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NEW England residents are forking out 30 per cent more on electricity bills than their big city counterparts, a detailed new study has revealed.

Proving the city-country divide hasn’t deteriorated, data from consumer advocate One Big Switch shows an average four-person New England household using 7000kWh a year on the standard rate would pay $2897, while a family in the south of Sydney would pay $2179 for the same usage – a difference of more than $700.

The data comes as New England prepares to swelter through a long summer, with electricity rates already at record levels.

Campaign director for One Big Switch, Christopher Zinn, said it was now more critical than ever that locals shopped around for a better deal.

“People are going to get record power bills this summer – the highest they’ve ever been,” Mr Zinn warned.

Mr Zinn said residents in the Essential Energy zone, were forced to pay a higher daily supply charge because the costs of delivering electricity in the bush were higher than in the city.

Residents in New England will be hit by higher costs this summer than their city counterparts.

Residents in New England will be hit by higher costs this summer than their city counterparts.