A new report tracking energy prices in New South Wales over the past year has found that homes in the state using both electricity and gas face even steeper increases in their energy bills than those with electricity only, as high wholesale market prices start to hit.
The Energy Consumers Australia commissioned report, the latest in a series put together by St Vincent de Paul and consulting company Alviss, analyses household bills for electricity and gas up to July 2022 across NSW.
The main purpose of the Tariff Tracking Project reports is to measure up the different electricity and gas offers on the market in each state and illustrate the savings consumers can make if they shop around for a better deal.
But as wholesale energy market prices continue to rise, driven by soaring fossil fuel costs, some other interesting tariff trends and patterns are emerging.
In this case, the NSW report finds that dual fuel households in western Sydney have received the greatest increase to energy costs over the past year as gas bills have increased by around $90 in the Jemena network in addition to a $335 increase to electricity bills in the Endeavour network.
“Dual fuel households with typical consumption levels across NSW will experience price increases of between $300 and $400 a year,” the report says.
This is, perhaps, not a surprise, considering that inflated gas prices are one of the key drivers of the energy market turmoil Australia is currently experiencing.
Even without the energy crisis, the price difference would certainly come as no surprise to advocates of all-electric homes such as Saul Griffith, who regularly highlight the savings households and businesses stand to make if they switch out their inefficient gas appliances for efficient electric alternatives.
But it’s worth noting just how much dual fuel households are being stung at the moment, particularly in some regional parts of NSW, and how much they could save, not only by quitting gas, but by installing solar, too.
So, let’s compare
The report says dual fuel households with an average consumption of electricity and gas in Western Sydney, Wollongong, Blue Mountains and Lithgow will typically experience an increase in annual energy costs of $425
from July 2022.
As gas prices in the Nowra/Shoalhaven have increased by approximately $70 a year, dual fuel households in this
area will typically experience an increase in annual energy costs of $405 from July 2022.
All-electric households in Western Sydney, Wollongong, Blue Mountains, Lithgow, Kandos, Moss Vale, Nowra and Ulladulla will typically experience an increase in annual electricity costs of $315 from July 2022.
So that’s a difference of between $110 extra in energy bills a year and $90 in these areas.
In the regions, the cost gap gets much bigger.
According to the report, in rural and regional NSW the average annual all-electric home’s standing offer bill has increased by somewhere between $260-$275 in July 2022 compared to July 2021.
For dual fuel households, meanwhile, the annual energy bill cost increase is forecast to jump by anywhere from $300 in Goulburn, Boorowa, Yass and Young; to $390 in the Murray Valley towns, and; $415 in Wagga Wagga and Uranquinty.
Gavin Dufty from St Vincent de Paul and the main author of the report says the jump in bills across both electricity and gas are a combination of increased fixed network costs and the increased cost of the fuel, whether it be electrons or molecules.
But the data paints a picture that the more households can shield themselves from exposure to these market variables – by quitting gas and by installing solar – the less pain they are likely to feel come bill time.