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    Energy and Water Utilities
    The Honourable Stephen Robertson

    MINISTER DISAPPOINTED AT QCA ELECTRICITY PRICING DECISION

    Energy and Water Utilities
    The Honourable Stephen Robertson

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    MINISTER DISAPPOINTED AT QCA ELECTRICITY PRICING DECISION

    Energy Minister Stephen Robertson expressed disappointment at the 6.6 per cent rise in 2011-12 electricity prices announced today by the independent Queensland Competition Authority.

    “In December, the QCA said in an interim decision that it proposed to increase regulated electricity prices in 2011-12 by 5.83 per cent,” he said.

    “Today’s 6.6% announcement by the QCA is higher than originally forecast and unfortunately means Queenslanders will pay more for their electricity from 1 July 2011.
    “It will mean an extra $29.39 to the average quarterly bill of $445 or about 32 cents a day (based on consumption of 7,882kWh per year).

    “The Bligh Government is very conscious of the impact rising electricity prices have on Queensland families and their household budgets.

    “I’m disappointed by the price increase but it could have been far worse.”

    Mr Robertson said Queenslanders had faced a 8.31 per cent electricity price hike until the Bligh Government took positive action last week.

    “We made sure Queensland mums and dads didn't foot the bill arising from an Australian Competition Tribunal decision to increase the revenue Energex and Ergon Energy can earn in 2011-12.

    “The higher rate of revenue awarded by the Tribunal would have resulted in higher network costs.

    “Those extra costs would have been passed onto Queensland electricity customers through higher electricity prices which would have equated to an extra $30.46 per year.

    Mr Robertson said the impact of the Commonwealth Government’s revised Renewable Energy Target (RET) also contributed significantly to the QCA price increase.

    “The RET contributed 3.19 percent to the QCA pricing decision of 6.6 per cent.
     
    “Without it, Queenslanders would only be facing a price rise slightly lower than the current consumer price index of 3.6 per cent.”

    Mr Robertson said the Bligh Government will continue to implement energy reforms to minimise the impact of rising electricity prices on Queensland families.

    “I will be introducing legislation in Parliament shortly that supports the development of a new pricing methodology and tariff structure that it will be used by the QCA to calculate electricity prices from 2012.

    “This will deliver a new pricing system that is more flexible and fairer to Queenslanders.
    “Earlier today, I released a new Queensland Energy Management Plan to help Queenslanders better manage peak electricity demand and ease pressure on prices.

    “The Bligh Government remains committed to a Uniform Tariff which ensures all Queenslanders - wherever they live - pay the same price for their electricity.

    “We will also continue to provide a range of rebates and concessions to help ease the financial burden of rising electricity prices on pensioners, low income households and Queenslanders with special medical needs,” he said.

    Media contact:
    Minister’s office: Zoe Russell - 0437 436 914


    31 May 2011