Qld govt increases power pensioner rebate

Darren Cartwright

Almost 700,000 Queensland households will receive an electricity rebate as the cost of power rises again so the Labor government can retain a generous solar panel feed-in tariff.

The Palaszczuk government has announced a widening of the rebate eligibility criteria following a Queensland Productivity Commission Electricity Pricing report which made 52 recommendations.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt, who admits his household receives a 44 cent solar panel feed-in tariff, could not say how many recommendations had been adopted but said low-income and vulnerable households would get concessions.

Mr Pitt said electricity prices would rise 1.2 per cent annually over the next two years, with the rebate extended to help a further 157,000 low-income families including veterans, pensioners and asylum seekers.

"We had to look at where we could make the most impact as government ... we had to look at vulnerable people in the community," Mr Pitt said.

"We dealing with big picture issues, stabilising electricity prices."

The $330 rebate will start on January 1, although households will not be able to apply until April 1 and refunds will be backdated.

Mr Pitt said funding of $48 million a year had been factored into the forward estimates to fund the rebate.

A $10 million fund will assist regional businesses to better understand tariff options and to access digital metering.

The Liberal National Party opposition has accused Labor of dismissing its own electricity price productivity report which would have driven down power costs.

Opposition energy spokesman Michael Hart said a draft report hidden from the public for six months stated Labor's policies would cost $10.8 billion in subsidies to solar panel owners.

He called on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to guarantee power bills wouldn't rise for households or businesses because of her policies "driven by a need for Green preferences".