Government deceit behind energy service charges
MUCH has been said in recent times about the cost of electricity but I cannot recall ever hearing or reading anything about the service charges included in our quarterly bills.
I have kept nearly all of our accounts for the past five years and the quarterly ‘ service fee’ in May, 2012 was 28.8 cents per day or $ 26.20 for a 91- day billing period.
This jumped by 90 per cent to $ 50.28 in mid- 2014 and by a further 78 per cent on our last quarterly statement issued in June this year to $ 89.64 – a total increase of just under 200 per cent.
Then in mid- 2015 a ‘ meter service fee’ of 6.691 cents per day or $ 6.09 for a 91- day billing period appeared and this has now jumped to about $ 18.00 on our latest account – another increase in three years of around 200 per cent.
It seems to me that the probable reason for these increases was the State Government’s decision in its first bud- get after gaining power in the last election to transfer some $ 4 billion of its debt to the electricity undertakings.
And one wonders if there have also been similar fees incorporated into the public- owned generating undertakings’ prices charged to retailers such as Ergon.
The Government has been extremely deceitful in the way it has handled this matter in that instead of funding its debt from its own revenue it has foisted it off on to the state’s electricity consumers. I am at a loss to understand why to the best of my knowledge the media has paid little attention to this important issue as the combined service fees now add up to some $ 410 a year on our account, an amount which I suspect would be the equivalent of another quarterly bill for a lot of electricity consumers. A. J. GUNN,