Regional power prices set to go up
REGIONAL Queensland's power prices could be going up.
A Queensland Competition Authority draft report into regional power prices has recommended a 1.7% increase come into effect from July.
For the average regional Queensland household customer a 1.7% increase would see bills will rise $25 - from $1490 to $1515 a year. The average small business will see a $37 a year increase in their bills.
QCA chair Roy Green said the increase was small compared to the increase in energy costs.
"This year's draft decision forecasts small increases across the main residential and small business tariffs," Professor Green said.
"While there has been a marked increase in expected wholesale energy costs since the 2016-17 final determination, this has been largely offset by an expected decline in network costs."
Energy Minister Mark Bailey defended the increase stating that prices had "stabilised" since Labor came to power.
"The QCA's draft determination shows that over the first three years of the Palaszczuk government the forecast increase in the average residential electricity bill will be just 3.6%, compared to 43% price surge over the three year term of the Newman-Nicholls government," he said.
But an LNP shadow energy minister Michael Hart said Labor had let regional Queenslanders down on power pricing.
"Annastacia Palaszczuk and Mark Bailey can spin it any way they like, the fact is they promised Queenslanders power prices wouldn't go up - but they have," he said.
Mr Hart disputed Mr Bailey's claim power prices went up 43% in three years under the LNP.
"The former LNP inherited electricity prices that were locked in by Labor through the carbon tax, gold plating of networks, five-year network determination and the solar bonus scheme."
Prof Green said the draft decision was based on industry analysis.
Prof Green said despite the proposed price hike regional Queenslanders would continue to pay less for energy than it cost to supply it to them.
"It is important to note we set prices in accordance with the Queensland Government's uniform tariff policy, which means most regional customers pay significantly less for electricity than it costs to supply," he said.
"We strongly encourage stakeholders to review our draft decision and provide feedback through our submission process."
Submissions on the proposal can be made at qca.org.au before April 3. A final decision will be made on May 31.