QCA releases Final Determination on regulated retail electricity prices for 2015-16

The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) today released its final decision on regulated retail electricity prices for 2015–16. 
“The main cost pressures are expected to ease in 2015–16 and this will bring some relief from the large price increases we have seen in recent years,” said QCA Chair, Professor Roy Green.
“There have been some significant developments since we released our draft decision in December 2014.
“First, the Queensland Government has decided to postpone the deregulation of retail electricity prices in south east Queensland for 12 months. This means our final decision now applies in south east Queensland as well as regional Queensland.
“Second, the Australian Energy Regulator has released its preliminary determinations on the revenue allowances for the distribution businesses, Energex and Ergon Energy, which own the ‘poles and wires’.  These determinations have reduced the revenues that the distributors are allowed to collect over the next five years.  Network costs make up around half of a typical customer’s bill, so this will reduce costs for many households and businesses.
“Some other costs, such as the costs of the Solar Bonus Scheme are expected to rise.  
“Overall, a residential customer with typical consumption on the main residential tariff (tariff 11) can expect a reduction of around $7 or 0.5% in their 2015–16 annual bill.  A typical business customer on tariff 20 can expect a reduction of around $73 or 3.5%.
“From 1 July 2015 metering costs, which used to be part of network charges, will no longer be part of the regulated prices set by the QCA.  These costs will be recovered through an additional charge for residential and small business customers.  Metering charges are regulated by the Australian Energy Regulator.  Retailers will be responsible for incorporating metering charges into customer bills in 2015–16. 
“Some businesses are on transitional or obsolete tariffs, which often offer lower prices than the standard business tariffs. For the last few years, the QCA has been increasing prices in transitional tariffs by reference to increases to standard business tariffs. However, the QCA has not increased the transitional tariffs in 2015–16, given that standard business tariffs are decreasing.  The QCA is proposing to phase out transitional tariffs in 2020,” said Professor Green.
The price changes announced today will apply to customers on regulated prices from 1 July 2015.  In south east Queensland, around 70 per cent of customers are already on market contracts which often offer lower prices than the standard tariffs we regulate.
The QCA encourages customers who have the option of changing their plans to test the market for a better deal.  From 1 July 2015, customers will be able to compare retailers’ electricity offers on the Australian Energy Regulator’s ‘Energy Made Easy’ website at: www.energymadeeasy.gov.au.  
Until then, customers can continue to use the QCA’s price comparator at: http://comparator.qca.org.au.

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