Energy Consumers Australia has welcomed the outcomes of today’s Energy Ministers’ Meeting, which agreed that households and small businesses need to be protected from the impact of the volatile and excessive coal and gas prices on retail prices.
CEO Lynne Gallagher said progress was made toward a bill relief package that would shield consumers from excessive bill shock as big picture reforms to drive down prices are delivered.
“We understand that a package of energy bill relief measures are going to be considered by First Ministers tomorrow,” said Ms Gallagher.
“It is critical that direct bill relief be adequate and accessible to households and small businesses.
“It may take some time before any price caps on coal or gas begin to flow through to curb future price increases, so getting that immediate support in place is critical as we head into the holiday season.”
Ms Gallagher said with prices already high, it was also critical that consumers were empowered and supported to control their energy use and lower their bills.
“We are in the midst of a global energy crisis, caused by the war in Ukraine, and rises in global coal and gas prices. All future outlooks are forecasting further energy price pressures to come.
“This means we’re going to be living with historically high energy prices, even with significant reform so we welcome the agreement by Energy Ministers to prioritise measures to enable consumers to manage their energy needs and control costs.
“Energy Consumers Australia looks forward to working with the ACT Energy Minister who has the lead on developing a national energy savings campaign to be considered at the February meeting.”
Ms Gallagher said a major step forward at today’s meeting was the agreement to the Capacity Investment Scheme, at no additional cost to consumers.
“This is an essential reform to ensure both system security and affordability as coal generators exit. It is unambiguously positive and supports the investment needed to bring forward renewable generation and storage when and where it is needed.
“It means we can avoid further system shocks, that are damaging for consumers.”
The communique from the Energy Ministers’ Meeting is available here.
About Energy Consumers Australia
Energy Consumers Australia is the independent, national voice for residential and small business energy consumers. We enable residential and small business energy consumers to have their voices heard.
Media contact: Tim O’Halloran 0409 059 617