for government assistance as my pre-tax income is apparently too high. We are not eligible for a health care card even though medication cost are in the $100’s each month. With no health care card we will not be eligible for rebates on our electricity. Now another increase in power costs means we have to cut costs in other areas. Enough is enough. (Leslie’s name has been changed for privacy reasons)
I live in North Qld where it is hot and muggy in summer. Because of an accident I am on medical Newstart allowance, I can’t afford to run aircon. I don’t have town water, so every time I turn on a tap my pump has to pump bore or tank water. I don’t have lights at night time, only a torch or candles. What does the government want us to do? Just work to pay power bills?
As a single parent with a mortgage and no pay rise for 3 years it is increasingly difficult to pay for necessities. I also have electricity and natural gas. This means that I must pay a supply rate for both. If I only had electricity that is one supply rate. Even if I have them both supplied by one company two supply rates are charged. However if you go over the cut off rate by 1 cent you have to pay well over a thousand dollars extra per year. A tiered rate would benefit many. Power should not be a privilege for the wealthy.
We are being impacted big time by increasing power bills. We don’t run air conditioning, we don’t have heating. Once dinner and dishes are done lights are off, except when children have homework then it is essential. Try to wash during the day, but school and work uniforms sometimes have to be done at night, got no choice when we work full time. I no longer use my oven, can’t afford to run it, so no baking, I used to bake on a weekend for week day lunch boxes, can’t justify the cost of the oven. We put solar on to combat it, but they just keep putting up the cost of electricity, it was and is a waste of time and money.
I receive a power bill then have to get an extension to pay it. Usually I get a payment plan which costs me around $130 per fortnight. If I am lucky I just finish paying one…just to receive another one pretty much the same week. It’s just the same cycle over and over. If electricity prices rise again here there is literally no way we can afford all the essentials. We already struggle to keep food on the table and I only have to feed three of us. This being because it’s usually the grocery budget money that goes towards the electricity.
I pay $220 a fortnight in electricity for my family of 6 currently and that does not pay the quarterly bill. I am generally 2 payments behind finishing by time that the new bill arrives. I am partnered on parenting and family payment, my partner works, receives his pay fortnightly but as he is casual when there is not enough work then he does not work or get paid. As we are struggling, our kids have few uniforms, in fact my eldest has one uniform that I wash and dry overnight over the heater that warms her room in during winter otherwise it’s washed and hung on line the moment she gets home. (Kelly’s name has been changed for privacy reasons)
My normal account was $250-$275 per quarter. My last account for the summer months was over $500. How in hell does this happen. On $700 per fortnight with $300 week in rent, and no money to pay for removal to a less costly rental, and a health issue that prevents me from lifting anything heavier than my head, I am screwed to put it plainly. I am terrified that my next bill will be beyond my capacity to pay. I am stressed and anxious and I am beginning to wonder why the hell I am struggling to pay my bills and am facing the very real prospect of becoming homeless in the near future. (Sarah’s name has been changed for privacy reasons)
My wife and I are aged pensioners, our power bill has gradually risen by about $180 every 3 months over the last 10 years. That’s $720 per year out of our modest pension payment, which by the way, we are thankful for. We are one of the lucky ones who own our own modest home. We do not run air conditioning or heating because we can’t afford to. We are very mindful of any excessive power use, but it’s got to the point where there is nothing more we can cut down on.
There are only 2 of us living here now, as the kids have all left home and our last bill came in at $1000. Like OMG how the hell can we use that much power?? I am absolutely dumbfounded. Still to this date the electricity company cannot explain why our bill is still so high. It’s like “who cares” just pay up!! Last time we went on a payment plan, but I was late on one payment (can’t help having no money) so they stopped that. Eventually we paid it off – but still to have a bill so high is absolutely ridiculous. And now they are talking about putting the price up even more – just totally unfair and unrealistic. I just don’t know what we will do – we can’t afford it now, let alone if it goes up.
With our already way to high priced energy the compromises I make are affecting my health in as much as my quality of food and medication has to be lower.
I am a pensioner and cannot afford to run either heaters or coolers. I only use my dryer after days of rain when it’s an absolute necessity. I try to turn off most wall switches to help keep prices down. I’m sick of the fact that we are already struggling only to find a rise is on the way again.
We are on a pension and really struggle with power bills. My 3 month power bill was over $1000 and I knew it was going to be high but when it arrived I was shocked. The power company was able to allow me to pay it off over a few months but the amount I had to pay was high and I had to cut back on other things but all I could cut back on was food. In Nth Qld we only have one provider, Ergon, so we don’t even have the option to shop around for a better price. We NEED Coal Fired Power up here to help with this, all the solar panels in the world will not do it at the moment. Maybe in the future but not yet. I think for us we are facing a very uncertain future with the talked about rises of power prices. I don’t know where we can cut anymore unless its medications, we have cut our food to the lowest we can and if our next bill is high, which is due in a few days, I don’t know where it will end. We are desperate now.