Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen’s annual climate change statement to Parliament today has highlighted climate change as a potential national and regional security risk and source of strain for national crisis coordination.
The Climate Change Authority’s Annual Progress Report, also released today, found Australia’s emissions have risen by 4 million tonnes to 467 million tonnes in the year ending June 2023.
The Authority’s CEO noted, “... Australia is not yet on track to meet its 2030 targets”.
Solar Citizens calls on the Federal Government to deliver lower power energy prices, reduce emissions and increase energy security through greater support for solar energy and investment in locally made solar panels and battery storage.
Heidi Lee Douglas, CEO of Solar Citizens said, “Electrification and rooftop solar are critical for saving households thousands of dollars while making cuts to emissions and strengthening our energy security.
“Reduced emissions and reduced energy bills go hand-in-hand, with more than 2 million Australian homes now powered by rooftop solar.
“Households save about $1200 a year with rooftop solar and those savings last for the lifetime of the solar system which might be 10 to 20 years. The next stage of the rooftop solar boom will be powered and enabled by home batteries and electric vehicles.
“Every Australian deserves access to cheap, clean energy from solar.
“We need greater government support to assist people currently locked out of the benefits of solar including renters, people living in apartments, social housing residents and people with low incomes and limited savings
“Australia also can’t afford to delay introducing Fuel Efficiency Standards to drive more affordable electric vehicles powered by renewable energy. The more delay on a national fuel standard, the more people will keep paying for petrol at the pump and the more exposure Australia has to volatile global petrol prices.
Minister Bowen told the Smart Energy Conference this year, Australia has installed 60 million solar panels on Aussie roofs in 10 years, and now needs to put another 60 million on in the next seven years - with storage.
“Solar PV technology is an Australian innovation, but our reliance on imported panels has been highlighted by Minister Bowen as a national risk. After giving away our natural advantage, local manufacturers need assistance to develop the scale needed to compete with imports. Australians want Australian-made options in the market, and our energy security demands it,” Ms Douglas said.
Heidi Lee Douglas is available for interview
Media contact: Jane Garcia 0455 111 593
Solar Citizens welcomes energy ministers taking step forward for consumer solar energy policy and regulation in Australia
Solar Citizens welcomes the communique from the Energy and Climate Change Ministerial Council (ECCMC) meeting on Friday as a significant step forward on consumer solar energy policy and regulation.
Solar Citizens CEO Heidi Lee Douglas said, “This communique recognises and builds on the long-standing push by the community and organisations such as Solar Citizens for more renewables and greater government action to fast-track the transition to cheaper and cleaner energy that can benefit all Australians.
“One of the best and quickest ways Australia can scale up renewable energy and storage is small-scale solar energy production on rooftops, combined with local battery solutions.
“Millions of Australian households and businesses have already invested $25 billion in renewable energy over the past decade and the next decade will be critical to continue reducing the cost of living for households with rooftop solar, batteries and electric vehicles, generate more clean energy and reduce the nation’s emissions.
“Unlocking household and community energy resources and addressing the cost of living is a key focus of the action agreed upon by Federal, state and territory energy ministers.
“We look forward to the development of the National Consumer Energy Resources Roadmap which must deliver on the behind-the-meter storage required to drive further uptake of rooftop solar.
“Though we are yet to see the details, the announcement for Minimum Operating Standards for Government-Funded Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Infrastructure could unlock significant cost of living benefits of electric vehicles for all Australians. Combined with a mandatory Fuel Efficiency Standard, these measures could enable Australians to save $11.2 billion in fuel costs savings over five years.
“We are relieved to see action on the co-ordination of Consumer Energy Resources in the energy market, especially around technical standards. To lower household power bills, we need smarter technical policy and regulation to coordinate solar and batteries.
The energy market rules were written in the interests of large industrial players, which made sense when electricity was primarily produced by large coal plants. The energy regulators urgently need to rewrite the rules to benefit households and businesses, and not just big industry”.
“We know rooftop solar delivers bill savings, now we need support so everyone can share equally in its benefits including low-income households and people in apartments, rental properties or living in social housing.
