2 Many, 2019 –
The second annual $50 dividend will start to appear on power bills from this week as part of our Affordable Energy Plan.
This dividend, and all of our initiatives to put downward pressure on electricity prices, are only possible because we own our electricity assets – the generation, the poles and the wires.
Public ownership is fundamental to Queensland having the lowest average electricity prices of any mainland state in the National Electricity Market.
The two $50 dividends in 2018 and this year are part of the Affordable Energy plan, which also includes:
- a two-year cap on electricity price rises to average inflation
- rebates for energy efficient appliances
- grants and interest-free loans to install rooftop solar panels and batteries
- rewards for regional Queensland households and small businesses for switching to more regular electronic billing or direct debit.
This contrasts directly with the Morrison Government’s move to impose a price cap on retailers in the south-east corner.
They want to install a half-baked default price that could undo years of competition reforms that have resulted in lower power prices for all Queenslanders.
In the short term, this Federal proposal could mean that south-east Queensland families, who have made the effort to shop around and save, could lose those savings.
In turn, because we subsidise regional prices to be on a par with the south-east, regional customers could also see be affected.
The energy regulator estimates that this annual price cap could save about one in six consumers in the south-east about $118 next year.
But they could already save up to $360 a year right now by shopping around.
We’ll be monitoring this price cap carefully to see how it affects competition and benefits for all customers in the long term.
And the message remains – shop around for a better deal on your power bill.