Fraser Coast to struggle under 22% power bill jump

AS ONE of the poorest regions in Queensland, the Fraser Coast is expected to be left struggling when electricity prices rise by more than 22% from July 1.

Fraser Coast Housing Service Limited chief executive Ian Clunn said the increase will disproportionately hit low-income families.

The Queensland Competition Authority yesterday released the regulated retail electricity prices for the next financial year.

It has blamed the cost of producing electricity, the Queensland Government's solar bonus scheme and uncertainty in the wholesale market for the massive increase.

The QCA has said the average bill will rise by more than $260 each year.

Mr Clunn said the cost of electricity was already a constant problem for the families who called on the service for help.

Up to 60 families a year use crisis accommodation through Fraser Coast Housing, while a report from ABS earlier this year showed the region had one of the highest proportions of low-income earners in the country.

Mr Clunn said families, particularly single parents, often relied on a fixed income that did not grow with the cost of living.

The electricity price rise is a catch-22 for services such as Fraser Coast Housing, as they must pay higher bills while dealing with increasing demand from families under housing pressure.

"We have to find that extra money," Mr Clunn said.

Overall, businesses will face price increases from 13-17% depending on their tariff.

Hip Pocket Pain

Tariff 11, the general household electricity tariff, will rise by 22.6%.

Tariffs for businesses will rise from 13%-17%, with small businesses facing the biggest increase.

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