Almost $1.5 billion in dividends from Queensland’s publicly owned electricity assets have been reinvested in driving down power bills.
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said annual reports tabled showed dividends in 2018-19 had subsidised regional power bills, provided two annual $50 discounts for Queensland households and provided discounted electricity for regional customers.
Dr Lynham tabled the annual reports of the government’s five energy government-owned corporations: Energy Queensland Ltd, parent company of Energex and Ergon; Powerlink, CS Energy, Stanwell and CleanCo.
Related article:Renewable hydrogen could power Moranbah ammonia facility
“In 2018-19, energy dividends enabled the Palaszczuk Government to deliver $465 million in subsidies to ensure families in regional communities across Queensland paid a similar amount for their power to those in the south-east of the state,” Dr Lynham said.
“For the most vulnerable electricity customers in our community, $267 million in dividends was reinvested for affordability programs and initiatives under the Affordable Energy Plan.
“And in 2018-19, $100 million in dividends was paid straight back into Queenslander’s pockets with $50 wiped off 1.9 million household power bills.”
Related article:Vic energy disconnections down by half
Dr Lynham said funds had also been reinvested across the electricity supply chain, from generation, transmission and distribution to improve, maintain and deliver reliable power.
“More than $226.3 million was invested into capital projects at Stanwell and CS Energy to keep generation assets running safely, reliably and efficiently,” he said.
“Another $210 million was invested in our poles and wires across Queensland with Powerlink and Energy Queensland.”
For the 2018-19 financial year, the publicly owned assets employed 9160 Queenslanders across the state and trained 547 trainees and apprentices.
“Because we own our power assets, Queenslanders are paying the lowest average electricity prices of any mainland state in the National Electricity Market.”