Government pays forward energy dividends

Published Saturday, 28 September, 2019 at 07:00 AM

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham

Almost $1.5 billion in dividends from Queensland’s publicly-owned electricity assets have been reinvested in driving down power bills.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said annual reports tabled showed dividends in 2018-19 had subsidised regional power bills, provided two annual $50 discounts for Queensland households and provided discounted electricity for regional customers.

“Because the Palaszczuk Government stopped the LNP from selling our electricity assets, dividends can be directed to households where they’re needed most,” Dr Lynham said.

“This investment of dividends is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Affordable Energy Plan to put downward pressure on electricity prices for all Queenslanders.”

Dr Lynham tabled the annual reports of the government’s five energy government-owned corporations: Energy Queensland Ltd, parent company of Energex and Ergon; Powerlink, CS Energy, Stanwell and CleanCo.   

“In 2018-19, energy dividends enabled the Palaszczuk Government to deliver $465 million in subsidies to ensure families in regional communities across Queensland paid a similar amount for their power to those in the south-east of the state.

“For the most vulnerable electricity customers in our community, $267 million in dividends was reinvested for affordability programs and initiatives under the Affordable Energy Plan.

“And in 2018-19, $100 million in dividends was paid straight back into Queenslander’s pockets with $50 wiped off 1.9 million household power bills.” 

Dr Lynham said funds had also been reinvested across the electricity supply chain, from generation, transmission and distribution to, improve, maintain and deliver reliable power.

“More than $226.3 million was invested into capital projects at Stanwell and CS Energy to keep generation assets running safely, reliably and efficiently,” he said. 

“Another $210 million was invested in our poles and wires across Queensland with Powerlink and Energy Queensland.”

For the 2018-19 financial year, the publicly-owned assets employed 9160 Queenslanders across the state and trained 547 trainees and apprentices.  

“Queensland’s power assets are owned and run by Queenslanders” Dr Lynham said. 

“Because we own our power assets, Queenslanders are paying the lowest average electricity prices of any mainland state in the National Electricity Market.

“The Palaszczuk Government will continue to use public ownership of energy assets to back Queenslanders and put downward pressure on energy bills”

In 2018-19, Under the Affordable Energy Plan, the Queensland Government delivered:

  • $17 million in grants and interest-free loans to install rooftop solar panels and batteries.
  • $1.6 million for Queenslanders who took up EasyPay Reward, with residential customers receiving $75 credit each year and business customers receive $120 credit each year until 2020. 
  • $2.5 million – of the total $4 million Energy Savvy Families Program – to help low-income families better manage their power bills.
  • $143, 000 in Solar for Rentals trial providing 42 rebates to help renters and landlords enjoy the benefits of solar. 
  • $700,000 to deliver the Business Energy Savers Program to benefit agricultural customers and large businesses.

 “The LNP still have not revealed how they will find $7 billion in commitments it has already made.

 “Will they cut the subsidies our electricity companies provide, sack the people who work there or sell the income-generating asset altogether?”

 Media enquiries: David Potter 0428 411 617