“The ACT Government has been a leader in investing in renewable energy, making the significant and necessary transition away from polluting fossil fuels toward clean renewable energy. The ACT is proudly powered by 100% renewable electricity since 2020," said Shane Rattenbury, ACT Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction.
“For years, that has meant lower electricity prices for the ACT as we were the first to transition to 100% renewables and benefited from our contracted renewable electricity supply being cheaper than wholesale electricity prices.
“The cost of the ACT’s Feed-in tariff scheme has been well below forecast levels for several years, which has resulted in lower household electricity costs than would have otherwise occurred, returning savings through lower electricity bills.
“However, over the past year, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant drop in wholesale electricity prices, which will lead to an increase in the cost of the renewable energy scheme from around $42 million per year to $127 million this year.
“Because of our ‘contract for difference’ arrangement, where we guarantee the renewable energy generators a fixed price for the electricity they generate, this leads to an increase in the price of meeting our 100% target. When wholesale prices are higher than this amount, we save money, and when they are lower than this price, we pay the difference between the two, which is passed through in electricity bills.
“The Australian Energy Regulator will assess Evoenergy’s network electricity pricing proposal and will provide a final decision expected in May 2021.
“The exact impact on household bills will be known at that time, but the current estimate is that the cost for the typical household will increase from $1.94 per week to $5.65 per week, an increase of around $3.70 per week or $192 per year. This is still largely in line with the original projections of the total scheme cost, which was $5.50 per household per week.
“Based on analysis by the ACT’s Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission in 2020, the average annual electricity bill for customers in the ACT will remain comparable with other jurisdictions, even once this anticipated cost increase is taken into account.
“We will continue to work with Evoenergy to keep the cost of electricity as low as possible.
“The ACT Government has a range of measures in place to support ACT households and businesses with their electricity and water costs, with a particular focus on vulnerable consumers. We will continue to support ACT households to reduce energy use and manage energy costs.
“The Government provides a utilities concession of $700 per year to offset electricity, gas, water and sewerage charges, for people who hold a Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card, a Centrelink Low Income Health Care Card or a Veteran’s Affairs Pensioner Concession Card or Gold Card.
“The Government also works with ActewAGL to ensure support such as payment plans and extensions are available to those who need them. Further information is available on the ACT Government’s Assistance website.
“There a range of market offers available in the ACT and consumers can benefit by shopping around for a more competitive electricity price plan. In 2020, ACT’s Independent Competition Regulator found that Canberrans can save over $500 per year by switching to a lower priced energy plan. Customers can visit www.energymadeeasy.gov.au to compare offers and find a cheaper plan.
“I encourage everyone to have a look at those websites and get involved in those schemes that can help bring your energy costs down.”
- The Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme requires retailers to work with households and small-to-medium businesses to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy use. Since its introduction in 2013, the scheme has worked with around 74,000 households and business and achieved over $400 million in energy savings, with an average saving of $5.80 per week for participating households, or around $300 per year. Under the scheme, 30% of participating households must be priority low income households.
- The Actsmart Sustainable Home Advice Program offers free advice on how to improve energy efficiency and reduce bills. Households can access free advice from an energy expert, or book a free home energy assessment by calling 1300 23 68 55.
- The Actsmart Business Energy and Water Program provides rebates of up to $5,000 to eligible ACT businesses wanting to upgrade to more water-efficient and energy-efficient technologies, including with lighting, appliances, heating or cooling, refrigeration and insulation.
- The Actsmart Renters’ Home Energy Assessments program offers a free online assessment tool and free in-home energy assessments to help renters reduce energy costs and improve comfort in their home. To book, call 1300 23 68 55.
- As outlined in the Parliamentary and Governing Agreement, the ACT Government will soon introduce the Sustainable Households Scheme to provide $15,000 no interest loans to help Canberrans install energy-saving appliances, solar panels and batteries in their homes. The Government will also implement a $50 million Vulnerable Households Support Program to improve energy efficiency in public housing, low income households and the lowest performing rental properties.
- The Solar for Low Income Households Program provides eligible low income households with a 50% rebate on the total cost of installing a solar system. This provides long term savings on energy bills and makes a lasting difference to households.
Information on the above programs is available at www.actsmart.act.gov.au.