Cold reality of power
Rising energy costs see residents in bed early, using public facilities to stay warm
LOCAL residents are going to bed earlier than usual because they can’t afford to pay for heating costs, according to local state MP, Tim McCurdy (MLA, Ovens Valley).
People attending energy forums in Myrtleford and Bright as well as Wangaratta, Yarrawonga and Cobram last week have described how rising energy bills are impacting their daily lives.
Mr McCurdy, accompanied by Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources, Innovation and Renewables David Southwick, organised the forums, and said it was clear the rising cost of energy is having a serious impact on Ovens Valley residents.
“Those in attendance told how people feel frightened to use electricity because of the cost - that they are going to places like the town library where it is warm during the day rather than putting the heater on at home,” he said.
“There are local residents who are turning off the heating and lights at night and going to bed early because they simply can’t afford the energy costs.”
Mr McCurdy said other issues raised at the forums included the low feed in tariff for solar, that renters and those most in need of assistance are being excluded from Labor’s solar panel scheme, and that scams are already emerging as a result of the program.
“Most people indicated they have noticed a huge increase in their energy bills in the past 18 months,” he said.
“Residents also raised con- cerns about the amount of personal information they are required to provide to Labor’s energy compare website and the marketing tactics of energy retailers.”
Mr Southwick said that the high cost of energy was hurting all Victorians.
“From mums and dads to small business to big industry – they are all feeling the pinch and that has impacts across the state,” he said.
“Premier Daniel Andrews shut down Hazelwood removing 22 per cent of power generation from Victoria because of his massive tax hikes, and since then, power prices have skyrocketed and our ability to keep the lights on in Victoria continues to be questioned by the Australian Energy Market Operator.”
ENERGY RIP OFF: Shadow Minister for Energy David Southwick (left) and Tim McCurdy (MLA, Ovens Valley) at the forum in Wangaratta.