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Understand the electricity supply system

There are 4 interconnected components of the Queensland electricity supply:

  • generation
  • transmission
  • distribution
  • retail.

Generation

Electricity is generated at power stations, which use various fuel sources, including coal, gas, oil, biomass, water, wind, geothermal or solar. Queensland's electricity generation is provided by both government-owned corporations and private companies.

Our interactive map of electricity generators in Queensland also shows what energy sources are used to produce electricity.

View power generation map

Transmission

The electricity is increased in voltage (similar to increasing pressure in a water pipe) at the power stations to limit losses and fed into the transmission network, which transports the electricity over long distances to the distribution networks.

Powerlink Queensland, a government-owned corporation, owns and operates Queensland's nearly 15,000 kilometres of transmission network.

Distribution

Electricity travels from the transmission network to the distribution network before it supplies power to homes. The voltage is reduced during this process until it reaches 240 volts.

Find your distributor

View the maps to identify whether your distributor is Energex or Ergon Energy.

  • Energex is a government-owned corporation which supplies customers in South East Queensland.
  • Ergon Energy is a government-owned corporation which supplies customers in regional Queensland.
  • Essential Energy is a New South Wales energy distributor, which supplies areas in and around Goondiwindi (close to the Queensland – New South Wales border).

Distributor responsibilities

Electricity distributors are responsible for:

  • poles and wires
  • trimming trees
  • meter reading (for old accumulation meters)
  • the safety of their networks
  • emergencies (e.g. lines down)
  • restoring power after outages
  • connecting customers.

Problems with electricity supply

If you experience problems with your electricity supply, you should contact your distributor:

Retail

Electricity retailers buy electricity on the wholesale market and sell it to individual customers.

Electricity prices are set through a combination of regulated prices set by the Queensland Competition Authority (for regional Queensland) or market contracts offered by retailers at prices decided on a commercial basis.

Find an electricity retailer and compare offers using the Australian Energy Regulator’s independent price comparator website, Energy Made Easy.

Contact your electricity retailer if you have any questions about your electricity account.

Breakdown of electricity costs

The price you pay for electricity is made up of the following costs:

  • generation costs: creating electricity at a power station
  • transmission costs: building and maintaining Queensland’s network of high voltage powerline infrastructure
  • distribution costs: building and maintaining the network of mid and low voltage poles and wires that deliver electricity to homes and businesses
  • retail costs: connecting customers, billing customers and managing customer accounts
  • green scheme costs: associated with the Australian Government's Renewable Energy Target
  • metering services: associated with your metering equipment, including installing, maintaining and meter reading (for old accumulation and advanced digital meters).

Example of costs within an electricity bill

  • network (e.g. poles and wires) 37%
  • wholesale generation costs 32%
  • retail (e.g. call centres, billing) 21%
  • green schemes (e.g. renewable energy target) 7%
  • metering 3%

Find out more