Residents shocked by summer power bills

Lesley Rayment says her power bill cost more than her daughter Lucy's therapy. Picture: Jon Hewson
Lesley Rayment says her power bill cost more than her daughter Lucy's therapy. Picture: Jon Hewson

RESIDENTS across Baldivis, Wellard and Kwinana have been shocked by power bills almost double that of the previous summer.

Some residents on local Facebook chat pages said they had difficulty getting through on Synergy’s phone lines to have their bills explained.

Adele Duke, of Wellard, asked Synergy to check her meter after her bill rose from $177 to $433.

A letter on March 1 confirmed she had been billed correctly but she will pay an electrician to check her property because she was not home for 30 days of the 69-day billing period, yet her bill was about double that of last year’s.

Lesley Rayment, of Wellard, also experienced a significant bill spike – up to $800.

“The bill is more than my daughter’s therapy,” she said.

Ms Rayment’s daughter has autism and recently required $700 orthotics, which Ms Rayment said puts the bill into perspective.

“I was at home last year 24-7 and back at work part-time after Christmas, so it should have been less,” she said.

She is waiting to hear back from Synergy.

Synergy said it had received 14 requests for meter checks from Baldivis, seven from Wellard and two from Bertram. Figures for Kwinana were not available.

Energy Minister Bill Johnston’s office confirmed there had been no changes to power charges as the tariff was set annually as part of the State Budget process.

A government spokeswoman said Synergy’s investigations showed the billing costs were reflective of seasonal usage, not an identified billing issue.

“If customers have concerns, they are urged to contact Synergy on 13 13 53 and they’ll be happy to investigate their individual circumstances,” she said.

The Bureau of Meteorology website shows summer was dry but daytime averages were generally below average.

The previous summer was wet and temperatures also generally below average.

For tips to reduce power use, visit www.synergy.net.au.