The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) has today released its final decision on regulated retail electricity prices (regulated prices) for regional Queensland in 2017-18.
QCA Chair Professor Roy Green said this final decision had been based on revised network tariffs that were reduced after the Minister’s direction to Energy Queensland on May 31 to remove charges for the Solar Bonus Scheme.
“The QCA is required to determine regulated prices objectively and in compliance with the relevant legal framework,” Professor Green said.
“Consistent with that framework, this final decision is based on network charges regulated by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and the latest information from competitive wholesale and retail electricity markets.
"It is also important to note that the regulated prices for residential and small business customers in regional Queensland reflect the Government’s Uniform Tariff Policy, which sets prices for these customers so they are on par with lower-cost electricity prices in the south-east of the state.”
The annual bill for a typical customer on the main residential tariff is expected to rise 3.3 per cent (up $49 from $1490 to $1539) a year as a result.
For the typical customer on the main small business tariff, the annual increase is expected to be 4.1 per cent (up $101, from $2449 to $2550).
“The higher regulated prices are primarily due to substantial increases in wholesale energy costs, which have been driven by a projected tightening in the demand–supply balance within the National Electricity Market,” Professor Green explained.
“A number of factors have contributed to this tightening, including the increased demand from electricity-intensive in-field gas compression associated with the LNG export facilities as well as the closure of Hazelwood power station in Victoria.
“On the other hand, network costs have decreased for many customers. These decreases are a result of the AER’s final decisions on Energex’s and Ergon Energy's 2015–20 distribution determinations, and the Queensland Government's removal of Solar Bonus Scheme costs from network prices.
“However, the lower network costs have not been sufficient to completely offset the substantial increase in energy costs.”
Customers who experience difficulty paying their electricity bill should speak to their retailer, as all energy retailers are required by law to have programs to assist customers in financial hardship.
The QCA’s final report and accompanying documents are available at www.qca.org.au
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