Delays in energy market reform will see Queenslanders with

Media release
28 April 2015
Delays in energy market reform will see Queenslanders with less choice
Cameron O’Reilly, Chief Executive of the Energy Retailers Association of Australia (ERAA) has said that
today’s announcement by Palaszczuk Government to delay the implementation of retail price deregulation
in South East Queensland is a disappointing one.
“The decision to delay market monitoring from the middle of 2015 by 12 months will give consumers less
choice of retailers and energy products during that time”, Mr O’Reilly said.
“A competitive retail market is the best way to ensure downward pressure on electricity prices. The retail
energy industry is highly competitive and competition for consumers will always be the most effective way
to deliver better outcomes for the community.
“The ERAA is happy to work with the Palaszczuk Government and the Productivity Commission to ensure
they understand the benefits of a deregulated retail energy market,” Mr O’Reilly said.
“Regulating electricity prices has not protected consumers in the past. When prices were regulated under
the previous administrations, Queensland residents saw unprecedented price hikes in their energy bills,” Mr
O’Reilly said.
“Around 85-90 per cent of electricity bills are determined by the wholesale cost of electricity and network
charges as well as green schemes which include solar feed-in tariffs. These increasing costs have to be
passed through by retailers,” Mr O’Reilly said.
“Having monitored rather than regulated retail prices will encourage more retailers to enter the south-east
Queensland market and compete for customers by discounting and offering a wider range of energy
products,” he said.
“Since the Victorian market moved to price monitoring in 2009 and South Australia in February 2013, their
households have seen new retailers enter the market, a wider array of products offered and a growth in the
market share of smaller retailers. These markets were deregulated under Labor Governments. The NSW
Government has recently followed this example by deregulating in 2014.
“The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) recently found that around 70 per cent households in
South East Queensland have already chosen a market offer where the price is offered by the retailer and
not set by the regulator.
“This means that when given choice, Australians tend to embrace the right to switch energy companies and
get a better deal to suit their needs and lifestyle. Already most south-east Queensland consumers have
chosen to enter into market contracts with energy retailers rather than stay on regulated tariffs,” Mr O’Reilly
The National Energy Customer Framework (NECF) will still be implemented in Queensland from 1 July
2015. The NECF is overseen by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) ensures consumers have a
comprehensive array of protections such as energy hardship plans and access to a nationwide energy
comparator service to help households understand and compare energy use and offers. This free,
independent service is available at and allows consumers to compare all
electricity and gas offers in their area.
We look forward to working further with the Queensland Government and the new Productivity Commission
to ensure greater choice and competition for Queensland consumers in the future," Mr O’Reilly said.
Media contact Alex Fraser 0413 557 527
Energy Retailers Association of Australia
Suite 3, Level 5, 189 Kent Street, SYDNEY NSW 2000
T (02) 8241 1800 W