Wholesale electricity prices have substantially fallen from January to March 2020, resulting in price decreases of up to 49 per cent from 2019, a quarterly report out today by the Australian Energy Market Operator has shown.
The AEMO report indicated that the low cost of renewable energy like wind and solar, and the falling price of gas contributed to these large decreases.
It is urgent these substantial price reductions are passed on to Queensland consumers by their electricity retailers, says Queensland Council for Social Service (QCOSS) CEO Aimee McVeigh.
“We are seeing the lowest wholesale energy prices since 2016 – it is crucial that these low costs are reflected in people’s electricity bills.
“People are at home more than ever before and are using more electricity than they would usually do – if there were ever a time for bill relief from energy retailers, it is right now.
“We know from our QCOSS Living Affordability in Queensland report that Queenslanders were already experiencing major cost-of-living pressures before the COVID-19 crisis, and that energy costs are a key issue across the state.
“For people experiencing vulnerability, energy bills and bill shock are some of the most stressful parts of their lives. Energy companies must do all they can to reduce financial stress for their customers – especially during the COVID-19 crisis.
“The report also acknowledges the significant impact bushfires had on the national electricity grid and its reliability at the beginning of the year, something which illustrates why we should rapidly and fairly move to sustainable and resilient energy sources.
“We welcome all the work the Queensland government has done to date in regard to COVID-19 financial relief for residents.
“We call on the state government to continue their work with Queensland’s energy retailers to pledge that their consumers will benefit from these lower wholesale prices. The government and retailers can be national leaders in this space,” said Ms McVeigh.
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For 60 years, QCOSS has been a leading force for social change. We believe that every person in Queensland – regardless of where they come from, who they pray to, their gender, who they love, how or where they live – deserves to live a life of equality, opportunity and wellbeing.