CHARITIES fear a flood of households will need emergency relief to pay winter power bills as higher use, price hikes and the carbon tax bite.
St Vincent de Paul Society energy analyst Gavin Dufty said lump sum payments designed to ease the tax pain should be linked to when energy bills arrive rather than delivered in one hit.
The comments came as power suppliers and the state and federal governments were accused of being joint culprits as the state’s power bills surged up to $900 in four years.
“All of them have got their hand in the household pocket,” Mr Dufty said. “Blaming each other doesn’t help people take control of their energy bills.”
The Federal Government has given households a combination of tax cuts and increased welfare benefits as compensation for the carbon tax.
Eighty per cent of 1200 people who voted in a heraldsun.com.au poll yesterday felt the Federal Government was most at fault for rising power bills.
Consumer advocates said a combination of factors including inefficient networks, poor regulation, Victoria’s smart meter cost blowout, solar power levies and renewable energy targets had driven up costs.