Origin and AGL to increase gas prices for variable rates
NSW residents are in for more cost of living pain as two major energy retailers increase their natural gas tariffs.
Origin Energy and AGL are both increasing gas prices for residential and small business customers, blaming high wholesale costs for the change.
Around 200,000 Origin customers on standard retail and variable market contracts will see a rise in costs from 1 February.
The average NSW residential customer will see prices rise by about 8.1 per cent or about $90 a year.
Origin’s small business customers can expect an average increase of 10.5 percent or $579 per year.
Origin’s executive general manager for retail, Jon Briskin, blamed the global gas shortage for the rise in costs.
“Raising prices is never a decision we take lightly, especially at this time when we know some people are struggling with higher living costs,” Mr Briskin said.
“Like all retailers, we have faced materially high gas costs in recent months caused by the war in Ukraine which has put pressure on global gas supplies, meaning it costs us more to supply gas to our customers.”
AGL will also increase gas prices today for customers on variable rate contracts in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.
NSW customers will see an average rise of 9.0 per cent in their next bill, or about $78 a year.
“As one of Australia’s largest energy retailers, AGL carefully considers the wholesale cost of gas, as well as our own cost movements, to determine the outcome for our gas supply and variable rate market contract customers,” an AGL spokesperson said.
“Any decision to change prices is based on a detailed consideration of a range of factors, including wholesale prices, network costs and market conditions and the value we offer to customers.”
Rising prices pushed the federal government to intervene in the sector in late 2022, capping new wholesale contracts from gas suppliers to retailers such as Origin and AGL at $12 per gigajoule for 12 months.
The controversial action was taken after last year’s federal budget found that households could be expected to pay a 56 percent increase in power bills over the next two years if prices continued to rise as they did by the end of 2022.
Both retailers urged customers struggling to pay their energy and gas bills to get out as soon as possible.
“To help protect people who can least afford any price increases, we will invest at least $20 million to support customers in our Power On program this financial year, including offsetting any price increases to make sure they are not affected not,” said Mr Briskin.
Meanwhile, Victorians will be hit with an even higher price hike, with those on variable contracts to see their bill soar by an average 24.9 per cent or $304 a year.
Queenslanders are set to experience a 5.0 per cent rise which equates to $40 a year and South Australians have seen costs rise by 6.2 per cent or $56 a year.
Originally published as Thousands to be hit by another rise in gas bills