Mum’s shocking $2000 power bill spike
HOBART mother Sarah Jones says a recent spike in power costs has left her scraping to get by.
The stay-at-home-mum, who homeschools her daughter, said she was shocked to open a $1877 energy bill - a cost she said was significantly higher than any bill she had previously received.
She said she was mapping out a payment plan with Aurora and budgeting for how she would repay the costs.
"I was given a payment option of $215 a fortnight but that wasn't going to work for me. I had to try and scrape money through for food and everything else and still I was cutting it fine," she said.
"This is happening to friends of mine who have told me they have enough going on and asking where is the money going to come from. It's just not good enough, especially amid the pandemic."
Ms Jones said she yesterday received a phone call from her energy provider and was told her amount owing had been reduced by several hundred dollars - a reduction made under Aurora's $5 million Support Fund.
Labor Energy spokesman David O'Byrne said Ms Jones's situation highlighted the need for a government winter energy supplement for Tasmanians struggling with high power bills.
"Many bills issued in the last quarter were estimated as a result of energy companies deciding it was a health and safety risk for metre readers to attend properties during the early days of COVID-19," he said.
"That means the bills that are arriving in people's letterboxes right now include catch-up charges, which are causing severe bill shock.
"This Government issued an energy supplement in the middle of summer leading up to the 2018 election. It cannot continue to ignore the plight of people like Sarah now by refusing to issue a winter energy supplement."
Labor's energy bill relief motion failed to win parliamentary support yesterday.
Energy Minister Guy Barnett said the state government had eased cost of living pressures for Tasmanians, through a number of measures, including a power price decrease from July this year.
"If there are any customers that need assistance with their power bills, I encourage them to contact Aurora through the website or through their customer service centre
"We will continue to monitor the impacts on energy users arising from COVID-19 to ensure Tasmanians are supported through this challenging time."
Originally published as Mum's shocking $2000 power bill spike