Queenslanders will experience cheaper electricity prices in the future after the Queensland Government announced common sense changes that will save electricity distributors $2 billion dollars.
Energy Minister Mark McArdle said the changes provided greater flexibility on future electricity infrastructure decisions, placing downward pressure on future electricity prices.
“These changes strike the right balance between protecting the needs of Queensland consumers and putting downward pressure on future electricity prices,” Mr McArdle said.
“In response to rising electricity costs, the Newman Government quickly established an Interdepartmental Committee on Electricity Sector Reform (IDC) to examine cost pressures on electricity prices.
“This committee has recommended the removal of prescriptive reliability standards, which required backup infrastructure to be built even though it might only be required on rare occasions.”
Mr McArdle said the Beattie-Bligh governments’ panic-hurried reckless spending on electricity infrastructure had caused a decade of skyrocketing electricity prices.
“Even Julia Gillard was forced to recognise the impact of state Labor governments over-spending billions of dollars on the electricity network. Higher prices were simply passed onto consumers,” Mr McArdle said.
“To put downward pressure on future electricity prices, we need to learn from the past and do things differently.”
Mr McArdle said the Queensland Government was pursuing the biggest-ever reform of the electricity sector aimed at putting downward pressure on electricity prices, which included a move to price monitoring and the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF).
“These reforms will allow Energex, Ergon Energy and Powerlink to deliver the most cost effective and reliable electricity supply while recognising customer values and achieving minimum service standards,” he said.
The new reliability standards will commence from 1 July 2014, saving approximately $2 billion of capital expenditure between 2015 and 2030.