“Solar Citizens looks forward to seeing these plans being further developed and actioned by governments and reports on progress at the next ECMC meeting in early 2024,” she said.
Media contact: Jane Garcia 0455 111 593
Solar Citizens is an advocacy group focused on the cost of living benefits consumers can harness from renewable energy and clean transport.
Joint Statement: Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen turbocharges Australia’s move to 82% renewables
Leading clean energy and investor groups today applauded Federal Climate and Energy Minister Chris Bowen’s expansion of the Capacity Investment Scheme to 32GW, a huge stepchange in ambition.
The Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS) is a federal initiative designed to underpin the deployment of dispatchable renewable energy and storage capacity across Australia, offsetting any reliability gaps as the country transitions from fossil-fuel based to clean energy and coal exits the system. It is a central enabler of the federal renewable energy target of 82% by 2030. The CIS explicitly excludes methane gas peaking power plants.
The federal government will fund the entire investment of this ambitious new scheme. The states will be required to pledge to accelerate deployment of firmed zero-emissions energy in order to access the expanded scheme, thereby unlocking tens of billions of investment into clean energy. Those states that do not commit will miss out, with the excess capacity reallocated to those states that join in.
9GW of the 32GW planned tenders announced today will be dispatchable capacity (sources which can be turned on and off to meet demand) and an excellent value-for-money ‘contracts for difference' scheme [see Note to editors below] based on six-monthly tenders over the next 4 years will underwrite 23GW of variable renewable energy, i.e. wind and solar.
For context of the significance and scale of this initiative, the National Electricity Market (NEM) currently has an installed capacity of 64GW (71GW including the 7GW in the West Australian South West Interconnected System).
SIMON CORBELL, CEO and chairperson of the Clean Energy Investor Group (CEIG), representing renewable energy investors with ~11GW of installed capacity across ~70 power stations and a portfolio value of ~$24bn, said:
“Clean energy investors strongly welcome this major policy initiative which will unlock significant new investment in new renewable energy generation and storage projects across Australia.
“CEIG has consistently argued for stronger policy to support contracted revenues for clean energy projects. Without stronger revenue predictability it has been difficult for many project owners to secure the debt and equity commitments needed to bring projects to financial close. It has also made it harder for large Australian superannuation funds to support investment in renewable energy at the scale needed for the energy transition.
“This new policy will help unlock a wave of new clean energy investment across the country.
“CEIG especially welcomes the measures to deliver regular auctions at 6 monthly intervals until 2027, this is the longer term certainty investors, and the energy grid needs, to achieve a timely transition.
“Improving planning and other regulatory assessment pathways is also vital for investors. To this end it is pleasing to see the leadership of the Commonwealth in making action by the states on these issues a condition of the new expanded Capacity Investment Scheme support.”
JOHN GRIMES, Chief Executive of the Smart Energy Council, the independent body for the Australian smart energy industry with more than 950 members, said:
“This is Australia’s biggest ever renewable energy announcement – a red letter day for renewables”.
“This is a massive win for Australia – cheaper power bills for all Australians and jobs and investment in regional communities right across the country.”
“Today’s announcement gives the industry the confidence to invest and build, confidence for workers and investors, for regional communities and confidence for all Australians that power bills will continue to go down.”
“The Smart Energy Council congratulates the Albanese Government on this impressive announcement and urges all governments to sign up to the funding agreements and to begin the renewables auctions as soon as possible.”
STEPHANIE BASHIR, CEO, Nexa Advisory, said:
“Today’s announcement by Minister Bowen shows leadership and determination to get Australia’s energy transition back on track.”
“Supercharging the CIS to 32 GW is a pragmatic and cost-effective solution for households, business and the government. It will incentivize renewable energy and firming capacity, and it will do so in a timely way.”
“Shoring up new renewables and storage will go a long way towards meeting our 2030 climate targets and, importantly, it ensures reliable and secure replacement generation is in place as ageing and unreliable coal power stations shut.”
