South west power bills forecast to hit lowest in a decade
SOUTH west and Downs Queenslanders are tipped to see their biggest power bill cut in a decade, with prices set to fall for a typical household by $75, and small business by $116, a year from July 1.
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the expected price drop complemented bill relief already announced.
The forecast fall is in the annual draft determination released today by the independent Queensland Competition Authority (QCA).
“With the COVID-19 emergency affecting everyone’s lives, it’s a small piece of positive news on the horizon for Downs and South West households and small businesses,” Dr Lynham said.
“The QCA has flagged 2020-21 regional electricity prices are set to fall for the third year in a row and for the fourth time under this government.
“We understand that people in the South West now are even more concerned about the cost of living and getting though this unprecedented coronavirus crisis.
“Times are tough, but this will be the biggest bill reduction for typical regional households in more than a decade.”
The forecast price fall from 1 July next year complements measures already announced.
Under the Palaszczuk Government’s $4 billion COVID-19 relief package announced a week ago, Queensland households will automatically receive $200 rebate off their electricity bill to assist with their household utility costs for electricity and water.
As well, households will receive a further two $50 electricity dividend payments to be delivered over the next two years.
Small businesses will also receive a $500 rebate on their power bill this year.
The rebate will appear on bills in the coming months, depending on individual billing cycles.
Dr Lynham said even in this unfamiliar climate, the Downs and South West could be assured that power bills were going down.
“And if the final QCA decision reflects the draft, regional households will also see a 5.3 per cent drop in their annual power bill in the 2021-2022 financial year and small businesses a 5 per cent drop.”
Dr Lynham said the QCA noted that price drops were largely due to reduced network and wholesale energy costs.
“Since 2015, the Queensland Government has been pulling the right policy levers to put downward pressure on power bills,” he said.
“Queenslanders pay the lowest average power prices of any mainland state in the National Electricity Market because we own our electricity assets.”