Updated February 22, 2013 21:08:50
The Queensland Government says the latest electricity price rise is unacceptably high.
The average household power bill will rise by 21.4 per cent from July, or an extra $253 per year, with other household tariffs also going up by between 15 and 19 per cent.
Today’s announcement by the Queensland Competition Authority is only a draft, with a final decision due at the end of May.
The State Government froze the standard tariff for 12 months, but the competition regulator says higher network costs now have to be passed on
Treasurer Tim Nicholls says the Government is now looking at the draft ruling.
“What we’ve seen today in the draft determination by the Queensland Competition Authority is an unacceptably large price rise for electricity prices here in Queensland,” he said.
“This Government is determined to make sure that Queensland families are not kicked in the guts by this huge price rise.”
Treasurer Tim Nicholls blames an over-investment in infrastructure and “excessively generous” solar rebate and green energy schemes for the price rise.
He says he cannot do anything about it now, but can for the future.
The plan may include asking generators and distributors to absorb some of the increase.
“It’s particularly down to the Federal Government in relation to allowing their regulator to allow over investment in the network and not questioning the claims,” he said.
“Now we’ve started as a State Government questioning those claims and that’s why we’ve been able to remove from the Forward Estimates about $2 billion of costs from our companies – that will help in the future.”
Mr Nicholls says electricity network costs, which are regulated nationally, will account for about half of the price rise in Queensland.
He says spiralling network costs have not been brought under control.
“Network costs, which are regulated by the Australian Energy Regulator, will be about 50 per cent of the increase,” he said.
“This really just goes to show I think the failures over the last couple of years of the regulator to stop the gold-plating of networks and price-gouging of consumers.”
The Opposition’s Curtis Pitt says the LNP gave people “false hope” that they could bring electricity price rises under control.
“What we’ve seen today is another broken promise by the LNP,” he said.
“People have put their faith in them to address the cost of living. They said they were going to be able to handle these matters and quite simply they’ve made a promise they could never deliver on.”
Linda Parmenter from the Queensland Council of Social Service says low income earners will be hit hard.
“There’ll be more people who don’t pay their bills and end up being disconnected,” she said.Topics: public-sector, electricity-energy-and-utilities, regulation, brisbane-4000, bundaberg-4670, cairns-4870, gladstone-4680, longreach-4730, mackay-4740, maroochydore-4558, mount-isa-4825, rockhampton-4700, southport-4215, toowoomba-4350, townsville-4810 First posted February 22, 2013 09:05:33