“Supercharging the CIS minimizes negative impacts on consumers, which is the most equitable solution for all of us during this once-in-a-lifetime energy transition.”
“Extending the CIS gives investors the certainty they need to accelerate our energy transition, a clear on ramp to the sunset of the RET and few flow on effects to other investors, so it won’t distort the market.'
“Transitioning from coal power to renewables is not just a climate imperative. Much of the ageing coal power fleet is well past its use-by date and threatening to impact energy reliability, at a time when hotter summers are leading to increased demand for electricity. The announcement today will ensure we can secure replacement generation and the much needed storage to keep the lights on.”
TIM BUCKLEY, director of independent public interest think tank Climate Energy Finance, said:
“We applaud Minister Bowen’s game-changing boost to the Capacity investment Scheme. The announcement today is exactly the kind of bold, landmark federal policy and investment ambition we need to rapidly transform Australia’s energy market whilst ensuring grid reliability and energy affordability.
“Financial frameworks that catalyse, incentivise and support investment in firmed renewables are crucial enablers of energy transition, and the CIS is an excellent case in point. We have long argued that the federal government must roll out its CIS at speed and scale if we are to achieve their ambitious and now doable 82% renewables by 2030 target.
“This initiative will bring low cost, zero-emissions replacement capacity on line to enable the on-time closure of end-of-life high emissions, low reliability coal plants. It will help facilitate the mothballing of polluting coal clunkers such as Origin Energy’s Eraring power station in NSW, Australia’s biggest, scheduled for 2025, while enabling stand-by capacity to ensure supply.
“We now need to see complementary policy levers brought into play to support this momentum. While the CIS is centred on utility-scale firmed renewables, equally critical is a policy and investment focus to further accelerate deployment of ‘distributed energy resources’ (DER) such as rooftop solar, heat pumps, behind the meter storage in homes and businesses, community batteries, ‘batteries-on-wheels’ (EVs) and and virtual power plants (VPPs) – decentralised networks of power generation and storage.
“As a next step, we call on Minister Bowen to extend the life and increase the cap of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme – which creates a financial incentive for small businesses to install renewable energy systems – from 100kW to 1,000kW. This adjustment would immediately lift commercial and industrial deployments of DER, boosting system reliability and energy affordability for all.
“Key to a comprehensive transformation of the electricity sector is a comparable effort from the states. We call on the states to use this Friday’s Energy and Climate Change Ministerial Council in Perth to work in partnership with their federal counterpart to seize the transformative opportunity of this stepped-up CIS and massively accelerate their renewable energy buildout and grid decarbonisation goals.
“An excellent example is the joint announcement yesterday by Minister Bowen and NSW Energy Minister Penny Sharpe of successful bids under the existing CIS, totalling 1,075MW of new capacity in NSW, and $1.8bn in new energy infrastructure.
“We anticipate today’s announcement by Minister Bowen of the expansion of the CIS will see a pipeline of new projects several orders of magnitude larger, further accelerating the transition to affordable, reliable energy.”
Tim’s full statement, already released to media, is here.
HEIDI LEE DOUGLAS, National Director of Solar Citizens, said:
“This announcement of increased large-scale battery storage is a major win for Australians’ cost of living. Large-scale batteries will harness cheap, clean solar and wind energy generated during the day and enable residents and businesses to use that cheaper energy at night.
This announcement creates potential for local manufacturing of renewable energy infrastructure to be part of the systematic, orderly replacement of aging coal-fired power generation. Manufacturing jobs, installation jobs, and cheaper bills - that’s a big win for our communities.
There is still a need for rapid rollout of household battery storage, and we now want the government to turn its mind to a household battery rebate scheme. This would complement the Capacity Investment Scheme, create greater energy security, and further drive down energy bills for households.”
Eyes are on the Energy and Climate Change Ministerial Council (ECCMC) meeting this Friday in Perth, where consumer advocacy group Solar Citizens hopes to see the start of much-needed consumer solar energy policy and regulation reform.
“If we are to maximise solar value and continue to lower household power bills, we need Australia’s governments to act on smarter technical policy and regulation” said Solar Citizens National Director Heidi Lee Douglas.
