Mark McArdle
Mark McArdle Alistair Brightman

McArdle claims solar scheme driving up Qld power prices

EVEN before Queenslanders find out how much they will be slugged in electricity hikes, the State Government has come out firing - and solar users are in the crosshairs.

The Queensland Competition Authority will release its final report on state electricity charges on Friday.

Energy Minister Mark McArdle said the "overly generous" scheme of the former government to increase the use of rooftop solar panels was forcing up power prices for the rest of the state.

This combined with green schemes from the Commonwealth added 18.9% to the average annual power bill, he said.

"By 2015-16, the solar bonus scheme will increase to $276 on an average bill which could see the price of green scheme reach $621 on average per year if the Carbon Tax is not repealed," Mr McArdle said.

But in February, the QCA expected "tariff 11" bills to rise by 21.4%, to help the energy market "rebalance" after the Newman Government froze increases in order to keep an election promise of keeping down the cost of living.

At the time, the authority found 2013-14 charges would include $73 to close the gap between the frozen and current prices.

A further $180 would come from the actual increase of electricity costs covering the past 12 months.

Annual power bills would increase from $1184 to $1437 - about $253 - from June 30.

Despite the freeze, Queenslanders still paid the extra cost of the Carbon Tax.

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