Power prices tipped to fall for regional Queenslanders

Media Statements

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Power prices tipped to fall for regional Queenslanders

Electricity prices are flagged to drop in regional Queensland by up to 4.3 per cent following today’s draft determination from the independent price regulator.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said today’s draft determination by the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) showed the Palaszczuk Government’s interventions to put downward pressure on electricity prices were working.

“We made a pledge to Queenslanders that we would keep power bills below inflation over the next two years, and this latest determination confirms that we are ahead of the game,” Dr Lynham said.

“These draft prices are positive, however I encourage Queenslanders to engage with the QCA to help curb electricity prices.”

The QCA today released its draft determination of 2018-19 electricity prices for regional Queensland.

If the final decision reflects the draft, regional households could expect to see a 2.3 per cent drop in their annual power bill in the next financial year, or an average of $35.

Regional small businesses could see a drop in their power bill of 4.3 percent, or $110.

The QCA notes that price drops are largely due to decreased network charges, as well as reduced wholesale energy costs.

Network charges will decrease 5.5 per cent for households and 9.5 per cent for small businesses.

“This is a result of the Palaszczuk Government’s intervention in 2015 directing Energex and Ergon Energy not to challenge the Australian Energy Regulator’s decision, resulting in real savings for regional Queenslanders,” Dr Lynham said.

“The QCA has also confirmed the Government’s direction to Stanwell Corporation to adjust its bidding behaviour has also reduced wholesale electricity prices.”

The draft determination is open for submissions until 9 April and the QCA will hold workshops next month in Bundaberg, Cairns, Cloncurry, Emerald, Mackay, Mount Isa, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Townsville and Brisbane.

A final determination will be released on 31 May.

Dr Lynham said the government’s $2 billion Affordable Energy Plan continued to provide cost of living relief.

“This includes the EasyPay Rewards of $75 for regional households and $120 for regional small businesses if they adopt Ergon Energy’s monthly direct debit billing,” he said.

“All Queenslanders are also receiving a $50 rebate on their annual bill – a dividend from their continuing ownership of our electricity businesses.

“We have been able to achieve this because those businesses remain publicly-owned.”

To provide feedback on the draft determination visit www.qca.org.au/submissions (external site).