CCIQ calls on Commission to address business energy bills

Tuesday 15 March, 2016 | By: Default Admin | Tags: Queensland Productivity Commission, electricity prices, QCOSS

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has urged the Queensland Productivity Commission (QPC) to address network pricing to lower small business energy bills.

CCIQ has also joined together with the Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) and other consumer representative organisations in providing a joint submission on the draft QPC report on electricity pricing.

CCIQ Director of Advocacy Nick Behrens said the joint submission addressed issues affecting productivity in the energy supply chain including networks; generation; and retail.

“This submission provides quality technical analysis of the causes of Queensland’s ongoing exorbitant electricity price increases,” he said.

“CCIQ calls on the QPC to carefully consider the recommendations put forward in this submission.”

Mr Behrens said the QPC draft report was largely disappointing in terms of providing options that promoted the long term interests of electricity consumers, and placing downward pressure on electricity prices.

“While the QPC draft report addressed a number of recommendations made to the issues paper by customer groups, it lacked strength in its recommendations to State Government to drive down electricity prices,” he said.

“Despite the QPC identifying that network prices were the primary contributor to electricity price increases in Queensland over the last decade, it neglected to investigate real solutions to reducing network prices.

“Network prices make up the largest proportion of a small business energy bill. Queensland small businesses are coming to the end of their tether with electricity affordability.

“CCIQ believes it is time for the State Government to show leadership and action on reducing electricity prices for Queensland small businesses.

“A business-as-usual approach is unsustainable for Queensland small businesses, who are seeking alternative energy options.

“CCIQ and QCOSS urge the QPC to toughen its recommendations ahead of the release of the final report on May 31 to provide small businesses and residential customers with some overdue price relief.”

Mr Behrens said the joint submission acknowledged that the QPC was an independent reviewer and provided an opportunity to have an honest and transparent discussion.

“Therefore, we urge it to fully investigate the scope within the generation and networks sectors to deliver recommendations which will bring about real and sustainable price reductions in future.”

The combined CCIQ and QCOSS submission can be found at:

 https://www.cciq.com.au/advocacy/submissions/

 

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