Peter Carruthers

Price lock won’t make power cheaper: AEC

THE Alliance of Electricity Consumers warns a decision made by the Australian Energy Regulator last week will not stop electricity price hikes in the next five years.

The Palaszczuk government last week said it would "lock in power price stabilisation" and deliver cheaper electricity for the state's consumers.

AEC spokesperson Jonathan Pavetto said both Energex and Ergon provided overly optimistic forecasts on how much energy the state's consumers will use over the next five years, which will translate to continued increases in electricity prices.

"This is bad news for Queensland's families, for its small businesses and for its industries," Mr Pavetto said.

In September this year the AEC said the State Government was channelling revenue from the state's electricity consumers to boost its own budget.

Last week it challenged the claim made by the AER that electricity prices would fall by 6.4% by 2020.

Part of this electricity price reduction would be achieved through offering redundancy packages and not putting on new staff at Ergon and Energex.

Energy Minister Mark Bailey said "the AER's decisions to reduce Energex and Ergon Energy's revenues will require them to continue to make further efficiency improvements".

Though the State Government said there would be no forced redundancies when achieving "efficiency improvements" and unions would be consulted during the streamlining of Ergon.

Ergon Energy corporate communications manager Rod Rehbein said Ergon was assessing the report made by the AER and Ergon workers in regional Queensland would be protected by enterprise bargaining agreements.


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