Queensland Government holds the key to cheaper power, says Master Electricians

Master Electricians Australia (MEA) has said the Queensland Government holds the key to cheaper power prices for consumers, by encouraging greater use of off-peak power and freezing the off-peak tariff.

MEA chief executive Malcolm Richards said he understood the need for power price rises, but called on the State Government to restructure tariffs to encourage power use outside the times of highest demand – usually in the late afternoon or early evening.

“The government rightly argues that a large component of the price increases is the cost of building and maintaining networks,” Mr Richards said.

“Networks are built to cope with peak demand loads, so if you reduce the peak load you can cut the cost of network infrastructure. How do you do this? By freezing off-peak prices and collecting all the extra revenue from peak prices.”

Mr Richards said a move of this nature would not only reassure consumers they can reduce their power bills, but also make a genuine contribution to reducing network costs.

Acknowledging the previous State Government had done away with the need for off-peak pool pumps to be hard wired into an off-peak circuit, Mr Richard said they could now be plugged into a designated off-peak power point.

He also called on the Newman Government to allow homeowners to have off-peak power points installed in the home, such as the laundry and kitchen.

“This is a difficult issue that will require fresh thinking in order to make genuine gains for households,” he said.

“If the State Government is serious about helping consumers, it needs to look at the things it can control.

“And first on that list should be genuine reform of the off-peak tariff structure.”