Mark McArdle,
Minister of Energy,
Queensland
 
Brisbane, Australia --- (METERING.COM) --- July 17, 2013 - Queensland’s energy minister Mark McArdle has established a Tariff Reform Working Group to review domestic electricity tariffs with the aim to improve the affordability of electricity.

The group will comprise representatives from the energy companies Energex and Ergon as well as from Queensland Competition Authority, Queensland Treasury and the Department of Energy and Water Supply. It will provide strategic advice and direction on future electricity tariff structures as part of the government’s work on electricity sector reforms.

As part of its work the group will also focus on whether the electricity usage patterns of Queenslanders suit the current tariff structure.

Minister McArdle said in a statement that Queenslanders are using electricity today in a way that was never envisaged when the network tariffs were first designed.

“Over the last thirty years, the peak demand period has increased by more than 200 percent, and we have also seen a 150 percent increase in electrical appliance consumption,” said Minister McArdle. “It makes sense now to take a fresh look at the way tariffs are structured so they better reflect consumers’ needs.”

The group will have its first formal meeting later this month. The implementation of the tariff reforms is anticipated to commence in mid-2015.

In a separate statement Ergon Energy expressed its support for the tariff review, saying that the company is currently undertaking in its own tariff review with input from customers. Options that are being considered include stronger time-of-use signals, capacity and critical peak pricing, and reduced reliance on volume charges.