Community & Business

12 March, 2022

Inequitable electricity pricing hampers long-term planning

THE Queensland Competition Authority’s (QCA) continued failure to address the affordability of electricity is hampering growers’ ability to plan long-term, the region’s peak horticultural group says.

Photo - Pexels
Photo - Pexels

FNQ Growers joined a chorus of agriculture industry peak bodies whose members are heavily reliant on irrigation, to put pressure on the QCA for equitable pricing and action on other key areas. 

The QCA had invited submissions from interest groups on an interim consultation paper, Regulated Retail Electricity Prices for 2022-23. 

FNQ Growers president and mango grower Joe Moro said affordable tariffs were the main driver of sustainable business, particularly for irrigated cropping. 

“Growers of horticulture and other crops like sugar cane have been battling inequitable electricity pricing for some time,” Mr Moro said. 

“For growers, the affordable tariff has been identified as 16 cents per kilowatt hour (ceiling price) based on network costs and retail costs not exceeding 8 cents per kilowatt each. 

“Without an affordable tariff and competitive pricing, growers are unable to plan more than a year ahead in time, due to the unstable nature of the electricity network framework. 

“They can’t make those important business decisions that will shape the long-term viability of their business and, in many cases, industries. 

“We’ve heard so many times how agriculture will be the pillar for Australia’s recovery from Covid, yet the cost of inputs such as electricity, which growers have no influence over, is hampering our growers from operating viable businesses.” 

Mr Moro said the delivery of affordable electricity and balancing energy loads needed to better reflect seasonal requirements in the agricultural industry.


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