CCIQ urges Commission to focus on key electricity concerns

Tuesday 17 November, 2015 | By: Darrell Giles | Tags: Queensland Productivity Commission, electricity prices, solar bonus scheme

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) is calling for a focus on seven major areas to ensure lower electricity prices for small businesses.

In its submission to the Queensland Productivity Commission’s Issues Paper for the Electricity Pricing Inquiry, CCIQ said small business had endured the excessive prices of electricity for long enough.

CCIQ Director of Advocacy Nick Behrens said the chamber was working closely with the newly established QPC to help drive economic growth and lift productivity across Queensland. 

“In particular, electricity price rises since 2007 have taken a toll on small businesses who are failing to keep pace, with an effective doubling in prices across this period,” he said.

“This in turn impacts on Queensland’s economy as increases in the price of power escalate the cost of doing business and the cost of all goods and services in Queensland.

“CCIQ believes that the energy sector must deliver greater certainty, operational efficiency, future focused planning and investment, and be harmonised with energy efficiency policy.

“Above all, it must be conducive to and support business and economic growth in Queensland.”

The Electricity Pricing Inquiry is examining electricity pricing in Queensland and will provide the State Government with options to improve outcomes for consumers, while balancing the objectives of competition, growth, productivity and equity.

The government is seeking expert advice from the QPC on options to promote the long-term interests of electricity consumers, place downward pressure on electricity prices and ensure a dynamic and responsive pricing framework.

The CCIQ submission focussed on seven key areas which it believed would address small business concerns, including:

-               The introduction of market monitoring in 2016;

-               Network tariff reform;

-               Uniform Tariff Policy (UTP) and regional competition;

-               Queensland Government policies such as the Solar Bonus Scheme;

-               Impact of reduced demand and uptake of alternative energy;

-               Stranded assets; and

-               Electricity asset privatisation

“CCIQ urges the QPC to investigate all possibilities when developing options to present to the Queensland Government that improve outcomes for small business consumers,” Mr Behrens said.

“Encouraging a more sustainable and competitive energy sector in Queensland will provide a platform for businesses to continue growing and employing over the coming decades.”

 

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