“The energy market rules were written in the interests of large industrial players, which made sense when electricity was primarily produced by large coal plants. But we are partway through a transition that will see cheaper and cleaner renewables take over energy production, with rooftop solar as the largest combined source of renewable energy.
“Millions of Australian households and businesses have invested $25 billion in renewable energy over the past decade. They have collectively installed enough rooftop solar to power more than 3 million homes. The energy regulators urgently need to rewrite the rules to benefit households and businesses, and not just big industry”.
12 September 2023: The rooftop solar potential of social housing in NSW could reach up to 650 Megawatts (MW), according to new research commissioned by Solar Citizens, showing the untapped potential of rooftop solar capacity of social housing in NSW.
The modelling produced by the Australian PV Institute and the University of New South Wales shows that rooftop solar for social housing would provide energy bill relief for some of the state's most vulnerable energy users, with an average saving of $860 per year per household, whilst securing the state’s electricity supply.
“This is the low-hanging fruit – the Government can decide to roll-out solar for social housing from tomorrow as they own much of the stock themselves, and have willing partners in the not-for-profit community housing sector,” National Director of Solar Citizens, Heidi Lee Douglas, said.
The NSW government recently released its long awaited energy review which highlighted the need for more clean and cheap renewable energy for NSW in the face of coal-fired power stations such as Eraring coming to the end of their economic life. The review highlighted the role rooftop solar has to play in unlocking affordable energy, as it can be rolled out rapidly and the cost benefits go directly to households, rather than big businesses.
The modelling has been backed by community housing organisation BaptistCare NSW & ACT and Sydney independent MP Alex Greenwich.
“Rolling out solar on social housing would save low-income households and average $860 per year, whilst contributing cheap clean energy back to the grid, and providing additional grid security benefits if backed by batteries networked through a Virtual Power Plant,” Douglas said.
“The Government should be maintaining its own assets and taking responsibility for the thermal comfort and the cost-of-living faced by their tenants. Low-income households would be saving around $860 each year”
“This is yet more evidence that household solar and batteries will provide clean, cheap energy and provide the energy security needed to close old, dirty coal plants like Eraring, saving the NSW government hundreds of millions of dollars each year.”
In April, the Federal Government offered states and territories $300 million nationally for energy upgrades to social housing (including residential solar and batteries) if they co-contribute, both Queensland and the Victorian Governments have committed to making co-contributions to tap into the fund. Several organisations across housing and climate will be looking to the NSW Government to make an announcement at the state budget on Tuesday 19 September.
- A social housing rooftop solar roll-out could generate 769 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity annually, constituting roughly 1.1% of the total annual generation within the National Electricity Market.
- A social housing rooftop solar roll-out could offset approximately 10.6 Megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over its 20-year operational life.
- Rooftop solar for social housing would provide energy bill relief for some of the state's most vulnerable energy users. Average savings of $860 per year per household.
- A program to meet the solar potential of social housing in NSW would create 619 job opportunities for a period of 5 years.
- Around 150,000 households would save an average of $860 each year.
- An initial investment of $532 million would be matched by bill savings within 4.2 years, with average payback periods for individual systems of less than four years for separate houses, 3.5 years for semi-detached houses, and 5.5 years for apartments. Solar installations would continue to generate clean, cheap energy beyond the payback period, for the estimated 20 year lifespan of the asset.
- Mount Druitt, Liverpool, Fairfield, Campbeltown and Granville are the five State Electoral Divisions with the highest solar potential for social housing in NSW. Realising the solar potential of social housing would have particular impacts in areas of Western Sydney that are also affected by trapped heat and thermal discomfort.
Robyn Evans, BaptistCare Community Services & Housing General Manager, said:
"As a community housing provider, BaptistCare NSW & ACT sees firsthand that families and individuals living in social and affordable housing are amongst the most vulnerable in our community to the impacts of climate change and the rising cost of living.
Solar deployment for tenants in BaptistCare’s 709 households across NSW could reduce electricity bills, enhance climate resilience, and support a just shift to net zero.
