Electricity prices

Population growth, an ever-increasing demand for energy and the need to expand and upgrade Queensland's electricity infrastructure are among the many factors that impact on the cost of electricity.

Electricity prices

South East Queensland

Retail electricity prices in South East Queensland (SEQ) were deregulated on 1 July 2016. Electricity prices in SEQ are now determined by electricity retail providers, with customers able to choose between standard retail contracts and competitive market retail contracts.

This means that in SEQ, the Queensland Competition Authority no longer regulates retail electricity prices for small business customers (those consuming less than 100 megawatt hours (MWh) per year). Instead, retailers will publish their contract offers online and on the Australian Energy Regulator's independent price comparison website Energy Made Easy, where small business customers can search and compare available product offerings.

The maximum amount a retailer can charge a small business customer on a standard retail contract, known as the 'default market offer', is set by the Australian Energy Regulator each year.

Retail prices for large customers (those consuming 100MWh or more per year) in SEQ have been deregulated since 2012.

Find out how to start electricity shopping and start saving now.

Regional Queensland

Regulated prices still apply to small business customers (those using less than 100MWh per year) in regional Queensland and are set annually by the Queensland Competition Authority.

Small businesses can switch to a market retailer and ask their market retailer to switch them to the retailer's standard retail contract. They will then be charged the notified prices, just like Ergon Energy customers. Small businesses have the option to return to Ergon Energy Retail.

Large business customers in regional Queensland can also access regulated prices provided they are, and remain, customers of Ergon Energy. Once a large business switches to a market retailer, they (or future customers at the premises) cannot return to Ergon Energy Retail as a retail customer.

Also, customers at the premises will not be able to access regulated prices from the market retailer unless the site is reclassified as a small customer site (usage less than 100MWh per year) by the electricity distributor, Ergon Energy Retail. However, the incumbent market retailer (also known as the financially responsible market participant) is obliged to supply electricity on fair and reasonable terms to large customers, and for small business customers, on terms equivalent to the notified prices Ergon Energy Retail provides.

If Ergon Energy Retail is prohibited from selling electricity to a premises, the electricity distributor, Ergon Energy, is able to advise customers of the responsible market retailer.

How electricity costs affect prices

The price you pay for electricity is made up of:

  • generation costs – creating electricity at a power station
  • transmission costs – to build and maintain the state's network of high voltage powerline infrastructure
  • distribution costs – to build and maintain the network of low-voltage poles and wires that deliver electricity to homes and businesses
  • retail costs – connecting customers, billing customers and managing their accounts
  • green scheme costs – costs associated with the Australian Government's Renewable Energy Target
  • metering costs – providing, maintaining and reading customer meters and managing meter data.

Regional support

The Queensland Government supports regional Queenslanders, ensuring they pay similar prices for their electricity as customers in South East Queensland. This is done by subsidising additional costs involved in supplying electricity through payments to Ergon Energy Retail. This subsidy is called the Community Service Obligation (CSO) payment. Similar arrangements are in place for Origin Energy customers in the Goondiwindi-Texas area of the Essential Energy network. For 2021–22, the subsidy supporting Ergon Energy retail customers and Origin Energy customers in the Goondiwindi-Texas area is budgeted at about $505.5 million.

Charges for metering services

South East Queensland

In South East Queensland, charges for digital meters are not regulated. If your electricity retailer proposes to replace a working meter, they are legally required to inform you of any upfront charges for the installation of a digital meter and what those charges will be.

Contact your retailer for more information before the installation of a new meter.

Regional Queensland

Customers on market contracts

For regional small business customers on market contracts, charges for digital meters are not regulated. If your electricity retailer proposes to replace a working meter, they are legally required to inform you of any upfront charges for the installation of a digital meter and what those charges will be.

Contact your retailer for more information before the installation of a new meter.

Customers on regulated (notified) prices

The cost of metering is included in the notified prices and is additional to the regulated retail electricity tariffs. Meter service charges may appear as a separate charge on your electricity bill or may be included in the daily supply charge. All new or replacement meters must be an advanced digital meter (digital meter).

For regional Queensland customers on standing offer contracts, the Government tasks the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) with setting prices for digital metering services.

The QCA bases these small customer (residential and small business) charges on the Australian Energy Regulator approved prices for Energex's standard meters. This ensures that customers, who do not have any genuine choice as to the type of meter they receive, pay the same regardless of what type is installed at their premises or where they live.

The QCA has not included an additional surcharge where customers have opted to have the remote communications function disabled (type 4A meters).

All small customers in regional Queensland will pay the same for each of their metering services, regardless of the type of meter they have.

Digital metering (for meter types 1–4) charges for large regional customers on a standard retail contract with Ergon Energy Retail (or Origin Energy in the Goondiwindi-Texas area) are also regulated by the Queensland Competition Authority. Charges vary depending on the customer classification.

Contact your retailer for more information about metering charges.

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