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Qld gas and electricity price hike hits tomorrow

Electricity rates in Queensland will rise by 13.3 per cent tomorrow (July 1), adding around $174 per annum to the average household bill.

Gas bills too will increase by around 6.7 per cent.

Shaun Johnson, founder of independent energy comparison service Switchwise.com.au, says the combined effect of power and gas price hikes of around 10.5 per cent are enough to add pressure to already stretched Queensland household budgets.

Mr Johnson says that according to the Queensland Competition Authority, the power price rises have been largely attributed to the need for continued significant investment in Queensland’s distribution networks to support the state’s growing population.

What are some great deals in QLD? Switchwise compares providers

Switchwise.com.au has compared many energy providers to find great buys for South-East Queensland households on 1 July. Both Australian Power & Gas and Click Energy have decided not to raise their tariffs at this stage meaning they rank at the top of Switchwise's table in Brisbane and South-East Queensland.

With nine electricity providers now competing in South-East Queensland, Mr Johnson says consumers can reduce their gas and electricity bills simply by shopping around.

"We’ve looked at many energy plans offered by Queensland energy suppliers to help people uncover some good deals on power and gas", says Mr Johnson.

"We also encourage consumers to find ways to reduce their energy consumption and be more aware of their options when it comes to spending on electricity and gas as prices continue to go up. Anything you can do to lower the amount of energy you use at home will benefit both financially and environmentally", says Mr Johnson.

Country Queensland suffers from lack of competition

Unfortunately, residents of rural and regional Queensland are not yet able to benefit from cheaper competition - they are forced to stick with Ergon Energy, the Queensland Government Owned Corporation. At this stage Ergon Energy’s wholesale rates are unattractive to other power companies, meaning there is little incentive for anyone to start competing for Ergon customers. Switchwise.com.au calls on the Queensland Government to take steps to open up competition in country Queensland.

Released: 30 June 2010