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Lights out: Aussies slapped with $800 hike to energy bills

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Australian households are facing an energy crisis as price hikes coincide with peak winter demand, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,090 respondents revealed more than three quarters (79%) of Australians plan to cut back on electricity usage in winter as energy prices increase nationwide.

That's 7.3 million households who will be changing their habits to keep a cap on bills.

Mariam Gabaji, energy expert at Finder, said high electricity prices are about to get even worse.

"Millions of Aussies need a reprieve and are taking matters into their own hands by cutting their usage.

"Some retailers are sending out notices informing customers of massive increases to their power rates which will lead to widespread bill shock without urgent action."

Finder analysis revealed some energy providers are charging over $800 more a year after the recent price rises.

Finder's deep dive into how energy providers have reacted to rising power prices reveals Aussies living in South Australia (SA) will be hit with the worst hikes to their power bill.

For SA, annual estimates for residential households saw a price jump between 22-63%. That's over $800 for some people.

NSW bill estimates for the year saw an increase of 15-36% – a price difference of up to $420 for some customers.

In VIC, prices were bumped by 22-31%. That's a price difference of up to $396 per year. More price pain will be felt from 1 August when VIC energy providers officially hit existing customers with higher prices.

In QLD, annual price estimates rose by 8-41%. That's up to a whopping $548 increase.

Finder's survey shows more than half (56%) of Aussies plan to switch off lights and power points when not in use, while 54% will have to cut down on how much they use their heater/air conditioner.

Almost 1 in 10 (9%) will ditch their comfy work-from-home digs and head into the office to save money on power bills.

Gabaji said switching to a cheaper energy plan is the most effective way for households to safeguard themselves.

"Make sure you're on one of the cheapest plans and switch again in 6 to 12 months if you find a better deal.

"Call your retailer to negotiate a cheaper deal while simultaneously shopping around to see if you can do even better with another provider.

"State and federal governments have announced billions of dollars in extra relief, so check if you are eligible for any extra assistance.

"If you are experiencing extreme difficulty paying your power bill, talk to your retailer about their hardship program to avoid disconnection."

Finder's research shows 1 in 5 Aussies (21%) plan to switch to energy saving light bulbs, while 9% are installing solar panels.

Almost 1 in 10 (9%) plan to switch energy providers as prices surge.

What do you plan to do to save money on your winter energy bill?
Make sure to switch off lights and power points when not in use56%
Cut down how much I use my heater/air conditioner54%
Switch to energy saving light bulbs21%
Work from the office more often9%
Install roof-top solar panels9%
Switch electricity or gas providers9%
I do not plan to do anything to save money on my energy bill21%
Source: Finder survey of 1,090 Australians, June 2023

See how much energy bills will rise in your suburb, here.

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