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Electricity sector reform

We are committed to making the electricity system fairer and to giving households and businesses more control over their electricity bills.

Queensland's electricity system is under pressure on many fronts and without major change, electricity prices will continue to rise.

It is evident that the current system doesn't work and wide-scale reform of the electricity sector is required. Tinkering at the edges will not make the difference we need.

We have commenced the most significant reforms to the electricity sector in more than a decade to address rising electricity prices, make it a fairer system and prepare for the future.

What has happened

As a first step, the government engaged an independent review panel and an interdepartmental committee (IDC). Their role was to examine the electricity sector and identify the reasons behind electricity price rises and solutions to these challenges.

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While there is no quick fix and it will take time for the benefits to flow through to consumers, we have already delivered a number of initiatives that will help stabilise prices in the longer term. These include:

  • reduced the building of unnecessary infrastructure by changing network reliability standards
  • introduced business efficiency improvements for Powerlink, Energex and Ergon Energy
  • progressed reform measures to improve national regulation
  • reformed the transitional 8 cent solar feed-in tariff in South East Queensland (SEQ)
  • removed red tape by closing the Queensland Gas Scheme
  • removed restrictions against new coal-fired power stations.

Some of the results we have delivered can be seen in our reform progress dashboard (PDF, 74.0KB).

Next steps

Electricity sector reform next steps: 2014-16 stabilising prices, 2016-26 transforming the market, 2026-44 adapting to change

Over the next 2 years, a number of reforms will be implemented to prepare the sector for change by encouraging stability.

The first phase of change will commence on 1 July 2015 with the introduction of market monitoring. This will see the removal of retail price regulation in SEQ to improve retail competition, resulting in better deals for residential and small business consumers.

Through targeted education, we will support customers to become better informed and skilled at choosing an electricity market plan that fits their needs.

We will also implement the National Energy Customer Framework to ensure strong customer protections are in place when market monitoring commences. The National Energy Customer Framework will benefit consumers by giving them better tools to engage confidently in the retail market, and better support if they are in financial hardship.

The future of electricity supply

The electricity industry is changing dramatically as a result of emerging technologies and changes in the way consumers use electricity.

This is why we have worked with Queenslanders and industry to develop PowerQ: 30-year strategy for Queensland's electricity.

PowerQ sets a clear vision and direction for Queensland's electricity industry—one that builds on the current reforms to get the electricity sector ready for the future.

This plan proposes a high-level, long-term framework that defines the role of consumers, market and government, and is responsive to the changes that lie ahead.

Last updated
21 October 2014