Queenslanders struggling to pay their power bill may soon breathe a sigh of relief after Alinta Energy this week entered the Queensland electricity market in partnership with the State Government-owned CS Energy. Alinta Energy in this partnership is offering Queenslanders a 25% discount off their electricity usage charges – one of the largest discounts Queenslanders will find.
Under this arrangement, CS Energy will provide wholesale electricity to the joint venture and Alinta Energy will manage the retail business on behalf of the parties.
“CS Energy is confident that our arrangement with Alinta Energy will increase competition and this should put downward pressure on retail power prices in South East Queensland.’’ CS Energy CEO, Martin Moore said.
This 50/50 joint venture is the first time in over a decade that the Queensland government has entered the electricity market, after it sold the retail arms of Energex and Ergon in 2006 in a move that was hoped to reduce power prices. The government also attempted to ease costs by deregulating electricity prices and retail competition, however this has arguably had little discernible effect as Queenslanders still feel the pinch more than ever. By re-entering the energy market, the Queensland Government and Alinta Energy say they are hoping to set a new standard for the market and give the retail market a bit of a nudge toward lowering prices through competition.
“Now is the time for all retailers to step up and see if they can match these lower price offers,’’ Ms Palaszczuk told The Sunday Mail.
Who is Alinta Energy and what does it offer?
Alinta Energy is one of Australia’s largest integrated energy companies, generating and retailing electricity and gas across most of Australia. Alinta Energy has been supplying energy for over 20 years and today claims to have approximately 800,000 customers nationwide.
From August 2017, Queenslanders connected to the Energex network in South-East Queensland can sign up with Alinta Energy.
- Alinta Energy is offering its ‘Home SaverPlus’ deal, which comes with a huge 25% pay-on-time discount off electricity usage rates for a benefit period of two years.
Not only is this one of the largest discounts in Queensland, Alinta’s basic usage and supply rates remain quite competitive compared to other electricity providers. This makes Alinta Energy one of the cheapest electricity retailers in Queensland right now. Better yet, this deal has no lock-in contract or exit fees, meaning customers are free to come and go as they wish.
Alinta Executive Director of Retail Markets, Jim Galvin, said in a press release that Alinta has its sights set on capturing a large share of Queensland’s market.
“We look forward to working with CS Energy to deliver savings for the local community and rapidly growing our presence in South East Queensland to 250,000 customers in the next few years. Our market entry will also provide around 100 jobs in Queensland,” he said.
Will this joint venture work?
While there have previously been government-energy retailer joint ventures such as ActewAGL, a joint venture for the purposes of driving down electricity prices in a competitive market has never really been tested. The idea behind the CS Energy and Alinta Energy joint venture is reasonably sound in theory – by offering a low price on electricity, other energy companies must match it or lose customers. The only flaw is that in order for customers to benefit from boosted competition, they must regularly compare electricity providers to find new deals that offer better value.
Unfortunately, a Canstar Blue survey showed 61% of customers hadn’t compared energy providers in the past year. If you’re one of these people, you are very likely paying too much for electricity. Start comparing with Canstar Blue.