The need for policy certainty and a path forward on energy policy is at the core of a debate which despite political division needs to be implemented so as to provide certainty for the business sector.
The National Energy Guarantee remains largely similar to the proposal put forward last week but with improvements through the adaptation of some of the ACCC’s recommendations.
The key policy change is that the emissions target will not be legislated (either through an Act or regulation). Electricity reliability remains the core of the policy, with the states responsible for the reliability portion of the guarantee.
To ensure that electricity prices will decrease, the federal government will be adopting some of the ACCC’s recommendations, through three main measures:
- Providing a safety net to consumers. Consumers will be able to move from a standing offer to a default market offer. This will result in a savings for businesses of $561 - $1457.
- Using a ‘big stick’ to keep the large energy companies in line by stopping price gouging and shining a light on hidden practices.
- Backing investment in new electricity generation to encourage competition in the energy sector.
The government will also be providing funding to the ACCC for resources to put in place monitoring of electricity companies.
With politicians playing the ‘all or nothing card’, businesses are at risk of bearing the brunt of another failed energy policy proposal.
Businesses need price relief now, and with a clear articulation of how electricity prices will be reduced for consumers in today’s announcement, the NEG needs to be passed.