Retailers sign on to Queensland energy pledge

Three Queensland electricity retailers have signed onto the Queensland Government’s Affordable Energy Pledge.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk met with representatives of 14 retailers at Parliament House yesterday to demand they do more to lower power bills.

QEnergy, Alinta and Origin have since agreed to sign up to the pledge, with other retailers given a deadline of Friday to make a decision.

“That pledge commits retailers to pass on the savings from government intervention that have been identified through the ACIL Allen report, as well as passing on in full the $50 asset ownership saving off household customer bills over each of the next two years,” the Premier said.

Ms Palaszczuk threatened to re-establish a competitive publicly owned retailer if retailers don’t join the pledge.

Minister for Energy Mark Bailey said the meeting completed a “three-pronged attack” on making Queensland power bills more affordable.

“We’ve already moved to reduce the impact of costs from our transmission cost, and to slash wholesale generation costs through our Powering Queensland Plan announced in June,” Minister Bailey said.

“Now we’re dealing with the third component of power bills – the amount charged by electricity retailers.

“We’re the only government in Australia that can do this, because we’re the only government in Australia that owns these power assets.”

QEnergy chief executive officer Scott Henderson told the Premier the company was committed to passing on savings to Queenslanders.

“After assessing the information passed onto us today, we are committed to fulfill the intent of the affordability pledge and look forward to working closely with DEWS (Department of Energy and Water Supply) and the QCA (Queensland Competition Authority) to ensure we achieve the desired outcomes,” he said.

Queensland Affordable Energy Pledge

  1. Pass on, in full and display on bills to customers the savings in the Government’s Affordable Energy Plan, including the rebate of $50 a year for every household bill over the next two years, starting from January 2018 and evident on bills from the second quarter of 2018
  2. Pass on savings from government intervention that have been modelled by ACIL Allen. The report is available at http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2017/10/24/stopping-lnp-electricity-privatisation-lowers-electricity-prices-study
  3. Fully co-operate with a new Queensland Competition Authority investigation, under the Electricity Act 1994, into electricity bills paid by residential customers in the deregulated south-east Queensland market and comparisons with the regulated market in regional and rural Queensland; and
  4. Assist with advising consumers of electricity concessions available for pensioners, seniors and health care card holders.