BILLS SLASHED: Power price cuts and rebates for small businesses have been welcomed, but farmers aren’t as lucky.
BILLS SLASHED: Power price cuts and rebates for small businesses have been welcomed, but farmers aren’t as lucky.

Power bill cuts welcomed by business owners

LOCKYER Valley businesses have welcomed the announcement that power prices are set to fall.

Regional small businesses have been told by the State Government to expect a cut to their bill of about $116 a year, while households can expect costs to fall by $75 a year.

The cuts are expected to come into effect from July 1, and Lockyer Valley Toyota owner Ian O'Brien said any reduction would help business.

 

"Reduction in power costs will always be good," Mr O'Brien said.

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While solar panels reduce much of his costs, Mr O'Brien said electricity bills still contributed to about 5 per cent of the business's expenses.

As coronavirus wreaking havoc with the economy, Mr O'Brien was pleased to see some welcome relief.

The reduction in prices, forecast by the Queensland Competition Authority, will back up stimulus measures introduced by the State Government, namely a rebate on bills for both businesses and households.

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Small businesses can expect to see a $500 rebate appear on the bills in the coming months, and Mr O'Brien said the measure would be welcome for business owners.

"Anything in power (cuts) is going to help," he said.

"I think the government is trying to do their best. It's a great initiative."

Households will also receive a $200 rebate on their bills.

Ian O'Brien of Gatton Motors Pty Ltd.
Ian O'Brien of Gatton Motors Pty Ltd.

But it's not all good news - Queensland Farmers' Federation president Allan Dingle has criticised the QCA for not recommending similar cuts for agricultural businesses.

Mr Dingle said while the draft determination included some good news for regional households and small businesses, farming businesses on transitional and obsolete tariffs would not be expecting any relief.

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"It is very disappointing that the QCA intends to maintain price levels for transitional and obsolete tariffs for the third year in a row, with many regional customers facing further bill increases in excess of 50 per cent when they are forced on to standard tariffs mid-2021," Mr Dingle said.

"Time is quickly running out for the State Government develop a suite of suitable tariffs and a genuine transition program for farmers required to move to standard business demand-based tariffs before this deadline, creating significant risk and uncertainty for the agricultural sector."

He called on the government to implement a long term and cost-reflective tariff structure for agriculture and irrigation as soon as possible.


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