Regional Qld power bills to fall

Windy Hill Wind Farm, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland
Windy Hill Wind Farm, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has welcomed a fall in regional power prices.

From July 1, a typical household will pay $62 a year less, and a small business, $144 less.

It’s the second year in a row the independent Queensland Competition Authority has recommended a price cut.

“Bills fell this year and will fall again from July 1, meaning all up over two years a typical small business will have saved $230 and a typical household, $82,” the Premier said.

“I know it will be welcome news, because every dollar counts when it comes to the cost of living.”

Related article: Biggest fall in a decade for Queensland power bills

Speaking from Mackay today, Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the fall for a typical regional household represented a 4.4 per cent decrease, and for small businesses, a 5.8 per cent drop on the current 2018-19 prices.

“This shows our Affordable Energy Plan is delivering on the cost of living for regional Queenslanders and that our renewable energy policies are helping put downward pressure on prices as well as cutting emissions,” Dr Lynham said.   

“The QCA report notes that about 5200 megawatts of new renewable generation is entering the National Electricity Market, with 1350 megawatts committed in the Queensland market,” he said.

“The report also notes that the newly announced, publicly owned clean energy generator CleanCo would contribute to reducing price volatility and drive down wholesale prices in the future.”

The prices were released today in the QCA’s latest price determination for regional electricity prices for 2019-20. Typical regional household prices have already fallen by 1.3 per cent in 2018-19.

The QCA determines annual regional electricity prices, taking into account what consumers are paying in the competitive south-east Queensland market.

The Palaszczuk Government has then subsidised the actual costs of delivering electricity so that consumers pay the price the QCA determines.

In 2018-19, this subsidy was almost half-a-billion dollars.   

Related article: ACCC releases electricity monitoring report

The Affordable Energy Plan is also delivering: 

  • a two-year cap on electricity price rises to average inflation. 
  • two annual $50 dividends for households from the dividends of Queensland’s publicly-owned electricity assets. The second dividend is appearing on bills now.
  • a $75 EasyPay reward for regional households and $120 for small businesses who sign up for Ergon Energy’s direct debit and monthly eBilling.
  • Interest-free loans and grants for solar and battery storage systems.
  • rebates to help consumers buy energy-efficient appliances.