Changes to Queensland energy services under question

The Queensland Productivity Commission has been asked to ­investigate Palaszczuk Government plans to unleash a taxpayer-funded energy services business on to electricians.

Masters Electricians Australia has written to the state’s productivity watchdog ­arguing the business would breach National Competition Policy principles.

The new entity will be spun out of the Government’s merger of power networks Energex and Ergon Energy, and compete with private electricians for solar panel, battery storage, energy management, and smart meter services.

In the letter, Master Electricians Australia CEO Malcolm Richards said the new entity could use the resources of Ergon and Energex to compete with ­electricians.

“Of further concern is the conflict of interest for such an entity being involved in the sale of solar PV and energy ­efficiency solutions given that Ergon and Energex have the sole power to approve solar applications and set meter charges,” he said.