Third retailer signs onto Premier’s Affordable Energy Pledge for electricity savings
A third Queensland electricity retailer QEnergy has agreed to sign onto Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Affordable Energy Pledge to save Queenslanders money on their power bills, following a meeting with representatives from 14 retailers at Parliament House earlier today.
Tonight QEnergy Chief Executive Officer Scott Henderson advised the Government that: “QEnergy is committed to passing on savings to Queenslanders and simplifying things for the consumer wherever possible. After assessing the information passed onto us today, we are committed to fulfil the intent of the affordability pledge and look forward to working closely with DEWS (Department of Energy and Water Supply) and the QCA (Queensland Competition Authority) to ensure we achieve the desired outcomes.”
The Premier said retailers, Alinta and Origin, had already agreed to the sign up to the pledge.
“That pledge commits retailers to pass on the savings from government intervention that have been identified through the ACIL Allen report, as well as passing on in full the $50 asset ownership saving off household customer bills over each of the next two years,” she said.
“I’m pleased to say that today’s discussions have been very positive and productive.”
Minister for Energy Mark Bailey said today’s meeting completed a three-pronged attack on making Queensland power bills more affordable.
“We’ve already moved to reduce network costs, and to slash wholesale costs through our Powering Queensland Plan announced in June,” Minister Bailey said.
“Queensland has had the lowest wholesale prices in Australia on average since March this year in Malcolm Turnbull’s broken National Electricity Market and also lowest increase in household electricity prices of any mainland state this financial year at 3.3% with SA/Act 19%, NSW 11%, Victoria 9.6%.
“Now we’re dealing with the third component of power bills – the amount charged by electricity retailers.
“We’re the only Government in Australia that can do this, because we’re the only Government in Australia that owns these power assets.”
The Premier said the option of re-establishing a publicly owned retailer remains live if retailers do not sign up to the Affordable Energy Pledge, a copy of which is below.
“Moving forward, I am asking the Queensland Competition Authority to monitor retailers’ pricing on a quarterly basis to ensure these savings continue to be passed on,” the Premier said.
Today’s meeting was attended by representatives of the following retailers:
ERM Business Energy
Locality Planning Energy
Simply Energy (Engie)
Dodo Power and Gas
Queensland Affordable Energy Pledge
1. Pass on, in full and display on bills to customers the savings in the Government’s Affordable Energy Plan, including the rebate of $50 a year for every household bill over the next two years, starting from January 2018 and evident on bills from the second quarter of 2018
2. Pass on savings from government intervention that have been modelled by ACIL Allen. The report is available at http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2017/10/24/stopping-lnp-electricity-privatisation-lowers-electricity-prices-study
3. Fully co-operate with a new Queensland Competition Authority investigation, under the Electricity Act 1994, into electricity bills paid by residential customers in the deregulated south-east Queensland market and comparisons with the regulated market in regional and rural Queensland; and
4. Assist with advising consumers of electricity concessions available for pensioners, seniors and health care card holders.
The Premier will publicly announce which retailers adopt the Queensland Affordable Energy Pledge by electricity retailers, so Queensland customers know if their retailer has made the commitment.
The Premier has also reaffirmed that the Queensland Government reserves the right to re-establish a government-owned retailer, and attract other private sector retailers into the market, to provide additional competition and apply further downward pressure on electricity prices in the deregulated electricity market of south-east Queensland.