Queensland residents will start receiving credits of $50 from 30 April 2018 on 1.9 million household power bills as part of the government’s $2 billion Affordable Energy Plan.
Queensland Minister for Energy, Dr Anthony Lynham, said the $50 dividend was a cornerstone of the plan and the first of two annual payments – annual asset ownership dividends – made possible because of the Queensland public’s ownership of the state’s power assets.
“We can return these dividends from these power business because their owners are the people of Queensland,” Dr Lynham said.
“I strongly encourage Queenslanders to check their next power bill for the line item showing the $50 credit.
“The $50 dividend will be applied automatically by all electricity retailers across Queensland for more than 1.9 million households in 2018 and again in 2019.
“We understand the cost of living pressures faced by all Queenslanders, especially our most vulnerable who will benefit the most.
“The government can take this action, because Queenslanders own our electricity business, not private companies.”
Queensland Council of Social Service CEO, Mark Henley, said any bill relief was vital to low-income households.
“Electricity is one of the most significant household expenses people have. Low-income households are really impacted by the cost of electricity because there is little or no disposable income to absorb the huge cost,” Mr Henley said.
“It is great that this dividend is automatic for every account holder. It is really important that people who do receive power bills from their landlord or body corporate and those who pay though a card-operated meter contact their retailer to make sure they receive the dividend.”
The $50 asset ownership dividend is a key element of the government’s Affordable Energy Plan, which also includes:
- A two-year cap on electricity price rises to average inflation
- Rebates of up to $300 for energy efficient air conditioners, washing machines and fridges
- Rewards of up to $75 for households and $120 for small businesses in regional Queensland who take up Ergon Energy’s monthly billing options
The $50 dividend payment dividend will go to homeowners, tenants, customers who receive a power bill from their landlord or body corporate, and customers in communities with card-operated meters.
Eligible Queensland pensioners and seniors also receive a $340 annual electricity rebate.
Dr Lynham said the government’s Affordable Energy Plan would continue to place downward pressure on power bills.
“The Palaszczuk Government is well on its way to delivering on its commitment of a two-year cap on electricity price rises to average inflation,” he said.
In March 2018, The independent Queensland Competition Authority flagged prices would drop in regional Queensland in 2019, with the latest CPI showing electricity prices have fallen in Brisbane for two consecutive quarters while prices rose nationally.