Ergon Energy was founded by the Queensland Government in 1999 as a result of the merger of the six regional providers that existed in the state at the time. In 2007, the retail activities of Ergon were privatised and some 50,000 contestable customers and retailer trading activities were sold to AGL. Less economically viable customers are still provided electricity through Ergon and the distribution network remains publicly owned. Ergon is legislated to only sell electricity at the prices set by the Queensland Government, thus providing all residents of the state uniform tariffs.*
Ergon Energy now distributes electricity to approximately 700,000 customers across the state, excluding South East Queensland. Its distribution network contains 150,000 kilometres of powerlines and one million powerline poles. It also owns and operates 33 separate power stations to supply residents who live in locations inaccessible by the primary energy grid.
Ergon’s electricity production comes from a variety of sources, though the primary source is coal. It operates the Barcaldine gas-fired power station and the Windorah Solar Farm, a $4.5 million project which supplies 360,000 kWh of electricity a year for the town of Windorah, helping to reduce their reliance on diesel generators by over 100,000 litres of diesel a year.
What our survey respondents say about Ergon Energy
Canstar Blue’s most recent electricity providers survey sought the opinions of more than 4,400 electricity customers across the country. Some of the comments from customers of Ergon Energy were as follows:
|Disaster recovery effort is outstanding.||Not enough sun energy.|
|They are reliable to supply a continuous supply of electricity and fix breakdowns very promptly.||Maybe the wait time sometimes on the phone calls I know they can be very busy at times but this is understandable.|
|Rarely is my service interrupted. When an outage was scheduled, I was given plenty of warning. I was once advised that tree work would be done near my home and when I phoned and advised them that the subject tree had a nest of baby birds, they sent the contractor around to verify and did not disturb the nest.||Power is getting way too expensive especially because it is the little poor people that cannot afford solar so we cop the bills-not fair.|
|Help me pay my bill, always quick to repair power outages.||The supply charge is unfair. We should only have to pay for the electricity we use.|
|Their telephone staff are always courteous and very helpful.||No real options for low-income people to alter costs.|
Source: Canstar Blue Electricity Providers survey 2015, conducted by Colmar Brunton