The Palaszczuk Government will use the benefits of public ownership to cut $125 a year from household bills and $120 off small business bills as part of a $2 billion Affordable Energy Plan.
Energy Minister Mark Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government would also ensure power bills for regional homes and small business are kept below average inflation over the next two years shielding Queenslanders from the broken national energy market.
Mr Bailey said customers in regional Queensland could go to the Ergon website from today to register their interest in a new initiative- Ergon’s ‘Easy Pay Reward’ to help businesses and households save on their electricity bills.
“Because we own our electricity assets, we are able to re-invest dividends to provide relief for regional Queenslanders,” Mr Bailey said.
“That’s why we can offer further rebates for businesses and families.”
Mr Bailey said regional customers would benefit from a raft of measures introduced through the Affordable Energy Plan including:
- annual discounts of $75 for Ergon regional household customers and $120 for small businesses that take up direct debit weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment options – as part of Ergon’s new ‘Easy Pay Reward’. 200,000 regional households are expected to initially take up this offer. ($15 million)
- an Asset Ownership Dividend of $50 a year for every household bill over the next two years, starting from January 2018 and evident on bills from the second quarter of 2018. ($200 million
- $200 off bills per year for another 4000 regional households who participate in the expansion of the Energy Savvy program starting next year. ($4 million)
“From today, regional Queenslanders can register interest in accessing savings with the Easy Pay Reward, with payments being made from 1 December 2017” Mr Bailey said.
Other new initiatives announced yesterday that regional Queenslanders can access include:
- Rebates of up to $300 to purchase an energy efficient fridge, washing machines or air conditioner starting from January. This provides bill savings of up to $50 a year for an energy efficient washing machine or fridge or $135 a year for an air conditioner. ($20 million)
- 200 additional energy audits for agricultural customers through an expanded Energy Savers Plus program in partnership with the Queensland Farmers’ Federation, with the government providing a 50% co-contribution (up to $20,000) to implement audit recommendations. ($10 million)
- Support for Queensland jobs and industry by providing energy audits for large customers including manufacturers, with a 50% co-contribution to implement recommendations (up to $250,000 per customer). This is expected to deliver savings of 10% to 40% for large industrial customers. ($10 million)
“These initiatives means that as a start, regional households can save $125 off their annual bill, and can save more if they opt in to other savings measures, including purchasing energy efficient appliances”, Mr Bailey said.
“It’s also good for small business, and will assist productivity in the agricultural sector and larger industries including manufacturing”.