Aug 04 2017

Best fix for higher energy prices is national policy reform: industry

The energy industry today welcomed the opportunity to meet with the Prime Minister to discuss how to end the current energy policy deadlock and bring down prices for customers.

The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive, Matthew Warren, said that the industry believes the best way to ease the pressure on energy pricing is to implement a coherent national energy policy as outlined by the Government’s own Finkel Review.

“Recent power price increases are the result of old generators closing and the lack of a consistent plan as to how to replace them.  This is a national policy failure that has been a decade in the making.

“We agree that energy prices are unsustainable. We cannot fix this problem simply by talking about retail bills and customer deals.

“The price of electricity has increased because it is becoming scarce.  It is the market signalling the need for new firm generation capacity to be built.  The situation is already critical in Victoria and South Australia.

“Investors cannot finance replacement generation capacity until they can see a workable, durable and bipartisan policy framework for the sector.  Solving this is an issue of national importance and we welcome the Prime Minister’s attention to the issue.

“The Federal Government has its own report by the Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel outlining a set of 50 recommendations to fix the problem.  The report has been endorsed by most stakeholders, including major energy providers and consumers.

“Finkel has offered a blueprint that stakeholders agree is the essential element to overcome our current energy crisis. A bi-partisan, national Clean Energy Target (CET) remains the key reform to drive new investment and bring down electricity prices,” Mr Warren said.

About the Australian Energy Council

The Council represents 21 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia and sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses.

Media contact            Carl Kitchen 0401 691 342

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