Greens’ Senate Inquiry investigates Queensland electricity prices

The Greens-initiated Senate Inquiry into electricity prices held a public hearing in Brisbane in February, with Senator Christine Milne saying it would “improve transparency around how power prices are set”.

“Our Senate Inquiry is getting to the bottom of why Queenslanders have such astronomical electricity network charges – the highest in Australia,” she said.

“The inquiry is looking into how to stop chronic over-investment in poles and wires, and improve transparency around how power prices are set.

“The fact is state governments are maximising profits at the expense of jobs and innovation. It’s time to write down these assets and admit failure to see the energy revolution that has sent them into a death spiral.

“The electricity networks and their owners need to be held accountable for such irresponsible over-investment in poles and wires. It cannot continue.”

Queensland sugar mills gave evidence at the public hearing, saying they were being squeezed by electricity costs as well as the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) review.

One in five Queensland homes have solar, with Australian Greens Senator for Queensland Larissa Waters saying more and more home owners and business owners are taking the power back through solar energy in an effort to take control their bills.

“The more people use solar, the less peak demand on the grid, which makes electricity and energy infrastructure cheaper for everyone,” she said.

“Our Sunshine State is leading the way in lowering power bills through solar, but a lack of transparency in electricity network charges and the network’s habit of building more infrastructure than we need is forcing Queenslanders to pay more.