Regional Queensland Braces For Power Price Hike

Electricity prices in regional Queensland

A draft determination from the Queensland Competition Authority indicates regional Queenslanders will be paying more for electricity in 2022/23 – and big business will be hit particularly hard.

The QCA released its draft determination on regulated retail electricity prices for regional Queensland to apply in 2022–23 on Friday. While not yet set in stone, the draft determination indicates the following:

  • Typical customers on the main residential tariffs (tariffs 11, 31 and 33) are expected to pay around 4.2 to 6.5 per cent more for their electricity in 2022–23.
  • Typical customers on the main small business tariff (tariff 20) are expected to pay around 4.5 per cent more.
  • Typical large business customers on tariffs 44, 45 or 46 are expected to pay around 9.9 to 13.6 per cent more.

“The expected increase in draft prices is mainly due to a projected increase in energy costs, following several years of falling energy costs, which were a driver of price decreases for each of the last three years,” said QCA Deputy Chair Madeline Brennan QC.

An accompanying consultant report from ACIL Allen notes:

“Unlike the previous four determinations in which there was a clear decline in contract prices, the market is now expecting an increase in price outcomes as the amount of utility scale renewable investment coming on-line slows between 2021-22 and 2022-23 (compared with recent years), coupled with the continued unavailability of Callide C Unit 4 for at least half of 2022-23, and stronger coal and gas prices, and the closure of Liddell in New South Wales.”

The unavailability of Callide C Unit 4 is the result of a fire/explosion in May last year that had some major knock-on effects, both immediate and ongoing. As for large-scale renewable energy investment generally in Australia, the Clean Energy Council has previously identified grid connection and network constraints among the challenges, alongside “ongoing unpredictable and unhelpful government policy interventions and market reforms.”

The QCA is encouraging feedback on the draft determination before the closing date of 7 April 2022. The final determination is expected by the end of May, and new pricing will apply from 1 July 2022.

Going Solar In Regional Queensland

Taking some of the sting out of the increase for households will be another “asset ownership dividend” from the Queensland Government – a $50 rebate in 2022. But that’s $50 better off in a household’s pocket rather than going to an electricity retailer. Comparing electricity retailers won’t bring much joy as while there is some token competition in regional Queensland, it’s all much of a muchness.

Regardless of whether electricity prices are headed up, down or staying the same, home solar power will remain a solid investment. The upcoming increases make installing solar panels even more compelling for households and small businesses, and SolarQuotes has a comprehensive guide to going solar in regional Queensland well worth checking out.

For larger businesses in regional QLD, solar power can also be a slam-dunk investment decision – see SQ’s commercial solar guide for further information.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Des Scahill says

    So…. just when farmers and rural communities are still being hard-hit by lingering impacts of past drought, along with flooding, COVID19, and the prospect of general economic mayhem world-wide arising out of the Ukraine situation which will put up their fuel prices and cause accelerated price inflation of food, and many other everyday household items,…. along comes a recommended electricity price increase.

    I don’t blame the ACCC at all for a recommendation, which if followed, will inflict further misery on many, they are only following the process that they are required to. It’s up to other entities to decide whether or not they follow those recommendations.

    I do hold the view though, that climate change denialists in particular and their misguided attempts to embellish their denialism with misinformation linked at times to sundry conspiracy theories so as to get wider support from the general public has been a significant factor in retarding Australia’s progress in dealing with climate change impacts.

    Unfortunately, climate change denialism is very often linked to extremist political views in other areas that are quite hostile to basic concepts of democracy. But that’s not always obvious in the beginning

    Just to illustrate, according to a 2020 global survey the findings of which were reported by SBS,

    “… 33 percent of Australians are convinced a cabal of global elite is running the world, 13 percent think the moon landing was faked and 20 percent consider global warming a hoax”

    We don’t know to what extent those three categories overlap but once a person believes just one of the numerous and constantly changing conspiracy theories to begin with, they are more susceptible to others that might follow.

    see: : https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-feed/article/surprisingly-popular-survey-shows-alarming-belief-in-covid-conspiracy-theories/3mxfhj9br

    Consistent with what seems a history of almost complete denial of reality by our existing LNP leadership for long periods of time, any initial ‘shock/horror’ when reality begins to hit home seems often followed by vainglorious attempts to score points against those seen as political opponents. When some needed action is finally taken it is often ‘too little, too late’.

    We’ve all heard the phase “We take climate change seriously” or similar from LNP leaders (see: https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2020/jan/22/scott-morrisons-stance-on-climate-change-makes-it-harder-for-future-governments-to-undo-his-damage )

    We may soon hear sentiments such as “We take the European situation very seriously” being expressed.

