Energy Minister says Warwick locals get power for fair price

WARWICKITES are limited on choice when it comes to choosing an electricity provider but the Minister for Energy and Water Supply says residents are still getting a fair price.

"Energy users in Warwick who are unable to find another retailer apart from Ergon Energy to supply them are likely to be benefiting from the Government's Community Service Obligation payments, which support the Uniform Tariff Policy and provided a subsidy of more than $600 per customer in 2011-12," a spokesman from the Department of Energy and Water Supply said.

"There are no legislative impediments to retailers providing their services to customers in regional Queensland, including Warwick."

A spokesman from Origin said Origin does not operate in Warwick as the market is not open to competition.

The Energy Department spokesman said this statement indicated the company was not willing to supply electricity to residents at or below the standard retail prices.

"In a competitive market it is a commercial decision by retailers as to which customers and market segments they are prepared to make offers to," he said.

"Due to the geographical size of Queensland and the vast distances between our towns and cities, the costs involved in supplying electricity to regional and remote Queenslanders are much greater than for those living in south-east Queensland.

"This is due to the high costs of transporting electricity over long distances and the smaller population base."

The Uniform Tariff Policy was introduced to ensure energy users in regional areas could purchase electricity at the same price.

Energy Minister Mark McArdle recently announced energy consumers in Queensland would have a greater say in setting and guarding power prices.

"Many of the significant changes confronting the electricity industry will only succeed through the active engagement of consumers," he said.

"That is why it is important the residents in Warwick participate in the consultation process for regulated prices for 2013-14."


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Topics:  electricity energy mark mcardle politics power warwick

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