Origin Energy profits up by 83.5% whilst workers struggle to cover basics

Media Release - August 17, 2023

Origin Energy, one of Australia’s biggest energy providers has today announced a surge in profits by a whopping 83.5%, also posting a net income of over $1 billion.

Origin’s gross profit has nearly doubled on gas up from $3.0/GJ to $5.1/GJ on declining volumes. It nearly tripled on electricity up from $5.8/MWh to $16/MWh on flat volumes. In other words, all of Origin’s gross profit is attributable to price increases rather than units sold.

Origin has previously upgraded its performance predictions, partly due to the lower cost of purchasing energy.  

This will come as a shock to many energy consumers who have seen their bills rise by up to 25% from July 1 in some parts of the country.

A recent ACOSS survey showed that 65% of people on income support are cutting back on heating and 60% are going without essentials like medication or food.

Consumer Reference Group research also points out that more than a quarter of people struggled to pay their energy bills in the past 12 months, up to November 2022.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Assistant Secretary Joseph Mitchell:

“Australians will find it hard to swallow that Origin can post such an enormous increase in profits especially when we hear heartbreaking stories of people going without heating, hot water or sacrificing lighting their homes at night just to be able to make ends meet.

“Customers will rightly wonder how these big energy companies can justify such large profits, especially as Origin reports that it is due partly to the cost of purchasing energy for them is fallen, and they have failed to promptly pass on those savings to consumers.

“This announcement is a perfect example of why energy and utilities are currently sitting in 3rd place in submissions to the Price Gouging Inquiry”.

The ACTU Network

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