Environment Minister justifies Ergon Energy’s move to join action that could increase electricity prices

Environment Minister Steven Miles has justified the move by Queensland’s biggest electricity network in joining a battle that could lead to a rise in electricity prices. According to Mr Miles, the company only wants to speak for “Queensland energy users”, reported news.com.au. He added that the move was “relatively procedural”.

It was earlier reported that Ergon Energy had launched a bid to take part in an interstate case before the Australian Competition Tribunal that may lead to Queenslanders facing higher electricity bills. The action was launched by New South Wales electricity networks who are taking aim at the Australian Energy Regulator’s recent five-year price determination and want to be able to make extra revenue.

“It’s important that our power companies have a chance to contribute to this process to have a say on behalf of Queensland energy users,” said Mr Miles.

“It’s my understanding that the reason they sought the right to participate in this process was so that they could respond to submissions made by the other states.

“They’re not, as I understand it, seeking or submitting on the matter of their rate of return.”

However, Opposition energy spokesman Andrew Powell accused the Palaszczuk Government of using QLD’s network’s involvement in the battle as a way of “secretly exploring ways to increase your electricity prices over the next five years”.

Energy Minister Mark Bailey said the Opposition were "being hypocritical and deceptive" and Ergon's actions are part of the "normal part of the process" and would not result in large increases in power prices, according to SMH.

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