Ex-energy pro calls for accountability on electricity hike

Retired electricity industry worker John Blanchfield cruches the numbers on the electricity price hike. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Retired electricity industry worker John Blanchfield cruches the numbers on the electricity price hike. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

THE Queensland Competition Authority stunned electricity users this Christmas with another massive proposed rise in power prices expected in six months time.

And Berserker's John Blanchfield is calling on corporate bodies and individuals to be held accountable for their actions following the price shock, which he said would severely affect people who try to conserve energy.

Mr Blanchfield, a former energy professional, yesterday told The Morning Bulletin general electricity consumption users, or those who were under tariff 11, would be ultimately affected.

Like the previous tariff 11, it contains two components: the cost per kWh or energy charge and a daily charge or service fee.

From July 1, 2013, the energy charge (cost per kWh), including GST, increased from 25.37 cents to 29.40 cents, which was a 15.86% increase.

The new 2014-2015 hikes meant there would be a 4.86% increase from the current 29.40 cents to 30.83 cents.

The cost of electricity has sparked a debate between Energy Minister Mark McArdle and Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne.

Mr McArdle yesterday called on Mr Byrne to stand up to his federal colleagues who are preparing to block removal of the carbon tax.

"Revoking the carbon tax is the quickest way to reduce electricity bills and lower the cost-of-living pressures throughout Queensland," he said. "If Mr Byrne cared at all about Rockhampton households, small business and industry, he would put pressure on his federal counterparts to get rid of the carbon tax."

The carbon tax has added $177.40 to the average Queensland power bill for a typical household in 2013/14.

But Mr Byrne said Mr McArdle was just playing the "blame game".

He said Mr McArdle and the LNP both failed to keep their election promise to cut power bills by $120 a year.

"Instead, the Newman government has overseen incredible increases in the price of power - up by averages of $140 and $268 in the first two years under the LNP and by a proposed average of $192 next year," he said.

"The Queensland Competition Authority report says in black and white that bills would rise by 3% if carbon pricing alone and green schemes were the only factors involved."

Topics:  editors picks electricity charges queensland competition authority

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