With limited funding or access to household energy upgrade mechanisms, BaptistCare can’t push forward with installing solar on any of our existing 14 housing sites. We encourage the NSW Government to move promptly and commit to contributing to the Federal Government’s energy upgrades program to ensure community housing providers are not locked out of these essential upgrades.
Social and affordable housing tenants rely on community housing providers who manage more than 54,000 social and affordable housing properties in NSW to give them access to solar and renewable energy to reduce electricity bills.
The longer we wait, the more expensive this will become. Retrofitting suitable properties now rather than in many years' time is cost-effective for Governments and will see immediate results, including saving our tenants up to $860 annually.”
Sydney independent MP Alex Greenwich, said:
"This report shows we can future proof the energy efficiency of social housing, reduce power bills and create jobs. This is a win win."
Jemimah Taylor, 0478 924 425 or [email protected]
Joel Pringle, 0406 435 290 or [email protected]
In NSW, 274,766 people (3.4% of the population) live in 160,628 dwellings owned by social and community housing providers.
As of July 2023, 6,700 of these households had access to rooftop solar, largely through the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC)’s solar programme which has installed solar on 7% of LAHC’s dwellings.
The recently released Land and Housing Corporation Sustainability Strategy set the priority of increasing solar installations to 30% of housing stock, from the current 7%. This will require government investment to achieve.
The Commonwealth Government has required that States and Territories co-contribute to access $300 million nationally for energy upgrades to social housing (including residential solar and batteries) under the Household Energy Upgrades Fund. So far the Queensland and Victorian Governments have committed to making co-contributions. The NSW Government has not made a public statement.
The lights will stay on report by Climate Energy Finance highlighted an accelerated roll-out of rooftop solar and battery storage - including for social housing, as part of the alternative to paying between $200-400 million per year to keep the coal-fired Eraring Power Plant open beyond its economic life.
22 August 2023: Heidi Douglas, National Director of Solar Citizens, responds to the reports that the NSW Cabinet will be considering recommendations to extend the life of the Eraring Power Plant.
“The Minns Government is considering large taxpayer funded hand-outs to the coal-fired power industry, which will lock in higher energy prices for consumers. This is outrageous and short-sighted.
Energy experts are instead recommending clean, cheap household renewable energy like solar panels and batteries, as well as large scale renewable energy projects to bring down power prices in NSW.
“Industry analysts have estimated that extending the life of Eraring beyond its closure date will cost the Government between $200-400 million per year.
“The NSW Government is testing the waters for community backlash, because they know that a massive wealth transfer from NSW tax-payers to coal barons is controversial. The decision hasn’t been made, and it’s not too late to change course.
Right now the Federal Government is offering $1 billion for clean household energy upgrades and $300 million to the states for energy upgrades for social housing. The NSW government hasn't agreed to meeting the co-financing requirements and risks leaving this money on the table.
More than 1 in 4 NSW households are already benefiting from solar panels on their rooftops, cutting their energy bills and slashing emissions. And we can quickly roll out more solar by adding batteries. Industry experts have recommended this as the fastest way to meet NSW’s energy needs in the short term whilst large scale renewable projects are brought online.
“We are urging the Premier Chris Minns to find his way back along the path towards lower emissions and cheaper energy bills by investing in accelerated roll-out of both large and small scale renewables.”
Media Contact: Heidi Lee Douglas, National Director 0401 092 570
1st August 2023: Queenslanders win with new Climate Smart Energy Savers Program
A new $22 million Climate Smart Energy Savers Program from the Queensland Government has been welcomed by the Power Together coalition of community, environment and faith groups.
The new program offers rebates of up to $1,000 to buy and install eligible energy-efficient appliances with a four-star rating. The rebates are on offer for solar and heat pump hot water systems, air conditioners, washing machines, dishwashers, dryers and refrigerators. Importantly, higher rebates are on offer for low income households.
Support for all Queenslanders to access efficient electric appliances, particularly to replace expensive gas appliances, is a key campaign ask of the Power Together coalition which includes the Queensland Conservation Council, Queensland Council of Social Services, Queensland Community Alliance and Solar Citizens.
