Electricity Bills In Queensland To Jump 21%

Electricity bills in Queensland look set to rise again from July 1 for households and businesses; with low consumption households feeling the biggest effects.

A draft determination by the Queensland Competition Authority shows an increase in annual bills for average households on Tariff 11 of $253 a year.

Businesses in Queensland will bear the burden of a 12% – 16% rise.

The main components in the increase are related to network costs followed by retailer costs.

Households that have been particularly energy efficient will be punished under the proposed increases.

“Previously, the Tariff 11 service charge has been too low and the usage charge has been too high. So low-use customers have not been paying enough to cover the costs of their supply and high-use customers have been paying more than the cost of their supply,” says the QCA

“This is changing, so that customers’ bills better reflect the costs of their electricity use. As a result, low consumption customers will see a high percentage increase in their bill as the fixed service fee is increased.”

The QCA is seeking feedback on the draft determination and its Final Determination will be released by the end of May 2013.

The added financial burden could see more households making the switch to solar; particularly among the 42,000 Queenslanders who were approved for the 44c feed in tariff last year; but are yet to install a system.

According to data from national solar provider Energy Matters, applicants that gained approval for the 44c feed in tariff last year could miss out on over $70,000 in financial benefits over the life of a 5kW solar power system if they fail to have an array installed by the deadline.

Energy Matters states applicants do not have to purchase their system from the solar company noted on the original application. With a rush on installation bookings expected to start soon, the company encourages applicants to call Energy Matters on 133 SUN (133 786) for further details.

For those who didn’t receive approval for the 44c, installing solar power systems are still an effective way to reduce electricity bills. For example, Energy Matters states a 3kW system installed in Queensland can provide $1,066 – $1,470 in electricity bill savings annually.