The drought declaration on eleven (11) Queensland Local Government Areas (LGAs) has been revoked in the latest review by the Drought Review Committees taking effect from 1 April 2022.
Electricity users who access the Drought Relief from Electricity Charges Scheme (DRECS) within these areas should urgently review their tariffs as this relief will no longer apply in these areas.
The drought status of these LGAs is being revoked:
- Bundaberg Regional Council
- Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council
- Fraser Coast Regional Council
- Gympie Regional Council
- Ipswich City Council
- Lockyer Valley Regional Council
- Scenic Rim Regional Council
- Somerset Regional Council
- South Burnett Regional Council
- Southern Downs Regional Council
- Toowoomba Regional Council.
What parts of my pill are waived under DRECS?
Under The DRECS scheme, the fixed charge components of the power bills are waived.
With the drought declarations revoked, customers in these LGAs will now be charged the fixed component of their power bills, meaning bills will increase.
For a farm on Irrigation Tariff 66A with a 45kW pump, monthly charges of around $566 will no longer be waived (daily charges of $2.137 per day and monthly charge for the first 7.5kW of $4.1184 and $12.4333 for remaining kW).
For a large customer (using more than 100MWh per year) on a Tariff 44 Demand Tariff, monthly supply charges of around $1,336 will no longer be waived (daily charges of $44.53552 per day).
What to do now:
- Check your power bill to see if you receive drought relief:
If you currently receive drought relief on your electricity bill:
- Check to see if you are in an eligible LGA on the Long Paddock Website. If you are in one of the LGAs mentioned above, you are no longer in an eligible LGA.
- If you are in an area that is no longer drought declared but you are experiencing drought conditions, you can apply for an Individually Droughted Property declaration here or you can call the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for assistance on 13 25 23.
If you are eligible, but do not already receive drought relief on your power bill:
- If your retailer is Ergon Energy, follow the above steps then apply to Ergon Energy for Waived Charges HERE
- Contact your retailer to find the best tariff
If Ergon Energy is your retailer, you can:
- compare tariffs using the Energy Analysis tool
- Review available tariffs at: https://www.ergon.com.au/retail/business/tariffs-and-prices
- Call Ergon Retail at 1300 135 210
You may have received assistance under the Electricity Tariff Adjustment Scheme.
If Ergon Energy is not your retailer, check the Energy Made Easy website to compare tariffs.
How do you choose your tariffs?
Queensland Farmers Federation with the University of Queensland are keen to understand how farmers choose tariffs and are keen to interview farmers about this. The interview will take about ½ an hour and we will provide a $40 gift card and a chance to win one of two $500 electricity bill payments. Join in HERE. Find out more HERE. You can call Stephen Snow on 0417 079 392 if you would like to start the interview straight away!
For more information, see the links below.
Department of Environment and Science Long Paddock Website showing the Drought Declarations HERE.
More about Shire Drought Declarations by Business Queensland HERE.
More about the Drought Relief from Electricity Charges Scheme (DRECS) at Business Queensland HERE.
Ergon Energy Retail’s Drought Frequently Asked Questions can be found HERE.
Find out more about QFFs Risk Management and Natural Disaster Resilience project HERE.