Since the beginning of the new financial year, the cost of electricity and gas bills has increased markedly. Some R&CA members have reported paying over $5,000 a quarter. The most recent R&CA Benchmarking Report estimated that electricity, lighting and gas accounted for 3.4 per cent on average of overall expenditure. Given the significant increases that came into effect from 1 July, this figure will no doubt be substantially higher by the time the 2018 survey comes around.
Rising electricity and gas prices, combined with the costs of rent, labour, produce and other overheads, are the last thing that our businesses need. This is because hospitality businesses are particularly sensitive to even modest increases in utilities bills due to their heavy dependence on operating machinery. As always, one of the offerings to Association members is a free electricity audit from Energyfocus SEM to help keep utility costs under control. R&CA urges those concerned about their electricity and gas bills to arrange a free audit to ensure that they are receiving the best possible deal from their provider. Over the coming months, R&CA will be continuing its lobbying efforts to state and federal governments across Australia to ensure that the cost of electricity and gas is kept under control.
Mark Scanlan, President
Restaurant & Catering Australia