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Media release

Budget response from Energy Consumers Australia

Please attribute all quotes to Energy Consumers Australia’s CEO, Brendan French:

“Energy Consumers Australia welcomes the Budget provision for all households to receive an energy bill rebate of $300.

Our research shows that more than half of Australians are worried they won’t be able to afford energy in the next 3 years, and an equal number believe affordable energy prices is the most important issue for the future of the energy system.

“We’re also seeing that the energy divide – the difference between those who can easily access clean, reliable and affordable energy and those who can’t – is no longer something experienced solely by those on the lowest incomes, but by a growing number of Australians.

“However, as the energy transition accelerates, we have a real opportunity to close this energy divide for good, not just for the winter. To do this, we need to treat not just the symptoms but the cause and ensure supports so that all Australians have energy efficient homes and can realise the benefits of low-cost, renewable energy.

“Our Stepping Up report shows that the households that will benefit the most from the energy transition will be those that electrify their heating, cooking and transport and have energy efficient homes. Those who remain on fossil fuels will face escalating bills. We must ensure that no Australians are left behind in the energy transition.  

“We’re pleased to see the government has committed $27.7 million to develop priority reforms to ensure that more consumers can access the benefits of consumer energy resources. We look forward to this leading to larger financial commitments to supporting consumers to electrify and become part of the solution for Australia’s future energy needs.

Small business

“Energy Consumers Australia is pleased to see that one million eligible small businesses will receive $325 on their electricity bills throughout the year.

“In our recent research with small businesses, more than one-in-three said that energy prices were one of their biggest overheads.

“We welcome the announcement of $290 million to extend the government’s $20,000 instant asset write-off for small businesses, which can be used by small businesses to invest in energy efficiency and consumer energy resources that can help them lower their energy use and bills.

“However, we would have preferred to see a higher threshold and that the subsidy was extended for a longer period of time. In our submission to the Economics Legislation Committee, we recommended that small businesses would be more likely to purchase energy efficient products if given sufficient time and an appropriate level of financial incentive.”

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