By Tayla Larsen
The State Government is promising Sunshine Coast residents big savings when it comes to their electricity bill.
The Palaszscuk Government has announced it will allocate $5.5 billion in next week’s State Budget to reducing household utility costs.
Energy rebates will be available for concession card holders offering them up to $340 per year off their electricity bill.
The scheme is targeted at low income households and occupants will have to go online to determine whether or not they are eligible for the rebates.
Acting Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the $212 million specifically assigned to funding the energy rebates will help the 500,000 Queenslanders who access concession yearly.
“It’s not just about the number of concession card holders, but it’s also about the price of utilities that we’re giving concessions for,” she said.
The State Government is also in the process of establishing renewable energy generator CleanCo which it hopes will further reduce electricity prices through introducing competition within the market.
While the move is receiving praise from the Queensland Council of Social Services, the State Opposition said creating the service would not do anything to lower electricity prices and was instead promising its own renewable energy initiative.
The LNP is proposing splitting the two state-owned generators, CS Energy and Stanwell, into three renewable energy entities.
Opposition leader Deb Frecklington said unlike Labor’s proposal, the LNP’s plan considered the long-term economic benefit and everyone in the community.
“Our plan to create another government-owned generator and mandate that all government-owned generators invest in renewables could save an average Queensland household $350 per year on their power bill,” she says.
While the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is backing the LNP’s decision, Ms Trad said it would create unnecessary head office and administration costs.
“I’m just not sure the opposition has any credibility when it comes to electricity or power prices,” she said.
“Let’s not forget that electricity went up by 43 per cent when they were in government and their only plan for our electricity generators and network was to sell the entire system to privatise it all.”