Queensland Electricity Users Network

The draft prices released today by the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) show that QCA has not listened to household and businesses when setting their Draft 2018-19 regulated retail prices.

Over the last 2 years, household power bills in regional Queensland have risen by at least 6.1%, if the QCA Draft prices become the final prices. Household power bills would have increased by around 4% over the last 2 years. Of equal concern is small business power bills. Almost half of Queensland workforce is employed by small business. Small business power bills have increased by 15.3% in the last 2 years. A potential reduction of 4.3% still means small business have been hit with more than a 10% rise over 2 years. To pay their power bills, small businesses are making difficult decisions, which includes cutting staff hours or jobs, or passing on the extra costs to their customers. Power bills are at an unsustainable levels and need to be substantially reduced.

We call on the Queensland Competition Authority to immediately remove the standing offer adjustment and headroom charge from all power bills.

This 5% charge is added to all power bills in regional Queensland to promote retail competition. Ergon Energy Retail has a near monopoly in regional Queensland and therefore this nonsensical charge needs to be immediately removed.

The prices announced today are only Draft prices for 2018-19. Last year the Queensland Competition Authority announced a final price that was 7% higher than their draft price.

There is no certainty that these reductions will be delivered when the final price is announced on the 31st of May.

If you cannot make it to a Queensland Competition Authority Workshop to discuss the Draft 2018-19 prices, we encourage all businesses to post their power bill experiences on the QEUN website (www.qeun.com.au) and we will include your comments in our submission. This will enable your voice to be heard.

To register for a QCA workshop click on www.qca.org.au/workshops

More information please contact: Jennifer Brownie, Coordinator, QEUN, ph: 0740 312 865.

For further information on electricity pricing and supply please visit the QEUN website www.qeun.com.au