December 2, 2019
South-east Queensland residents are enjoying savings of more than $300 a year on their power bills thanks to price competition among retailers, according to the latest Queensland Competition Authority annual report released on Monday.
Small businesses were saving more than $400 a year on average.
However, in regional Queensland where there is limited competition, customers are missing out on the savings according to the LNP.
The QCA sets retail electricity prices in regional areas on an annual basis, as directed by the State Government.
Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington said the State Labor Government was blocking competition in regional Queensland.
She said her plan to extend retail electricity competition into regional Queensland would deliver comparable savings to regional households.
“Electricity consumers in the regions are being ripped off by Labor,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Consumers in the south-east can shop around for the best energy deals from 22 different companies, but in the regions the only choice is Ergon.
“The LNP will smash Labor’s electricity monopoly in the regions and ensure that every Queenslander can shop around for the cheaper electricity deals.”
Shadow Energy Minister Michael Hart said Labor was running a regional electricity monopoly, squeezing cash from consumers who have no choice but to pay inflated power prices.
“Every electricity bill in regional Queensland comes with a secret tax that goes straight to the Palaszczuk Labor Government,” Mr Hart said.
QCA chairman Prof Flavio Menezes said SEQ customers in SEQ had a wide choice when it came to electricity offers.
“Most retailers’ cheapest market offer in the June quarter of 2019 was lower than their cheapest offer available a year earlier,” Prof Menezes said.
“Retailers generally increased conditional discounts and/or used sign-up incentives to reduce the bills of their cheapest offers and compete for customers.
“We also observed an increase in the availability of simple, competitively priced market offers that had no discounts attached in 2018-19. This appeared to reflect that retailers were responding to customer concerns about the complexity of discounts, incentives and benefits.
“Customers had many opportunities to benefit from competition in the SEQ market in 2018-19, with Alinta Energy and other smaller retailers increasing their share of customers during the year.”