South Australia will have the highest electricity prices in the world, as major energy retailers are increasing their fare this Saturday.
AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin Energy will raise their prices starting July 1, with an average increase of 18 per cent, 19.9 per cent and 16.1 per cent respectively.
Energy market consultant Bruce Mountain said the South Australian prices will top those of Denmark, which currently has the world’s most expensive electricity.
“I think it is surprising that [power prices] have continued to rise as they have and the latest increases are remarkable — the household price going up by around a fifth on top of the existing prices is extraordinary,” Mountain said.
“Our markets are not working well, and it goes from the operation of the retail market, to the wholesale market, to the regulatory oversight of networks.”
On Tuesday, a plastic recycling company announced that its closure was partly due to the hikes in power prices, which saw the monthly electricity bills rise from $80,000 to $180,000.
Plastic Granulating Services managing director Stephen Scherer said the increases on “what is a pretty standard utility … on top of what are already the world’s highest prices” were “absolutely astonishing”.
South Australian Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the privatization of the state’s electricity assets was to blame for the exorbitant prices, but the Opposition said the government’s fixation on renewable energy and carbon neutral target was to be held responsible.