    It may seem a bit of stretch to link OZ”s fumbled handling of climate change and energy generation issues with our national responses to international events, but that’s not really the case.

    Much the same leadership are handling them both, and so far IMO they are following exactly the same general leadership patterns.

    There are of course a growing number of exceptions to that ‘lets respond as usual’ approach within the LNP which seem to be causing it to fracture, so I’m not suggesting that every elected LNP member or Cabinet Minister should be tarred with the same brush.

    • George Kaplan says

      Des, where’s the dividing line between deluded conspiracy theories believed by a largely hidden minority, and deliberate misinformation spun by world leaders and media? Since you raised it, take the debate over COVID 19. Was the virus a natural mutation that crossed paths with humans, a manufactured virus that escaped a Chinese lab, or something betwixt the two?

      Government and media spent years denying the latter and those who suggested it was true were denounced as dangerous spreaders of misinformation. Now we hear that COVID 19’s ‘unique furin cleavage site on spike protein’ contains genetic material owned by Moderna. is it a smoking gun proving genetic engineering? Well no – apparently there’s a “one-in-three-trillion chance” that it’s merely a coincidence. And in the UK authorities believe the virus escaped the lab in Wuhan, but won’t admit such in public because well that’s not clear. Perhaps they’re afraid of being denounced for believing misinformation or offending Beijing?

      You try to draw a line between handling ‘climate change’ and international affairs, but is Australia’s handling of international affairs better or worse than Biden’s or the EU’s? Australia is providing material aid to Ukraine, which is more than some of its neighbours are doing! As with COVID, Australia was as active, or more so, than many other Western nations. Perhaps I’m not seeing international events in the same light as you, or perhaps I’m considering different events to you, but I’m just not seeing the connection.

      As for climate change, the Coalition is Centre-Right, which is the side of politics that doesn’t mindlessly accept the claims about climate change but instead tends to be skeptical and demand practical options. Contrast that with Biden who cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, heavily discouraged oil exploration, preached reliance on green energy, removed protections on US solar manufacturing, and has made America reliant on foreign oil including Russian, where under Trump America was self-reliant AND expanding green energy without claiming to prioritise it.

      Perhaps we should judge governments by what they actually do and achieve, not by what they say or are claimed to have said?

      • Geoff Miell says

        George Kaplan,
        …under Trump America was self-reliant AND expanding green energy without claiming to prioritise it.

        Nope, USA has not been crude oil “self-reliant” since before the 1970s.

        Trump’s presidency term was from January 20, 2017 to January 20, 2021.

        US crude oil and petroleum products consumption average:
        2017: 19,952,000 barrels per day;
        2018: 20,512,000 barrels per day;
        2019: 20,543,000 barrels per day;
        2020: 18,186,000 barrels per day.
        https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=pet&s=mttupus2&f=m

        US crude oil production average:
        2017: _9,357,000 barrels per day;
        2018: 10,941,000 barrels per day;
        2019: 12,289,000 barrels per day;
        2020: 11,283,000 barrels per day.
        https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MCRFPUS2&f=A

        Clearly, the data shows USA has not been anywhere close to being petroleum “self-reliant” during Trump’s presidency.

        And during Trump’s term, USA has been just as dependent on imports of Russian petroleum oil products as other presidents.
        https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MTTIM_NUS-NRS_1&f=M

        But why let facts/data get in the way of your apparent ill-informed ideology (on a range of subjects), eh George? ?

  2. The Farmers situation dose not have to be as dire as you imply.
    They could install solar panels to more then offset the price increase.
    The Queensland electricity prices have been falling for a while now, even with this increase they are still better off then previously.
    And the Ukraine situation may actually benefit farmers as Ukraine is one of the world biggest exports of wheat. Prices are already skyrocketing on wheat and i expect Aussie farmers will enjoy the higher prices they can get.

    • George Kaplan says

      QLD prices have been falling? Since when? When power was privatised it was with the promise that things would be cheaper. Labor lied, yet again, but voters rarely demand accountability, just whine as they pay more.

      While it’s hard to compare costs over time as plans change, over the last ~ 3 years, supply charges have risen 16% – this includes the new ‘Solar Meter Charge’. Usage charges at least have remained about static – perhaps ~1% variation. Since I don’t have records dating back decades I can’t say how much the true rise is, but the direction is clear.

      • Ronald Brakels says

        Queensland electricity prices fell over the last financial year or two. Of course, your retailer may have succeeded in hiding this fact. My parents in the Ergon area went from paying 23.9 to 21.8 cents per kilowatt-hour on the 1st of July last year.

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