The Queensland Competition Authority has recommended a $192 power price hike next financial year, saying the carbon price will contribute $116.
The carbon tax, an overly generous solar scheme and the cost of generating electricity will drive Queensland’s power bills up $192 next year.
State Treasurer Tim Nicholls quickly pressured federal Labor to agree to abolish the carbon tax in the Senate, but wouldn’t commit to homegrown action by further containing the state’s Solar Bonus Scheme.
The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) has released its draft decision for the next financial year.
Average household bills will pay an extra $192 with the carbon tax, or $76 without.
Small businesses will fork out an additional $253, or $152 if the tax is abolished.
Off peak tariffs for appliances like water heaters and pool pumps would actually go down if the carbon tax was removed.
For the first time network charges, the costs of poles and wires aren’t the major driving factor in price hikes.
While they are likely to up the typical bill by $50, the cost of generating energy will significantly rise to add another $68.
And, the cost of the Solar Bonus Scheme is also set to double, adding another $57.
QCA chairman Malcolm Roberts refused to install solar panels and didn’t agree with the Labor policy when introduced in 2008.
The Newman government last year cut the price it pays to new solar household which feed in excess electricity to the grid, from 44 cents a kilowatt hour to just eight cents.
Mr Roberts believes a cut to 7.5 cents would be more reasonable in July 2014.
While the state government is trying to reduce the costs of Ergon, Energex and Powerlink’s poles and wires by $1.7 billion by 2015, there was no commitment on reducing the Solar Bonus costs at this stage.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls instead turned to the federal government.
“In terms of what would have an immediate impact on customers, moving on the carbon tax is the most important thing that can happen today,” he said.
“Overall the last two years, the average family paid more than $300 in carbon tax on their bills.”
The opposition says the Newman government will now preside over three consecutive electricity price rises, despite promising to reduce bills by $120 a year.
“Under the first year of the LNP, power bills went up by more than $140 on average, this year they are going up a record $268 on average and now the QCA have confirmed that bills next year are going up by $192 on average,” Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said.