Consumers in south east Queensland are able to shop around for the best electricity deal and around 70% of residential customers are supplied under a market contract.
However, competition is limited in the rest of Queensland with most regional and rural consumers being supplied by Ergon Energy under a standard contract.
This is because the Queensland Government pays Ergon Energy a subsidy (known as the uniform tariff policy) so that regional customers pay the same regulated prices as consumers in south east Queensland.
Competition in regional areas is limited, as other retailers cannot compete with Ergon Energy's subsidised prices.
The Government announced that it will examine options to improve competition in regional areas, including the development of more effective subsidy arrangements to maintain the uniform tariff policy. It has also signalled that it will consider whether subsidies could be better targeted to those most in need.
As part of this process, the Government has asked us for advice on how to level the playing field and open up competition in regional areas. More on this project.
In the meantime, we continue to have a role in determining retail prices in regional Queensland.