Why are power bills are sky high here? OPINION

RESIDENTS on the Northern Rivers are paying an average of $2500 a year on their electricity account.

That's $500 a year above the state average.

Why?

According to the NSW Energy and Water Ombudsman Janine Young it's because we have hotter than usual weather and also a cool season and our houses aren't built for the conditions, nor do they have enough insulation.

She also pointed out the high number of rental houses on the Northern Rivers.

Presumably that means renters are unlikely to make any improvements to these homes and therefore reduce the cost of their electricity bill.

But to me a $500 difference seems out of sorts. After all there are hotter and cooler parts of NSW than the Northern Rivers.

Given our population has a lower than average income and there are many retirees or people living here dependent on Centrelink payments, energy must soak up a lot of their income.

Perhaps that's why Tweed and Casino are among the highest in the state for electricity disconnections.

That's the bad news, but the good news is that if you contact your energy providers, they may be able to put you on a payment plan or even suggest ways you may be able to save on electricity costs.

You can also call the Energy and Water Ombudsman on free call 1800 246 545 for advice.

You can also call the Far North Coast region financial counselling service on 6622 2171.



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