Hundreds more in bills for southwest residents
CHARLEVILLE residents are paying hundreds of dollars more for electricity each year than their city cousins due to a severe lack of competition in regional markets, a new report has revealed.
Warrego MP Ann Leahy has lashed out at the State Government for leaving regional Queenslanders with higher electricity bills after the Queensland Competition Authority revealed locals paid, on average, $89 more than their metropolitan counterparts each quarter.
Households in south east Queensland have more than 20 choices for electricity providers.
Thargomindah, Quilpie, Cunnamulla, St George, Charleville, Mitchell, Roma, Tara and Dalby have just one electricity provider - Ergon Energy.
"Our analysis identified 20retailers with residential electricity offers in the December quarter, and 18 with small business offers,” QCA chairman Professor Flavio Menezes told the Western Times.
"This means your family and local businesses are missing out on hundreds of dollars of savings,” Ms Leahy said.
She said introducing choice for customers in regional Queensland would reduce electricity bills by hundreds of dollars a year.
Murweh Shire councillor and local business owner Shaun Radnedge said if other electricity suppliers became available, they would have to be up to the same standard of service as Ergon Energy.
"Definite competition would drive competitiveness of electricity prices,” Mr Radnedge said.
"But everything to do with cooling and heating is expensive.”