Energex and Ergon ‘must accept’ Queensland Government directive not appeal AER decision

Queensland’s electricity providers have been ordered by the Government not to appeal against a revenue ruling by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).

Premier Annastacia Palaszcuk said the decision meant power prices would be stable, or could fall, over the next five years.

She said Energex and Ergon would have to accept the verdict, after they appealed against an earlier draft determination.

“My Government, as the owner of these businesses on behalf of the people of Queensland, will direct Energex and Ergon to lock in these better outcomes and not appeal the AER decision,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“No more appeals, no more lawyers. We will direct our energy companies to abide by the umpire’s decision and Queenslanders will benefit.

“Network prices are now forecast to decline over the next five-year period.

“While this determination does not include generation or retail costs it will have a significant stabilising impact on electricity bills.”

However, Energy Minister Mark Bailey told Parliament there would be job losses at the power companies.

“The regulator’s decision to reduce Energex and Ergon’s revenues will require them to continue to make further efficiency improvements,” Mr Bailey said.

“The Government remains resolutely committed to no forced redundancies and we will consult with unions.

“Therefore any adjustments in staff numbers will be achieved through voluntary redundancies and natural attrition

AER’s final determination recommended Energex could charge customers $6.6 billion and that Ergon Energy could collect $6.3 billion through to 2020.

It is 21.7 per cent less than Energex’s initial regulatory proposal and 23.6 per cent less than Ergon’s request.

Source: ABC News