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WA electricity prices 'to rise 5%'

Residents of Western Australia could face electricity price rises of five per cent next year, premier Colin Barnett has suggested.

Speaking to Fairfax radio 6PR, he revealed that it is the separation of power producer Verve and retailer Synergy that has led to many people facing higher energy bills.

The division of the two organisations has forced the government to increase electricity prices, which are expected to rise further at some point during the next financial year, Mr Barnett highlighted.

"We've got a situation where Synergy goes out and contracts for renewable energy as a government agency, but then you've got Verve, another government agency, with expensive power plants sitting there idle," he is reported by the AAP as saying.

A situation has arisen where a coal plant is being used as opposed to a gas plant, he noted, despite the latter being cheaper to run and maintain.

This follows a series of reports from the Adelaide Advertiser, which showed that residents of the city are facing considerable increases to their living costs.

Referring to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it noted that the cost of electricity rose 30 per cent in Adelaide last year, while water and sewerage costs have increased by 14 per cent.

Posted by Charlie Moore