Power policy to save $550 a year on bills

Paul Osborne
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Households will save $550 a year on their power bills under a revised version of the Turnbull government’s energy policy.

The figure, which is $150 higher than previously stated, was set out in a document handed to state and territory energy ministers ahead of a meeting to discuss the National Energy Guarantee with the federal minister on August 10.

“The continued connection of additional renewable generation projects to the NEM (national energy market) in coming years is projected to see prices fall from today’s elevated levels,” the 39-page policy proposal from the Energy Security Board says.

The document says the average east coast household will save $550 a year on their retail bill over the 2020s relative to 2017/18.

“Of this, nearly $150 per year is forecast additional savings as a result of the guarantee.”

The five drivers behind the lower retail prices were identified as: policy stability; reduced risk for new investments; increased contracting; deeper contract markets and an increased voluntary demand response.

Addressing a key criticism by the states and federal Labor – the unambitious 26 per cent emissions target set by the government – the policy document says: “It is possible that higher emissions reduction targets may be set in the future by the Australian government.”

“In this case, the guarantee mechanism and framework will automatically accommodate the new targets.

“Further, the design of the guarantee does not limit the ability of states and territories to set and meet their own emissions reduction or renewable energy targets.”

If the energy ministers approve the final design of the NEG on August 10, the ESB has proposed a period of consultation on draft laws in mid-August to mid-September.

The changes to the National Electricity Law and National Electricity Rules would set out who is liable under the emissions reduction and reliability obligations of the NEG and the compliance and penalty framework.

Federal laws would set intensity targets, provide for industry exemptions, and cover the use of carbon offsets and emissions reporting.

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