Meagre power savings for regional Qld

Sonia Kohlbacher
Annual power bills will fall by a meagre $20 for regional Queensland families next financial year

Queensland's energy minister is trumpeting a $20 annual power bill saving for regional families as the biggest in a decade.

Annual bills for regional households will drop from $1,542 to $1,522, and from $2,568 to $2,482 for small businesses in 2018-19, according to final calculations released by the Queensland Competition Authority on Thursday.

The meagre saving is even less than the QCA's draft projections from February, which estimated a $35 fall for households and a $110 drop for businesses.

QCA chair professor Roy Green put the difference down to an increase in costs related to the federal government's renewable energy target.

Prof Green said a substantial increase in costs, associated with the scheme that subsidises household solar panels and hot water systems, is behind the savings discrepancy.

But Energy Minister Anthony Lynham predicted the cuts would be a welcome relief to households and small businesses.

Dr Lynham said the $20 household saving was the biggest in a decade.

"This the second time in three years that households and small businesses will see a cut in their power bills," Dr Lynham said.

He said measures introduced by the state Labor government to reduce prices meant Queensland now has the lowest retail power prices of all mainland states.