Printer’s bill doubles despite cutting power

Printer’s bill doubles despite cutting power
Company says energy bill was $600 more despite third less power used, slams energy providers for ripping off businesses

Melbourne company Fishprint says its energy costs have drastically risen, despite cutting their power usage by a third.

The company invested in a new $1.4m press earlier this year, with the goal to cut power over time.

Peter Booth, founder of Fishprint says, “In November, we saved 33 per cent of our power. We went from 3000kwh to 2000kwh per month. Our previous bill was $1200 so we expected the next one to be $800. It came in at $1400. We made an inquiry with our provider, Momentum Energy and they said prices were higher because of their summer surcharges, which came with a higher demand on energy. People are switching on their air conditioners and so on. This would be fine, except to go from $800 to $1400, that would make for an almost 100 per cent surcharge, almost double. 

“They did say they had sent us a letter about the surcharge, but I did not recall seeing it. When I got the bill, I thought it was a mistake but I called the company and they said it was not. With energy companies raising their prices even more, they are killing us.

[Related: ACCC urges energy crisis action]

“It was also in November, which as far as I am concerned is not within summer. Summer starts in December, maybe they should change the terminology there to incur warmer weather.

“I am unsure about how energy costs will affect us next year. If it keeps on like this, it could affect waging and staffing levels.”

Fishprint has eight full-time employees and has a focus on sustainability, with the company claiming it saves almost all of its waste.

Booth says, “I started the business 15 years ago and I have seen energy prices go up, but it has been incremental and manageable. This shift is massive and sudden.

“We are feeling penalised for saving power. There is a printer down the road, he has not cut his energy and who knows how much extra he has been charged. How can you run a business with all its costs and still make a profit if this is possible? We are trying to do the right thing.

“Modern equipment comes with more power savings, and the press we bought in particular had more advantages in the technology it uses. We bought it to replace the old equipment, hoping to contribute to power savings. In this past month, I do not feel that we have achieved the full savings yet but we expect more to come.”


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