Power for People: a public electricity retailer for all Queenslanders

Energy for People — Not Profit

It’s pretty simple: private corporations shouldn’t be making a profit by selling us a basic necessity like electricity.

Ordinary people are being squeezed while big corporations make billions. The ideology of putting corporate profits and markets before people has failed to deliver affordable, reliable and clean energy.

Since Labor and the LNP began the era of privatisation, power prices have kept rising while company profits have soared. In the meantime, 21,000 Queensland households had their power cut off last year because they couldn’t pay their bills. That is the second-highest rate of disconnections in Australia.

The market has failed:
private retailers are making “excessive profits”

The idea of a “market” in electricity retail has failed. Since 2006-07, power bills have nearly doubled, rising by 87% in real terms. By contrast, in the twenty years before that, electricity prices actually fell.

Over the last four years, Origin and AGL have made $7.2 billion in profits from electricity retail, and their rich CEOs are taking home massive pay packets. We don't think this is fair.

Our Power for People plan:

Scrap privatisation of electricity retail

The first stage of the Power for People Plan to scrap the privatisation of electricity retail in South East Queensland, and ensure affordable, reliable electricity for all Queenslanders. We would move to a single, public retailer (also replacing Ergon), by expanding Energy Queensland to provide retail services to all Queenslanders.

The Greens' plan for Energy Queensland:
  • No profits – transition Energy Queensland away from a profit-making model towards an efficient public authority
  • Cheaper bills – make sure Energy Queensland offers lower prices than existing privately-owned retailers, such as AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia because it would not operate at a profit, or spend money on wasteful advertising, billboards, or telemarketers - like private retailers do
  • Ban Huge CEO Salaries 
  • Affordable, reliable electricity – enshrine this mission into Energy Queensland’s charter and make the State Energy Minister responsible for retail electricity prices - no more “passing the buck” to regulators or private companies 

Households across Queensland could

save up to $370 a year on power bills

For South East Queensland:

Under our plan, most customers in the South East would quickly shift to the new public retailer, Energy Queensland, to take advantage of lower prices. Private retailers like Origin and AGL would then be phased out over two years. 

Our plan would not require government subsidies, since Energy Queensland would offer electricity at “cost-price” instead of making a profit. 

It will hit corporate profits, which is why the big energy retailers will hate it.

For Regional and Rural Queensland:

Thirty-four percent of Queensland customers are outside of the South East, where prices are set by the Queensland Competition Authority to automaxtically match prices in the South East - privatisation and deregulation in the South East is also hurting regional Queensland by pushing up prices.

Under the Greens’ plan, regional households currently with the publicly-owned Ergon Energy would save up to $370 per year as prices fall to match those in the South East.

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