Queenslanders will get a $175 rebate on their household power bills with the state’s wholesale electricity prices the highest in the nation.
The Australian Energy Regulator has reported Queensland’s prices jumped 60 per cent to $283 per megawatt hour between March and May, with residential customers likely to see their bills rise by up to 12.6 per cent.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says households will get a $175 rebate on their next power bill to offset that increase.
She says electricity providers will automatically apply the credit to the next round of household power bills.
“People are having to make difficult choices including going without,” Ms Palaszczuk told parliament on Thursday.
Treasurer Cameron Dick said the rebate would cost the government $585 million and be included in next month’s budget.
It was only possible, he said, because the government still owned most of the state’s generators.
The AER’s report said electricity prices in Queensland, where more than 80 per cent of power is generated by coal-fired plants, had hit record highs multiple times this year.
It said high coal and gas prices – caused by the war in Ukraine, floods impacting local coal supplies, and high demand amid humid La Nina weather – have all had an impact.
The regulator said the NSW-Queensland grid connector was sometimes unable to shift lower priced electricity into the northern state.
“High future prices in Queensland and NSW over 2022-2024 suggest market participants expect higher prices in these regions to persist,” the AER report said.
Queensland Energy Minister Mick de Brenni blamed the outgoing federal coalition government for failing to invest in renewable energy.