Soaring energy bills hitting Ovens Valley households hard

Thursday 30 August 2018

Local residents have described how rising energy bills are impacting their daily lives at forums held across the electorate, hosted by Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy.

Mr McCurdy was joined by Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources, Innovation and Renewables, David Southwick at meetings held in Cobram, Yarrawonga, Wangaratta, Myrtleford and Bright on Tuesday.

“We heard how the rising cost of energy is having a serious impact on Ovens Valley residents,” Mr McCurdy said.

“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.

“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 that they have noticed a huge increase in their energy bills in the past 18 months,” he said.

“Residents also raised concerns 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,” Mr Southwick said.

“Daniel Andrews shutdown Hazelwood removing 22 per cent of power generation from Victoria because of his massive tax hikes.  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.”

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