The unrelenting increase in power bills is taking its toll in regional Queensland with disconnections of small businesses jumping 82% in just one year, according to the Queensland Electricity Users Network.
QEUN Coordinator Jennifer Brownie said statistics released by the Australian Energy Regulator show that 698 small businesses were disconnected by Ergon Energy last financial year for non-payment.
“What is really alarming is that small business disconnections rose 17% in Queensland but 82% in regional Queensland,” she said.
“Regional businesses are being forced by the government to pay up to 30% more for electricity compared to the southeast.”
She said the Queensland Government increased power bills for small business again on July 1.
“Our recent survey indicated that almost 50% of businesses in regional Queensland were experiencing moderate to severe difficulties paying their power bills in full and on time,” she said.
“For some regional communities a disconnected business could have far reaching financial and social consequences as some businesses are the lifeblood of a town.”
The Queensland Government has increased electricity prices for regional Queensland businesses and farmers by more than 15% in two years.