Electricity prices 'may rise 30 per cent'

Electricity prices are on the rise, according to the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, with costs expected to increase by a total of 30 per cent in the three years between July 1 2010 and June 30 2013.

Citing figures from a recent Australian Energy Market Commission report, this figure is estimated in the absence of a carbon price and is a result of a number of drivers.

Most notably, these include aging assets - many networks were last updated between the 1950s and 1970s - and rising energy demand due in part to an increasing number of homes using air-conditioners.

While planned network investment set to be delivered over the next three-to-four years is thought to be the main contributor to rising prices, federal climate change policies, state-based energy efficiency schemes and feed-in tariffs will also affect energy prices.

Household energy prices are consumers' number one financial concern, a recent Clean Energy Council report suggested.

The study, carried out by Auspoll, identified that more respondents were concerned about the cost of their home energy bills than healthcare, food and grocery expenses.

Australians who are keeping an eye on their electricity bills may wish to compare energy suppliers to ensure they are getting the best rate possible.