Energy market reform critical to stop rising power prices

The Prime Minister’s speech on energy reform highlighted some major challenges that must be addressed to stop sharply rising power prices for consumers, the Clean Energy Council said today or visit us at: http://www.energysmart.com.au/.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive David Green said consumers currently had very little control over their energy bills, and that needed to change.

“Electricity prices are a difficult issue which require governments to put aside politics and act in the public interest. The Prime Minister’s speech today has helped to move the discussion in the right direction, calling for urgent action by state governments to enact reforms to stop the run of power price rises.

“Australia is not unique in facing these challenges and much can be learned from the experiences of governments around the world in tackling similar sets of problems,” said David Green, who recently started work in Australia following extensive experience with the industry in the UK.

Currently the cost of maintaining the nation’s poles and wires, along with the cost of meeting peak electricity demand, makes up 40 to 50 per cent of power bills and this is projected to rise under the current system.

Mr Green said effective energy market reform could help free vulnerable consumers and businesses from the tyranny of rising power prices.

“Australia has started work on a National Energy Savings Initiative that will help to reward people for using less power. We need to accelerate processes like these and move towards a smarter energy system which allows consumers to make the most of the energy we all need to use,” Mr Green said.

“The reality is that the energy market we have had for the last few decades cannot be the system we have for the coming decades.

“Problems such as insufficient competition, incentives to build expensive infrastructure rather than reduce power demand and the limited ability for consumers to be rewarded for being more energy efficient have led to the current situation.

“The meeting of the Council of Australian Governments at the end of the year will be a critical opportunity to embrace reform. These are changes which can not only help to contain price rises for consumers, but unlock the economic, social and environmental benefits of cleaner, smarter energy systems,” he said.

The Clean Energy Council is the peak body for the clean energy sector. It is a not-for-profit organisation that provides a unified voice for more than 500 solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, wave, bioenergy, cogeneration and energy efficiency companies.