At a conference in Sydney, Calabria said recent comments from the Australian Energy Regulator indicated the default price would increase by more than 20 per cent on July 1.
The price increase would add further pain to household budgets which were already under pressure from 10 interest rate increases, but Calabria said the increase would only be to cover the costs incurred by the industry.
“Nevertheless, it’s going to be a contributor to the cost of living, which we’re acutely aware of in terms of our customer base and supporting those that are less able to pay,” Calabria said.
Prices rose 18 per cent last year, but were offset in many states by Government assistance.
The energy regulator is due to hand down its decision soon on the default market price, which is the maximum price retailers can charge, but is generally only paid by those who fail to shop around for a better deal. Only a relatively small number of people are on the default price.
Prices have soared in recent years because of the global shocks from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
EnergyAustralia recently revealed major price rises.
Customers on variable rate plans across Queensland, New South Wales, the ACT and South Australia will see their bills rise by between 10.2 per cent and 14.1 per cent.
The hikes, which follow earlier increases in gas and electricity prices from other retailers, are the latest signs that pressure on Australia’s power markets are flowing through to family budgets.
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