Department of Energy and Water Supply

Electricity prices

Electricity bills are based on a consumption charge (cents/kWh) for the amount of electricity used, plus a daily service fee of cents per day. These should be listed on your bill.

The type of contract you're on may also determine costs.

A flat rate tariff (Tariff 11 in regional Queensland) is the most common tariff for residential customers but other options are available.

This guide explains electricity prices and the tariff structures, and how your bill is determined.

Regional electricity prices 2016–17

The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) has released its final determination for regulated retail electricity prices for 2016–17. The regulated electricity prices set by the QCA will only apply in regional Queensland.

The Government is considering how competition in regional Queensland can be improved to allow customers in regional Queensland to reap the benefits that strong competition can provide.

The final determination is available on the QCA website.

Electricity pricing inquiry

The Queensland Productivity Commission (QPC) has conducted an inquiry into electricity pricing in Queensland to recommend ways to boost productivity, economic growth, living standards and jobs.

The QPC released its final report with 52 recommendations relating to all major aspects of the electricity sector in Queensland. The report is available on the QPC website.

Key recommendations

The Government has accepted the majority of the Commission’s recommendations and provided its response to the final report (PDF, 2.1MB).

Some recommendations have already been implemented, including the recommendation to proceed with price deregulation in South East Queensland, and improvements in retail competition are already being observed with new retailers entering the market.

The QPC recommended the Government further investigate what can be done to extend competition to regional Queenslanders, and the Government is undertaking further work on this.

Two initiatives to improve outcomes for low income customers and support regional businesses will be delivered in response to the QPC recommendations:

Electricity Rebate to Commonwealth Health Care Card holders and asylum seekers

$170.1 million will be provided over four years to extend the Electricity Rebate to Commonwealth Health Care Card (PDF, 422.0KB) holders and asylum seekers, providing support to around 160,000 extra low income families.

Newly eligible customers can apply to their retailer for the rebate from 1 April 2017, with payments back-dated to 1 January 2017.

Existing recipients of the rebate – e.g. Queensland Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card and Department of Veterans Affairs Gold Card holders – will maintain their eligibility.

Regional business customer support package

$10 million will be provided over two years to implement a package of support for regional business customers (PDF, 441.6KB) to deliver better access to digital metering, more information about tariff options and co-contributions to help customers invest in operation and equipment changes to manage bill impacts.

The first initiative to be launched under the package is a Small Customer Tariff Trial designed to test the feasibility of agricultural producers utilising load control tariffs, and measure the bill impacts of them switching to new demand-based tariffs as alternatives to the transitional tariffs currently in use.

Designed in partnership with Energy Queensland, Queensland Farmers Federation, Cotton Australia and Canegrowers, the trial allocates up to 200 agricultural businesses  to one of three test groups:

Group 1

  • Participants will be placed on Tariff 33, an economy tariff used by many households for hot water systems, pool pumps and other equipment that does not need continuous power.
  • This involves the use of a controlled load tariff to supply key farm loads, including irrigation pumps and ancillary farm equipment, to understand the implications for farms in switching from tariffs with power available 24/7 to a control load tariff with limited hours of supply.
  • Participants will receive a free digital electricity meter, access to off-peak tariff rates for the duration of the trial and detailed tariff analysis to help transition to the most suitable tariff in future.

Group 2

  • Participants will use Tariff 24, a new seasonal time of use demand tariff.
  • The aim of trialling Tariff 24 is to better understand how this tariff works for agricultural customers in comparison with their current tariffs. It is expected some customers will make immediate savings, but in the event they don’t, they will pay no more than what they would have on their current tariff.
  • Participants will receive a free digital electricity meter, consumption reports and a detailed tariff analysis to help them transition to the most suitable tariff option in future.

Group 3

  • Participants will remain on their current tariffs, but will receive a free digital electricity meter that records energy consumption and demand in 30 minute intervals. 
  • Their usage data will help Ergon improve its understanding of the current load profiles of agricultural customers and also allow for comparisons with the other two trial groups.
  • Participants will receive consumption reports and detailed tariff analysis to help them transition to the most suitable tariff option in future.

Applications for participation are open until 3 April 2017.

More information and application forms can be provided by your representative agricultural industry organisation or accessed from

Deregulation of retail electricity in SEQ

Deregulation of retail electricity prices in South East Queensland (SEQ) commenced from 1 July 2016. This means the QCA will no longer regulate retail electricity prices for residential and small business customers in SEQ. Instead, retailers will publish their market and standing offers online and on the Australian Energy Regulator’s independent  price comparator website, Energy Made Easy, where customers will be able to compare and evaluate available product offerings. This reform will stimulate retailers to set competitive prices and offer SEQ customers a greater range of products and services. SEQ customers can use our electricity consumer education campaign to start electricity shopping and start saving now.

The decision to commence price deregulation in SEQ follows the release of recommendations in the draft report of the Queensland Productivity Commission's Electricity Pricing Inquiry. Customers in the deregulated market will continue to be supported by increased consumer protections under the National Energy Customer Framework  (NECF).

In line with the Commission's recommendations, the Queensland Government has launched a comprehensive education campaign to ensure customers in SEQ have the knowledge and understanding they need to properly engage with the deregulated market. In conjunction with other stakeholders, we will monitor the effects and trends associated with price  deregulation in SEQ on an ongoing basis, and in particular any impacts on vulnerable customers.

Find out more

For further information contact 13 QGOV (13 7468).

Last updated:
23 February 2017
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