Queensland households face over 20% power price increases

The average Queensland household power bill will rise by 21.4 per cent from July 2013, or an extra $253 per year, with other household tariffs also going up by between 15 and 19 per cent. The announcement by the Queensland Competition Authority is only a draft, with a final decision due at the end of May 2013

The State Government froze the standard tariff for 12 months, but the competition regulator says higher network costs now have to be passed on to the consumer, which will affect prices. Treasurer Tim Nicholls says the Government is now looking at the draft ruling.

“What we’ve seen  in the draft determination by the Queensland Competition Authority is an unacceptably large price rise for electricity prices here in Queensland,” he said. “This Government is determined to make sure that Queensland families are not kicked in the guts by this huge price rise.”

Treasurer Tim Nicholls blames an over-investment in infrastructure and “excessively generous” solar rebate and green energy schemes for the price rise.  He says while we cannot do anything about it now, we can plan for changes for the future.

Mr Nicholls says electricity network costs, which are regulated nationally, will account for about half of the price rise in Queensland.  He says spiralling network costs have not been brought under control. The plan may include asking generators and networks to absorb some of the increase. 

“Network costs, which are regulated by the Australian Energy Regulator, will be about 50 per cent of the increase,” he said. “This really just goes to show I think the failures over the last couple of years of the regulator to stop the gold-plating of networks and price-gouging of consumers.

The Opposition’s Curtis Pitt says the LNP gave people “false hope” that they could bring electricity price rises under control. “What we’ve seen today is another broken promise by the LNP,” he said. “People have put their faith in them to address the cost of living. They said they were going to be able to handle these matters and quite simply they’ve made a promise they could never deliver on.

Linda Parmenter from the Queensland Council of Social Service says low income earners will be hit hardest out of all Asutralians.  “There’ll be more people who don’t pay their bills and end up being disconnected,” she said. For the QCA’s release on why prices are increasing read more about Queensland power price rises