Our Plan

Issue 03

Affordable and Reliable Electricity

During six years of Labor government, electricity prices doubled.

Supply shortfalls in gas (made worse by state moratoriums on exploration locking up more than 100 years of supply) mean gas prices have nearly tripled over five years.

While coal still makes up 70 per cent of today’s energy mix in the National Electricity Market, state and Labor Governments are openly hostile to coal.

For example, the Victorian Government increased coal royalties by 300% and oversaw the closure of the Hazelwood power station.

South Australia’s Playford and Northern Power stations were both closed in 2016. South Australia’s disastrous 50% renewable energy target experiment has led to blackouts.

Renewable energy is an important part of our energy mix, however the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine.

The Coalition Government understands Australia needs reliable, affordable baseload power.

We are fixing this mess.

NATIONAL ENERGY GUARANTEE

Our new National Energy Guarantee will cut prices by:

  • Ending subsidies for energy, which are passed on to all customers. The Renewable Energy Target will cease in 2020. Renewable energy sources (for which prices are falling) will have to compete with all other energy sources.
  • Creating a level playing field that ensures all types of energy are part of Australia’s mix. Reliable energy sources which provide power when it’s needed (such as coal, gas, pumped hydro and batteries) will provide power for Australia, along with renewables. Our National Energy Guarantee involves no taxes, subsidies or trading schemes.
  • Providing certainty for investors in new and existing power plants. More certainty will mean more supply and, in turn, lower prices.
  • Reducing volatility. Unpredictable power supplies, such as wind and solar, create price spikes when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine. By guaranteeing reliability, we will reduce those spikes, putting downward pressure on prices.

The independent Energy Security Board estimates our National Energy Guarantee will result in lower residential bills of around $100-$115 per year, over a decade.

This is in stark contrast to Labor’s plan to replicate South Australia’s 50% renewable target, which will mean more subsidies and therefore higher prices.

This would add an estimated $200 per year to the average household electricity bill.

The Coalition Government is taking additional steps to deliver more reliable, affordable energy.

MORE GAS SUPPLIES

The Coalition Government is securing more gas for Australians, through the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism. That is, we are giving Australians priority access to gas before it is exported.

We have secured agreement from gas producers to cover projected shortfalls (of up to 107 petajoules) over the next two years.

New regulations will also improve gas transportation, which accounts for 15 per cent of the cost.

BETTER DEALS FOR CUSTOMERS

Companies will now be required to inform customers when their discount benefits cease.

Around two million families are receiving letters telling them they are not on the best plan.

Companies are now required to develop simple fact sheets with understandable comparisons.

Half a million families have now visited the Government’s Energy Made Easy switching website to get a better deal: www.energymadeeasy.gov.au

CUTTING NETWORK COSTS

We’re putting downward pressure on network costs, which are passed on to customers.

We’ve abolished the Limited Merits Review process, which allowed energy networks to appeal decisions of the Australian Energy Regulator. Previously, networks have used these appeals to add $6.5 billion to electricity bills.

BUILDING SNOWY 2.0

Snowy 2.0 will make renewable energy reliable by increasing storage capacity by 50%, adding 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity – enough to power 500,000 homes. Snowy 2.0 will also create 5,000 jobs.

RECORD INVESTMENT IN RENEWABLES

In 2016, there was a five-fold increase in investment in renewables.

According to Ernst and Young, Australia is one of the top 10 most attractive countries in the world in which to invest in renewables.

We are supporting the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) with over $1 billion of grants to invest in new renewable projects. For example, grants for 12 new large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects which will triple Australia’s large-scale solar capacity from 240 MW to 720 MW – enough to power 150,000 Australian homes.

With funding from ARENA, we have also launched a world first Virtual Power Plant with AGL, which will connect 1,000 batteries and households to operate as a five megawatt solar power plant.

The $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation will continue to operate as a “green bank” financing new technologies.

REDUCING EMISSIONS

Australia beat our first Kyoto target by 128 million tonnes of greenhouse gases. We are on track to beat our 2020 target by 224 million tonnes.

We have committed to an ambitious, responsible emissions reduction target of 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

We are supporting practical emissions reduction projects through the Emissions Reduction Fund like energy efficiency, capturing landfill gas and boosting soil carbon.

Through our practical approach, we have secured 189 million tonnes of emissions reductions at a low average cost of $11.83 per tonne. (This compares to Labor’s Carbon Tax, which reduced emissions by less than 12 million tonnes at a cost of $15.4 billion – around $1,300 per tonne).

Information current as at December 2017