Supplied Money electricity account, moneysaverHQ
Supplied Money electricity account, moneysaverHQ

How we could be saving $400 a year on power

SOUTHEAST Queenslanders could save $260 a year on the power bills, the consumer watchdog has found.

A further $130 a year could be wiped from bills if the State Government wrote down its power assets and dropped subsidies for solar panel installations, according to the report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Power price have dropped $100 across the southeast: St Vinnies

An ACCC report has found smaller retailers were offering better deals on power bills than the big providers like Origin, AGL and Energy Australia. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled
An ACCC report has found smaller retailers were offering better deals on power bills than the big providers like Origin, AGL and Energy Australia. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled

Its inquiry into the National Energy Market found that since the introduction of the government's default pricing, the highest electricity bills have fallen by $190.

But it still pays to shop around as the smaller retailers are now generally offering better deals than the big three companies, Origin, AGL and Energex.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor said it showed the default market offer, introduced by the government from July 1, had early success.

"There has been a reduction in sneaky discounting practices, with retailers moving away from the use of conditional discounts based on excessively high standing offers," he said.

According to the report, the difference between the highest deal on offer and the lowest is $260 in southeast Queensland.

While the price of the highest deals on offer have dropped significantly, the cheapest offers available have increased by $26 in the southeast.

The report also found that 45 per cent of the power bill in Queensland came from the cost of the polls and wires, more than any other state.

"Writedown (of state-owned assets) could provide savings to residential customers of at least $100 per year," the report found.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor said dodgy “discount” deals have started to disappear. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Energy Minister Angus Taylor said dodgy “discount” deals have started to disappear. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

It said removing government subsidies on solar installations could save customers another $36 a year by 2020-21.

The release of the report comes ahead of the government introducing its so-called "big stick" legislation, which would allow the ACCC to force power companies to sell assets if they game the market.

Labor's energy spokesman Mark Butler said the laws appeared to be a "backdoor to privatising electricity assets in Queensland".

But it's understood the laws would ensure government-owned assets could only be divested to another entity owned by the same government.