Affordable energy is essential for a healthy and comfortable life.
Since the privatisation of publicly-owned electricity services in 1999, South Australians’ power bills have dramatically increased. To make it worse, the federal Coalition Government has failed to develop any sensible energy policy and has allowed big fossil fuel companies to set extortionate gas prices that have forced up electricity bills for households and businesses. These massive price hikes are putting huge pressures on households, businesses and industry, especially in South Australia.
South Australia has always had higher power prices than other States, however the National Electricity Market is failing our State by allowing price gouging by energy companies, inadequate price regulation and unfair market rules.
It’s time for South Australians to take back the power. Solutions to bring down prices whilst maintaining energy security and reducing our emissions are readily available, but the Government needs to stand up to the big end of town and put people ahead of power company profits.
The community and energy experts know that our future is in renewables. Not only is it the best solution for the climate, but renewables are now the cheapest form of new generation. By eliminating expensive and dirty gas and coal, we can drive electricity prices down, whilst protecting the climate.
As the cost of energy storage technology also plummets, South Australia’s investment in battery, solar thermal and pumped hydro solutions means our State can be powered by 100% renewable energy. We can help power other states too and drive down their prices as well.
The Greens stand with the community for a clean energy future powered by 100% renewable energy. We will:
- Promote the adoption of new technologies that enable consumers to have more control over when and how they manage their electricity use, including:
- Encourage the uptake of “Smart Meters”, which enable time of day pricing. This will better reflect network costs for both imports and exports of electricity to the grid and help promote roof-top solar and batteries;
- Enable new “behind the meter” technology that allows individuals and communities to buy and sell power directly without having to go through established electricity retailers (“peer-to-peer trading”);
- Promote demand management and the efficient use of new products and services which can reduce wholesale and network costs;
- Require energy retailers to pay a fair price to solar panel owners which better reflects the benefits of renewable energy for individuals, communities and the grid. The Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA) should have stronger powers to regulate power companies to ensure fairer payments to panel owners;
- Establish a publicly-owned public interest, non-profit energy retailer which guarantees the lowest prices for low-income households;
- Expand the scope and amount of energy concessions to low-income household;
- Establish an Indigenous Communities Clean Power Program to ensure that all Aboriginal communities in South Australia have access to clean, affordable, local renewable electricity.
- Install solar panels and solar hot water on all suitable tenanted public housing properties;
- Ensure that all households (including renters and apartment dwellers) can access the benefits of Solar power through their landlords, strata corporations, or through innovative projects such as off-site community solar schemes;
- Regulate to prevent power companies from boosting Supply Charges and other unavoidable Fixed costs so that these remain a small proportion of the energy bill with most charges being related to actual electricity consumption;
- Reform National Electricity Market (NEM) Rules to prevent collusion and gaming by power companies seeking to maximise corporate profits;
- Ensure that NEM rules correctly value cheaper renewable energy sources such as wind and solar and remove hidden subsidies to incumbent fossil fuel generators;
- Promote additional renewable generation and storage in SA to reduce our reliance on fossil fuel power from other States.