How much does it cost to pay your electricity bill?
The cost of a typical residential bill has risen by about $15 a month since May last year, with average monthly bills topping $200, according to new figures released by the Australian Energy Regulator.
The price of a standard bill was $199.75 in the June quarter, according the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
In comparison, the average monthly bill in the July quarter was $181.25, and the average household bill in August was $196.65.
That is a 5 per cent increase in the average price of electricity bills, but the average consumer pays less than half of that price.
While electricity prices are generally higher in July, the ACCC says they may not always match up to the actual average price.
The latest figures, published on Monday, show that electricity costs rose by 5.3 per cent in the quarter compared to the year before.
It was also the first time since December 2010 that average monthly electricity bills had risen more than 10 per cent.
Energy Minister Michael McCormack says the rate of increase is down from the year ago and he expects the cost of electricity to decline in the coming years.
“What we are seeing now is a return to the level that was previously there,” he said.
He says there is no reason to believe there is a slowdown in the rate or that the current rate of growth will slow down.
The price rise has prompted calls for tighter regulation on how much households pay for electricity.
Under the Consumer Price Index, households pay the difference between what they pay in a monthly bill and the cost that they need to use energy.
This includes the difference in prices of electricity and gas.
For example, if the cost for a typical home is $700, then the average electricity bill is $7.25 per month, which would put the average family’s electricity bill at $3,000.
In contrast, if a household is paying $100 for gas, it would be $1.25 a month.
But the Consumer Prices Act is a bit more lenient, so the average amount that consumers pay for their electricity is only $1 a month and they pay less than $100 a month for gas.
While the price of gas is currently $1 cheaper than electricity, consumers could be looking at a reduction in the price in future years.