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The energy affordability crisis facing Australia is set to deteriorate even further with small businesses facing power price increases of up to $1,738 a year from July 1.

Small businesses in New South Wales, south-east Queensland and South Australia can expect sharp increases in electricity prices of up to 25.4 per cent according to the latest draft default market offer, released by the Australian Energy Regulator today.

At the same time, in Victoria, where default offer prices differ, electricity bills are expected to rise even higher, with an average increase of 33.2 per cent for small businesses.

“The forecast energy price spike is a hammer blow to small businesses who are already facing soaring input costs,” ACCI chief executive Andrew McKellar said.

“For the 146,000 small business owners that face these higher prices, this means less money to invest, to grow and to take on new staff.

“While the government’s price caps have meant businesses have avoided even worse price increases, small business owners still face uncertainty. A long-term solution focussed on boosting production is absolutely essential to bring stability to the energy market.

“To keep up with growing energy demands, there remains an urgent need to accelerate investment in renewable energy generation, as well as the storage and transmission capacity required to service demand for Australian businesses and households.

“Failure to address shortfalls in supply would have a calamitous impact for Australian businesses, driving up input costs and ultimately, threatening the competitiveness of local industry.

“The mooted relief for business and households in the upcoming May budget will help abate some of the immediate pressures, but without careful management and a long-term agenda to bring down power prices, we risk seeing a bad situation turn even worse.”

Ashley Gardiner

Director - Media and Communications

P: 0262708020

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