Queensland regulators, market institutions and other bodies
Queensland Competition Authority
The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) has responsibility for the following matters:
- calculation and publishing of notified electricity prices under a delegation from the Minister administering the Electricity Act 1994
- administration and enforcement of industry codes made under the Electricity Act and Gas Supply Act 2003, including reporting on specified matters relating to the performance of energy retailers, distributors and the Queensland retail market
- periodic reviews of electricity distribution minimum service standards and guaranteed service levels in the Electricity Industry Code
- at the request of the Minister, other specified reviews.
More information is available on the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) website.
Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland
The Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (EWOQ) was established in 2007 as a free and independent dispute resolution service for Queensland's small energy consumers (those using less than 100 megawatt-hours of electricity or 1 terajoule of gas per year). EWOQ provides an effective, high-quality, fair and confidential service for domestic and small business energy consumers who have been unable to resolve a problem with their electricity or reticulated natural gas supplier. EWOQ's energy dispute resolution role is funded by energy retailers and distributors and has offices in Brisbane, Cairns and Rockhampton.
More information is available on the Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (EWOQ) website.
The Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy has responsibilities under the Electricity Act and the Gas Supply Act including in relation to:
- retail pricing
- management of supply shortfalls.
In addition, along with the Minister for Finance, the Minister is a shareholding minister of each of the Queensland energy government-owned corporations under the Government Owned Corporations Act 1993.
A number of other Queensland Government officers or organisations have key roles in overseeing the energy sector, including:
Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
Many of the matters governed by the Electricity Act and Electricity Regulation 2006 are statutory functions of the regulator, who for the purposes of those Acts is the Director-General, Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy. The department administers many of these matters, including the statutory functions of the regulator. The 'regulator' under the Electricity Act and Gas Supply Act undertakes licensing and compliance roles.
Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate
The Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate of the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy is responsible for regulating and monitoring safety in the gas and petroleum industries.
The inspectorate regulates naturally produced petroleum and natural gas, fuel gases such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas and related products, and sewage and other bio-gases. It does not cover acetylene, ammonia, petrol, diesel and other refined gases or products.
Industries regulated by the inspectorate include petroleum exploration and production, petroleum pipelines, gas distribution (including reticulation and gas cylinders), automotive LPG, gas users (from power stations to pottery kilns) and licensing the installation and servicing of domestic, commercial and industrial gas devices.
Electrical Safety Office
Electrical safety matters, including licensing of electrical workers and contractors, are dealt with under the Electrical Safety Act 2002 and are administered by the Electrical Safety Office.
Phone the Electrical Safety Office on 1300 362 128 or visit Queensland's work health, safety and workers' compensation services website for more information.
Office of Fair Trading
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General aims to deliver a fair and safe marketplace for Queensland businesses. As a business in the energy sector, it is important you understand your obligations under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) to ensure your business practices do not cause detriment to your customers.
Energy customers who have a dispute with their energy retailer can lodge a complaint with OFT if the complaint relates to the retailer going into liquidation or receivership.
Energy customers can also lodge a complaint with OFT if they have:
- faulty solar panels
- been mislead about the electricity generation capability of a solar system that has been installed
- paid for a solar system and not received it within a reasonable period of time.