Regional electricity consumers could see their power bills drop by $58 and small businesses by $180 next year - two years in a row of falling prices.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the draft determination showed her Government’s energy policy was pushing prices lower.
“By keeping our existing energy assets in public hands and supporting the growth in renewable generation, we are making power more affordable for consumers and investment more certain for business," the Premier said.
“My Government has an unwavering focus on continuing to push power prices lower for for Queensland households and for Queensland businesses to support more jobs growth.”
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said today’s draft regional electricity price determination from the independent Queensland Competition Authority was further proof the government’s Affordable Energy Plan was working.
“The QCA says it’s expecting prices to fall because of more renewable energy coming on line, making wholesale prices cheaper,” Dr Lynham said.
“That’s good news for regional households and small businesses, who saw prices fall this financial year as well.
“The QCA is forecasting that for a second year in a row household bills will decrease, and it means the Palaszczuk Government is well ahead of its commitment to cap electricity price increases at inflation for two years.”
“It’s confirmation that our Affordable Energy Plan continues to put downward pressure on prices for Queensland electricity consumers.
“The good news also extends to our business and industry, with annual bills for large businesses expected to decrease by about 14.2 per cent.”
Farming and irrigation tariffs will remain unchanged.
Today’s draft determination for 2019-20 follows a 1.3 per cent reduction in regional power prices from 1 July 2018.
The QCA report says the decreases in prices are primarily due to a decline in forecast wholesale energy costs due to new renewable generation and the new government-owned generator, CleanCo entering the National Energy Market (NEM).
“We are continuing to create a stable investment climate that’s encouraging renewable energy investment,” Dr Lynham said.
“Queensland has the lowest prices in the NEM, reliable supply and a steady transition to a renewable future.
“This transition is delivering for Queensland consumers on price and emission reduction.”
Dr Lynham said consumers could look forward to additional savings proposed Energy Queensland’s reduced network charges in 2020-21, which if approved by the AER, will continue the strong work already done by this Government to reduce electricity prices in Queensland.
The QCA will now run consultations workshops around the state in March and take submissions until 1 April before producing a final determination for government by 31 May.
Regional electricity prices in Queensland are regulated, while the south-east corner only is open to private sector competition.
The QCA determines regional prices based on prices in the south-east Queensland market. The government then subsidises regional electricity bills under its uniform tariff policy to ensure regional customers pay equivalent costs to south-east Queensland customers . In 2018-19, this subsidy totalled almost $500 million. The subsidy is required as regional electricity prices are significantly less than the cost of supply.
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham