Queensland History was made on Friday with the launch of Energy Queensland, a single entity that unites customers from the Torres Strait to Tweed Heads through the merger of Ergon Energy and Energex.
Treasurer Curtis Pitt and Energy Minister Mark Bailey hailed it a win for Queensland households and businesses.
“Energy Queensland has been created to deliver better outcomes for customers, for employees and for our communities,” Mr Pitt said.
“It will not only effectively manage the state’s electricity network, but prepare it for demands of the future in a transitioning energy sector.
“Energy Queensland will have an asset base of over $24 billion and will serve more than 4.8 million people following a staged transition process.”
Mr Bailey visited Energy Queensland’s headquarters in Townsville on Friday, saying the merger is about more than “simply bringing organisations together”.
“Today we establish the means of ensuring that the electricity grid that underpins our economy will remain at the core of how customers choose to use electricity,” Mr Bailey said.
“Rather than sell these assets to the private sector and watch power prices soar, the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to keeping our electricity assets in public hands enabled us to take action to stabilise prices, and to create Energy Queensland.”
Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said Energy Queensland’s Townsville headquarters ensured the company would have a strong regional presence.
“I’m very excited that this merger will bring more jobs to North Queensland and look forward to the economic activity this will bring to our region over the coming years,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
“Energy Queensland will support the development of regional Queensland and will have a clear focus on providing regional Queenslanders with access to the innovative new products and services available in other parts of Australia.”
Energy Queensland chairman Phil Garling said the new, merged company would deliver value and service to Queensland.
“The transition period has kicked off and work underway within Ergon Energy and Energex has already identified and delivered some real efficiencies and improvements to how we support the homes, families, businesses and communities who count on us,” Mr Garling said.
“Energy Queensland aims to provide customers with greater choice, more control over their energy use, access to innovative technology and more stable power bills: the state’s network of the future truly does start today.
“Energy Queensland will help deliver these core needs, while also maintaining frontline Ergon and Energex services and a presence in their respective regions.
“The existing boards of Ergon and Energex will remain in place until September 30 to leverage their knowledge of the businesses and allow a smooth transition.”
Mr Bailey said the creation of an energy services business as part of the merger was key to ensuring that Energy Queensland is able to meet and adapt to changes and developments in the rapidly evolving energy market.
The energy services business will initially focus on providing providing access to renewables and storage through the grid for a broader range of customers; using renewable energy supply options to reduce expensive diesel costs in remote communities; and options to enable Queenslanders to take control of their electricity needs through the introduction of tools and systems including smart meters.