Origin backs down on electricity hike

ONE of Queensland's largest electricity providers has abandoned its plan to increase electricity rates for customers following a fierce campaign led by Premier Campbell Newman.

The Premier loudly condemned a move by Origin to increase the electricity prices for its market contract customers, which would have resulted in an average power bill rise of $400 per annum.

Mr Newman declared war on the energy provider and said he would encourage Queenslanders to shop around for a better deal.

Origin's price hike would have meant customers would not benefit from the LNP's freeze on power prices for electricity tariff 11.

Origin confirmed on Tuesday it would adhere to the freeze and offer a reprieve to householders.

"We acknowledge that our communication with customers and the government on these issues could have been better, and could have improved customers' understanding of price changes," Origin managing director Grant King said.

"We have, therefore, decided to simplify our offerings such that all Origin residential customers on general supply - whether on regulated contracts or market contracts - are paying the same or less than regulated rates for Tariff 11 for 2012/13."

Following Origin's initial announcement to increase prices for customers, Mr Newman asked the government to review all contracts with the Origin.

So it came as no surprise Mr Newman welcomes Tuesday's win.

"This is a win for common sense and a win for cutting the cost of living for Queensland families," he said.

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