Freeze electricity bills and make greedy energy corporations pay for it: Greens


Freeze electricity bills and make greedy energy corporations pay for it: Greens

With electricity prices set to soar, the cost of living crisis deepening and support growing for a windfall tax on greedy energy corporations, the Greens have called on the government to freeze electricity bills at pre-crisis levels for 2 years, releasing a Parliamentary Budget Office costing showing the measure could be fully funded through a temporary windfall tax on coal and gas giants. 

The PBO-costed Greens plan would see retail electricity bills frozen for households for 2 years at the same rates as prior to the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, with any price difference covered by a windfall super-profits tax on coal, oil and gas corporations. 

The tax would not only cover the costs of freezing electricity bills, it would generate a massive additional $25b, which could cover additional costs should bills rise even higher than forecast or be used to give grants to households and businesses to get off expensive, dirty gas.

The median household across the country would save a forecast $776, with savings even higher in some jurisdictions. BP made $7bn in profits in the last 3 months and Woodside’s profits have increased five-fold.

Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP said:

The government must freeze electricity bills and make the greedy energy corporations pay for it.

“We’re in a crisis and instead of asking everyday people to pay more, Labor should freeze power bills and put a windfall tax on coal and gas corporations.

“Coal and gas corporations are driving up power bills and profiteering from people’s pain. 

“These greedy energy corporations are wartime profiteers, but instead of making them pay more tax, Labor’s budget has them paying $450m less gas tax.

“With these greedy power companies paying the difference on electricity bills, prices are frozen for households but won’t hold back investment in the clean energy generation we urgently need to get prices down.”

Victorian Greens Leader Samantha Ratnam MLC said

“Power is an essential service, but out-of-control price rises are forcing people to make difficult choices to stay within their budgets.

“People are shivering in cold homes while gas corporations collect unbelievable profits, because broken tax rules stack the game in their favour.

“The Greens plan will save Victorian households a total $762 over the next two years, paid for by the obscene profits of coal and gas companies.

“More Greens in parliament will hold Labor to account and put people and a safe climate ahead of corporate profiteering.”

Background Information on Electricity Bill Savings

Electricity prices are based on ACCC analysis of the National Electricity Market with forecast years based on Treasury expectations that electricity bills will increase by 20% in the next financial year and 30% in the financial year after that. 

The windfall tax is based on applying the Greens’ plan for a revised PRRT and a mining super-profits tax on coal exports for 2 years only. 

The table below sets out the Greens’ analysis of savings for the median household, based on Parliamentary Library analysis of average power bills and forecast costs. Parliamentary Library analysis available upon request.

Electricity Bills

  Mar-22  Mar-23 Mar-24 Total Impact
Victoria $1,360 $1,632 $2,122 $762
NSW $1,562 $1,874 $2,437 $875
SA $1,526 $1,831 $2,381 $855
Qld $1,012 $1,214 $1,579 $567
All $1,386 $1,663 $2,162 $776

Prices based on ACCC median annual prices inclusive of GST with the two future years based on Treasury forecasts

  1. Inquiry into the National Electricity Market - May 2022 report, Appendices, Appendix E
  2. 2022-23 Budget Paper 1 page 57