Electricity to be cheaper for regional Qld

Darren Cartwright

Regional households will save more than $80 a year on their electricity bills following a Queensland Competition Authority ruling.

The QCA on Thursday released its regulated retail electricity prices for 2020-21 for regional areas.

There will be a 5.9 per cent decrease - equating to $84 - in the average annual bill for householders on the main residential tariff, with small businesses to receive a 3.2 per cent decrease, or $75.

QCA Chair Professor Flavio Menezes said estimates are based on average household usage and will vary for individual accounts depending on their tariff and usage.

"The fall in residential and small business tariffs can mostly be ascribed to lower energy costs," said Mr Menezes.

He said the state's uniform tariff policy, which includes a $500 million subsidy, means most regional customers pay less for electricity than it costs to supply them.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said it was the third year in a row that regulated regional power prices have dropped, and the latest was the largest decrease in 15 years.

He said the government had also locked in another two annual $50 dividend payments for the next two years.

"Queensland has the energy trifecta: lowest average wholesale prices on the eastern seaboard, reliable supply and a planned transition to a renewable future," he said.

The LNP opposition has pledged a further $150 million on top of the half a billion dollar annual energy subsidy to end Ergon Energy's retail monopoly if they win power at the October 31 election.

While there is just one retailer in regional Queensland there are 27 energy retailers in Brisbane, and subsidising more retailers outside of the southeastern corner would drive electricity prices down even further, says LNP leader Deb Frecklington.

"The LNP will bring down power bills in regional Queensland by an average of $300 a year by breaking up Ergon's monopoly," Ms Frecklington said.

Labor says the LNP's theory is flawed and will actually drive prices up.