According to a report on AdelaideNow, the first quarterly bills since the carbon tax plus extra price rises have induced a nasty electric shock for some. The carbon price added an average 10 per cent from July 1, but electricity providers jacked up their own charges as well - and these followed substantial price rises at the beginning of this year.
While many households receive assistance to meet the costs associated with the carbon tax component, this is perhaps not being set aside to meet bills; making them more difficult to pay when accounts fall due.
Aside from basic energy efficiency strategies such as the use of efficient lighting and adjusting air conditioning and heating thermostat settings, thousands of South Australian households have turned to solar panels to provide long term relief from escalating power bills. The state has one of the highest solar power system penetration rates in Australia.
According to Energy Matters, a 4kW solar power system installed in Adelaide can produce a financial benefit of around $1,500 a year. The company says based on the price of a good quality system, power generated by a 4kW solar array will work out to cost as little as 5.2c per kilowatt hour averaged over its estimated serviceable lifetime. "If 5.2c/kWh seems like an incredibly low cost compared to the 33-36c you probably pay now for electricity, imagine how cheap it will seem in 5, 10 and 20 years from now when electricity prices could be more expensive than they are today," says a statement on Energy Matters' web site.
Additionally, South Australian households making the decision to go solar are still able to access a generous feed in tariff rate that pays 25.8c per kilowatt hour minimum for surplus electricity generated by a system that is exported to the mains power grid.