The Queensland Competition Authority says electricity prices will increase by 13.6 per cent, or $191, next financial year.
Queenslanders’ annual power bills will increase by $191 next financial year, but the state regulator is optimistic price hikes won’t be as drastic after that.
Average bills will rise by 13.6 per cent, going from $1407 to $1598, the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) determined on Friday.
Consumers are forking out 50 per cent more for electricity than they did three years ago, but prices are still on par with the rest of the country.
Increased generation costs, sparked by higher demand from the Liquefied Natural Gas industry is pushing up prices, and to a lesser extent network costs such as poles and wires.
Green policies are hurting consumers hard.
The carbon tax will cost the typical customer on tariff 11 $120 next financial year if it’s not repealed.
The state’s generous solar bonus scheme will contribute a similar amount.
More than 200,000 households receive 44 cents per kilowatt-hour they feed in to the grid.
The Liberal National Party reduced the tariff to eight cents, for new customers only, after it won power, and recently changed it again so customers negotiate the fee directly with energy retailers.
QCA chairman Malcolm Roberts said the former Labor government underestimated how many households would take up the scheme and its cost, labelling it a “policy failure”.
Network businesses recover the costs in arrears, so the scheme would account for about $270 of a bill in 2015/16.
“After 15/16 those costs will fall away, back to a more long-term level,” he said.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that some of these price pressures that have pushed up prices in the last two years will begin to abate.
The government is deregulating the electricity sector in the southeast and QCA next year will only set electricity prices in regional Queensland, where there is less competition.
Mr Roberts believes less regulation in the southeast corner will put downward pressure on prices.
The Queensland Council of Social Service director Mark Henley said in the last eight years prices had gone up 75 per cent and urged the government to up concessions.
Energy Minister Mark McArdle said consumers would have to wait until next week to see if there is some relief.
“We are looking at a long-term agenda to stabilise prices,” he said.
Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said premier Campbell Newman has overseen price increases of $560 since taking power, despite promising voters he’d cut power bills at the last election.
“The Energy Minister attempts to blame everybody else for the LNP’s prices rises, but one inescapable fact remains: the LNP knew about the carbon price and solar schemes when they promised to cut Queenslanders’ power bills.”
Electrical Trades Union organiser Stuart Traill said electricity prices would increase further is power generators are sold off, which is under consideration.