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Do electricity prices go up more than they go down?


Forget infrastructure, it's the bills that have us stressed.

Earlier this week, market research firm Ispos released the results of a survey into Australian attitudes to infrastructure. One thing we learned was that Australians think our current broadband infrastructure is a tad on the rubbish side.

The ISPOS report also examined what we think about electricity infrastructure. Here's what emerged:

The ISPOS review describes community attitudes as "split", with 38% selecting one of the "good" options and 40% one of the "poor" choices. Tellingly, 23% of people don't have an opinion. The brutal reality is that many Australians only think about energy infrastructure when there's an unexpected blackout.

While there are plenty of controversies around nuclear energy, wind power and global warming, most of us are still more concerned about whether the lights are on. Beyond that, we're probably too lazy to have a view; indeed, most of us are too lazy to even contemplate getting electricity and gas from different companies

The other aspect we care about is what we pay. Consumer price index (CPI) figures released this week show that electricity prices have gone up 5.4% in the last quarter. That's an ouch moment, but is it part of an ongoing trend?

Electricity prices are actually more volatile than you think. The chart below shows the percentage changes each quarter in Australia over the last decade.

Two things are notable here: electricity prices do go up slightly more often than they go down, and when they go up it tends to be by larger percentages. That should be enough incentive to check out whether you could score a better deal elsewhere.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on

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