WATCH: Garage sale needed to pay massive power bill
FOR a family already struggling to get by, an $1100 power bill is almost enough to push them to the brink.
In a bid to pay the shocking bill, Maree Hoad has cleaned out her house and this weekend plans to sell off her unwanted items in a garage sale she hopes will raise enough cash to make a dent in the debt.
Maree spoke to The Morning Bulletin after the Queensland Competition Authority released a price determination which will see power bills for a typical regional Queensland house increase by $41 annually.
A single mum of three, Maree moved back home to Rockhampton from the Gold Coast four months ago.
She lost her job not long after that and has been looking for work ever since, as well as studying a criminology and criminal justice degree at university.
Daughter Maddison, 20, is also studying and has struggled to find work.
But the family are facing more than just electricity bills.
Maree said they moved home after Maddison experienced several health issues.
Her youngest daughter Savannah, 9, is autistic and the family have to factor in expensive medication alongside visits to doctors for both girls.
Maree said her electricity bills on the Gold Coast averaged about $700 a quarter, in a house where medical machines and several air conditioners were run.
So it came as big surprise when her bill had almost doubled in a smaller house with less people and no machines.
"After rent and power we'll have $200 to live on with three kids," Maree said.
"It's just crazy. I just can't believe it.
"It's a choice between power or food.
"Yes, rent is a lot cheaper in Rockhampton than on the Gold Coast, but the cost of living is almost double."