A report new shows Queensland household power bills could be reduced by $310 a year without selling any assets.
Electricity prices in Queensland could be reduced by $310 a year if dividends from state-owned power companies were reinvested, a new report shows.
The study, by Orion Consulting Network and commissioned by the Electrical Trades Union (ETU), analysed cash flows since 2007 and the projected outcomes for 2015.
It says dividends, which totalled $779 million last financial year, could be used to fund the Solar Feed In Tariff and the Uniform Tariff Policy, which subsidises the cost of power in regional and rural Queensland.
Even after the two tariffs were subsidised, there would be enough left over to provide further relief to the tune of $167 per household in 2015, making a minimum saving to the average household of $310 per year.
ETU state secretary Peter Simpson says it could all be achieved without selling public assets.
“The more profits that state-owned businesses earn, the bigger the rebate will be,” he said.
“All that’s needed is for the government to have the fortitude to implement this policy.”
Scoping studies into the sale of power generators CS Energy and Stanwell are due late February or early March.
The state government claims assets need to be sold to help pay down $80 billion worth of debt, or services would be cut or charges increased.
Energy Minister Mark McArdle says the study is a simplistic answer to a complicated problem.
Dividends from all state-owned corporations are already bundled to subsidise energy as well as public transport, he said.
In 2013, $1.35 billion was raised from dividends, which wasn’t enough to cover the $2 billion worth of concessions handed out.
“If we try to quarantine the dividends from energy it means public transport subsidies are going to fall away and ratchet up prices,” he told Fairfax Radio.