Leeton shire businesses finding their way through rising power costs

LEETON shire businesses are among thousands across the state struggling under the burden of increased power costs. 

However, while those costs are continuing to soar, most business owners reported they were getting on with the job by finding ways to cut back. 

Brian Collins from Leeton Steel Retail said the business had noticed a slight drop in the amount of power being used after the installation of LED lights. 

“I think within 12 months that installation of those lights has basically paid for itself,” he said. 

“If you were to install solar you would obviously be seeing even more of a difference. Luckily for us we are one of those businesses that doesn’t need to leave all of our lights on overnight either, so that helps.”

This wasn’t a situation many other businesses across the country could relate to. 

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell said submissions to the ACCC electricity pricing inquiry confirmed anecdotal accounts small businesses were being gouged.

She said most small businesses were struggling with increased power prices.

“It’s totally unacceptable that energy-dependent small businesses like manufacturers and rural industries are being slugged more than householders and big business,” Ms Carnell said.

Paul Lanham from Lanham’s Jewellers said he too had installed LED lighting and noticed a big difference. He also likes to keep an eye on his bills and providers to see what better deals can be offered. 

“I like to look around and shop around every six months or so to see what there and how I can get a better deal from the electricity company … you do have to stay on top of it,” Mr Lanham said. 

The Leeton Chamber of Commerce and Industry has had no members raise the issue of high bills with them, but was offer support to those who were struggling.