Origin loses bid to raise power prices
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BRISBANE, Dec 19 AAP
December 19 2012, 1:27PM
Origin Energy has lost its court challenge to the Queensland government's electricity price freeze, meaning customers won't be hit with extra charges in the near future.
The Supreme Court in Brisbane on Wednesday dismissed an appeal by Origin against the government's regulated electricity prices for 2012/2013.
Queensland's largest energy provider launched the action earlier this year after it was forced to lower rates in line with the government's price freeze.
Origin's lawyers had argued the price set by the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) was too low and didn't reflect the real cost of producing and supplying electricity.
Energy Minister Mark McArdle said the decision was good news for Queensland families.
"It means there will be no increase to the regulated prices set by the QCA for 2012/13," he said in a statement.
"The Newman government is absolutely committed to addressing power prices and reducing the cost of living for Queensland families."
Origin came under fire earlier this year for increasing its household tariffs, in a move that would have cost many consumers an additional $400 per year.
The company was accused of price gouging by the Queensland government, which promised a price freeze as an election commitment.
Origin eventually bowed to pressure and reduced its rates in line with the tariff freeze.