Rising power costs hit Crookwell's IGA

A Crookwell business has spent big to save big on electricity after seeing power costs nearly double in the past five years.

IGA's Floyd Davies said the supermarket paid about $13,000 for power monthly. The price per kilowatt was about 13 cents; it was about 8.5 cents five years ago.

Business: Floyd Davies at Crookwell IGA hits back at rising power costs. Photo: Clare McCabe

Business: Floyd Davies at Crookwell IGA hits back at rising power costs. Photo: Clare McCabe

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Mr Davies said his business was using new technologies to offset the continual rise in electricity costs. Lighting and refrigeration were the biggest costs, he said.

"We've replaced the old fluorescent lighting and now we are using LED (light-emitting diodes)," he said. "We are about three months into it now and can see savings of around $18,000 per year."

This was stage one, costing about $50,000, and it would take about three years for the shop to pay down the investment, he said.

Research has found LED lights are up to 80 percent more efficient than traditional fluorescent and incandescent lighting. Ninety five percent of the energy in LEDs is converted into light and only five percent is lost as heat.

But with power costs continuing to rise, he was still seeking more savings through solar panels and a refrigeration upgrade, as well as smart meters to monitor typical and excess power usage.

Rebates are available, including a NSW Government subsidy for associated costs of installing LED lights, alongside incentives to upgrade old or inefficient equipment.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal found that, during the year to June 30 in 2019, the trend of customers shopping around for better electricity pricing meant the number of smaller power retailers had doubled to 16 percent of the market share.

ENSURING THE FUTURE

The federal and state government have announced a $102 million reliable and affordable energy plan to reduce electricity prices and improve reliability.

In October, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in partnership with the Berejiklian Government they would underwrite an upgrade to fast-track the New South Wales-Queensland Interconnector (QNI).

"This is about putting downward pressure on wholesale prices to make sure businesses and households have access to reliable and affordable power," Prime Minister Morrison said.

"Industry needs certainty. They need to know their electricity won't cut out, and their power bill won't suddenly double. You can't run a business like that, and you can't employ people."

The high-priority upgrade will facilitate greater competition between generators in the electricity market.

Upgrades to QNI will be brought forward to late 2021, delivering an extra 190 Megawatt of capacity into NSW during peak demand periods.

Regulatory approval processes for QNI are well progressed due to the state government's Transmission Infrastructure Strategy, with further action needed to ensure QNI is fully operational by the summer of 2022-23.

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