Huge increases in household electricity bills are being blamed on the coldest winter in Melbourne for more than a decade — and a 10 per cent jump in annual power costs.

Winter energy bills are landing in households across Melbourne and for many they make alarming reading.

As the mercury plunged to an average winter temperature of 9.5 degrees and the city experienced its wettest winter in eight years, energy use soared.

Many households have experienced winter bill increases far in excess of the annual median electricity price rise in Victoria of 10-11 per cent.

"Households were using more electricity than they had in 14 years because the winter is the peak demand period," Ben Freund of price comparison service GoSwitch said.

"That spike in demand was also happening when prices have never been higher, so you are using more than you have in 14 years and you are paying more than you ever had, so of course you are going to have a record bill."

And he warned that "the shock next winter will be bigger — that is guaranteed".

"The current conservative forecast is for a 100 per cent (electricity price) increase over the next five years," he said.

"And that is a conservative estimate."

Victoria's Energy and Water Ombudsman, Fiona McLeod, said she expected an increase in calls to her office.

"Seasonal bills are always a trigger for an increase in complaints to my office — when the first bills start arriving after a hot period or a cold period, people are often surprised at the bills and may not have actually understood how much more they used their air-conditioner or heater compared to the year before," she said.

Ms McLeod said there had already been an increase in calls to her office because of affordability issues with an increase in cost-of-living pressures.

She said few callers had complained about smart meters or green energy costs but they were likely to be emerging issues.

Ms McLeod said she was concerned about an increase in the number of homes having their energy disconnected and said retailers should be constantly updating their hardship programs.

Cath Smith of the Victorian Council of Social Service said retailers should consider hardship issues with the increased winter bills.

She called on the federal government to extend  the utility support allowance that aged pensioners and disability pensioners receive to sole parents and the unemployed.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has warned of rising energy prices across Australia due to higher supply costs.

Cameron O'Reilly, executive director of Energy Retailers Association of Australia said wholesale electricity costs and infrastructure costs such as poles and wires made up 85 per cent of electricity cost.

"Right across the country, in broad terms, it has been network charges that have been the main contributor to price increases," he said.

He said the costs related to maintenance for ageing electricity infrastructure and building the network to cope with the growth in peak demand — total energy use at one time.

Mr Cameron said consumers should also think about the added appliance costs for that "big screen TV or air-conditioner".

He said Victorians should also shop around for their electricity supplier.

"You get far more variety in the end retail price in Victoria than you do in other markets," he said.