HOUSEHOLDS located outside the politically favoured Brisbane region are paying up to $500 more a year for their electricity.
According to the Queensland Competition Authority competition has delivered saving of up to $588 for south-east Queensland households. The saving increases to up to $1072 for small businesses, the report says.
For households outside the state’s most populous region the only discounts available are $75 a year for households and $120 a year for small businesses, which take up monthly billing options with the government-owned Ergon Energy.
Ergon Energy is the only electricity retailer in regional Queensland.
Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said the Palaszczuk government was engaged in an all-out attack on electricity affordability. That’s despite the government owned generators producing the vast bulk of electricity in Queensland.
LNP Shadow Minister for Energy Michael Hart said it was typical of Labor and its city-centric team to offer deals for south east consumers while the rest of Queensland sweltered.
"The government can fiddle figures on savings in South East Queensland all they want to convince consumers they're doing something, but the reality is they're doing little to redress soaring power prices and have completely let down regional electricity users,” Mr Hart said.
"Does the minister understand the government owns the generators?
"Why is it only a small number of Ergon customers are being offered $75 for households and $120 for small businesses?
"Makes you wonder how much listening the Premier and her ministers did when they flew into Roma and Longreach this week."
Dr Lynham said SEQ electricity retailers had signed up to the Palaszczuk government’s Affordable Energy Pledge late last year.
“Retailers pledged to pass on all the savings to consumers that the government is making in our publicly-owned electricity system,” Mr Lynham said.
“Queensland consistently has the lowest wholesale electricity price in the national electricity market.
“We are watching to make sure that the benefits of those lower prices, and our other measures, are passed on to consumers.”
More electricity pricing pain is on the way, particularly for rural areas. During last year’s election campaign Labor indicated it would increase already record electricity prices by the average rate of inflation for the next two years.
The QCA report says for residential customers, $466 is the highest standing offer (QEnergy) and $319 is the cheapest market offer (Alinta). The difference is a quarterly saving of $147, or an annual saving of $588.
For small business customers, $729 is the highest standing offer (ERM Power) and $461 is the cheapest market offer (QEnergy). The difference is a quarterly saving of $268, or an annual saving of $1072.