Increased power rebate boon for locals

Power Prices

Paul Bugeja

Guest Columnist

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For Queenslanders on default offers, the annual bill could jump by 11 per cent or $165 from July 1. Image: supplied
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Shire locals are feeling the increasing cost-of-living pinch reflected in Australia hitting a 20-year high inflation rate of 5.1 per cent in May 2022.

And with predictions that inflation will continue to rise, the cost-of-living nightmare could worsen.

Mortgage holders who didn’t fix their rates will be hit harder still as the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) tries to rein in inflation by increasing interest rates over the coming 12-18 months.

But mostly outside of the control of either the Federal government or the RBA are electricity prices, which could rise annually by up to $227 for hundreds of thousands of Australians.

Political gain

Taking the reins of government after the May 2022 election, the incoming Labor government found that the previous Coalition government had been sitting on this information and may have even delayed announcing it for political gain.

Minister for Energy Chris Bowen made the discovery that the Australian Energy Regulator, which usually sets the default electricity market offer on May 1 each year, did not do so prior to the election. This was because, as revealed by the Sydney Morning Herald, then Coalition government and energy minister Angus Campbell delayed the process, citing, “the need for more time for the regulator to compile data on the recent price fluctuations.”

For Queenslanders on default offers, this means that from July 1, the annual bill could jump by 11 per cent or $165.

Cost of Living Rebate

However, local residents will be relieved to learn that the Queensland government responded quickly to this, announcing a $175 “Cost of Living Rebate” that will appear on account holder’s next power bill.

Having declared earlier in the year that residents would receive a $50 power bill rebate, the impact that rising fuel and grocery prices were having on households prompted Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s government to revise this amount upwards.

“With wholesale prices going up due to global instability, we have moved to raise it to $175 because we know the pressure Queenslanders face,” Ms Palaszczuk said, noting that, Queenslanders would not have to apply for the rebate, with electricity providers automatically applying the credit.

This takes total rebates offered to households over the past four years to $575.

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