The State Government will removeg a restriction on regional electricity customers going back to Ergon Energy.
The State Government will removeg a restriction on regional electricity customers going back to Ergon Energy. Kevin Farmer

'Unfair' Ergon policy gone after NewsMail story

IN A big win for Bundaberg electricity consumers, the State Government will remove a dated restriction that meant Ergon customers who switched to another provider could never return.

Bundaberg MP Leanne Donaldson said she had fought hard on behalf of frustrated Bundaberg energy customers to have the rule changed.

"I have been meeting with the minister and raising this issue since it was first raised with me by Bundaberg constituents and am pleased that my constant raising of this issue has resulted in this policy being discarded,” she said.

"Bundaberg businesses will now be able to choose to return to Ergon if their electricity provider is not meeting their needs.”

Ergon's non-reversion policy was introduced in 2007 by the State Government following the implementation of the Full Retail Competition.

It was originally designed to tackle monopolies in the regional electricity market.

In March, the NewsMail reported on how Bundaberg man and long-term Ergon customer Paul Donaldson, no relation of Ms Donaldson, had moved to a new home and discovered the former tenant of the premises had switched from Ergon to Q Energy.

Mr Donaldson said he was then forced into a contract with Q Energy, a company he did not want to be associated with.

In April, the government said it would review the unpopular non-reversion policy, accepting it had been ineffective in creating regional competition.

Yesterday, Mr Donaldson said he was relieved to hear about the changes.

"I am pleased to hear about the removal of the non-reversion policy as it has previously limited my options,” he said.

"It forced us into dealing with a company that we found to be more expensive.

"If we move to a new rental property, we will have the choice to sign up with the energy provider that we want and not one dictated by a government decision.”

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the government had recognised the desire of regional customers to have more choice regarding their electricity provider.

"Removing the policy will give regional customers more choice and control over their energy bills which is good news for electricity bill savings in regional areas.

"It will also free up customers to return to Ergon Retail to take up the $75 Easy Pay Reward.”