Solar Citizens National Director Heidi Lee Douglas said:
“Solar Citizens commends the Queensland government’s new ‘Climate Smart Energy Savers Program’ to help reduce cost of living for Queenslanders. Rebates for more efficient home appliances will help reduce energy consumption and bills, especially when powered with Queensland’s abundant solar energy.
“Solar Citizens is calling on the state and federal governments to work together ongoing to remove barriers to solar for renters, social housing, apartments, and strata – unlocking more rooftops to generate more cheap, clean energy for all. Affordable clean energy for all must be top of the priority list for the next joint state and federal Energy and Climate Ministers meeting in November.”
QCC Senior Campaigner Stephanie Gray said:
“This is a very welcome announcement by the Queensland Government.
“Increasing the energy efficiency of Queensland homes is a simple way to slash power bills, bring down emissions and reduce stress on the grid at peak times.”
“We know from Climate Council research that Queenslanders could save more than $800 per year just from swapping out gas hot water for a solar hot water system.
“With rebates soon to be on offer of $800-$1000 for solar and heat pump hot water systems, this could be a no-brainer decision for many households.
“We’d like to see this program coupled with a well-resourced communication and community engagement campaign so that Queenslanders know to cash in on the opportunity for lower bills and healthier homes.”
Queensland Council of Social Service CEO Aimee McVeigh welcomed the difference the latest rebates would make for Queenslanders, especially those on low incomes.
“Across Queensland, people are really struggling with the cost of living, and energy costs are a major pressure on household budgets,” McVeigh said.
“Government has a role to play in making sure Queenslanders on low incomes have energy bill relief and a smart way to do this is assistance with the purchase of energy efficient appliances.
“Combined with the increased electricity rebates for seniors and concession card holders, the Palaszczuk’s Government’s latest cost of living package, which helps with the purchase of energy efficient appliances, will bring welcome relief to low-income households across the state.
“We thank Minister Mick de Brenni and the Queensland Government for its continued focus on cost of living, and we look forward to seeing more details around the program.”
Queensland Community Alliance Lead Organiser Devett Kennedy said:
“This announcement comes from hundreds of people sharing their own cost-of living stories and taking action through the Power Together coalition in community centres, churches, mosques, multicultural groups and unions.
“The people this affects are grappling with it every day. It is great to see the Queensland Government listening and acting on this issue.
“The members of Queensland Community Alliance are united in tackling the cost of living and climate crises together. This announcement is a key step in Queensland doing that.”
More information about the Power Together coalition can be found on our website: powertogether.org.au.
Queensland Conservation Council: Stephanie Gray, 0425 543 006
QCOSS: Tanya Chilcott, 0404 889 010
Solar Citizens: Heidi Douglas, 0401 092 570
QCA: Devett Kennedy, 0467 563 796
1 August 2023: Minns Out of Step on Gas: Needs to Reconsider
“In the middle of a cost of living crisis, Premier Chris Minns needs to reconsider refusing to phase out gas in new home builds. The Victorian government estimates phasing gas out of new builds will save households between $1000 and $2200 (with solar installed) off annual energy bills.
Replacing fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy is better for our hip pockets, health, and climate. Gas and coal prices are much higher than renewable energy. We have cheap power during the day when solar outbids coal and gas. We urgently need a federal government rebate on home batteries, as there is on solar, to replace expensive gas and coal with cheap, clean energy at night.
And we need state and federal governments to work together to remove barriers to solar for renters, social housing, apartments, and strata - unlocking more roofs to generate more cheap, clean energy for all.
We applaud the Victorian government’s commitment to phasing out gas in new home developments, as we know it is better for people’s hip pockets and health. Gas cooking in homes is known to contribute to children’s asthma. And under the Paris Agreement, we must be fossil fuel free by 2050. So any home built now with gas will have to have it ripped out in the next few decades. That’s a waste of money.
Instead of backing himself into a corner with gas, Premier Minns needs to support more clean, cheap renewable energy that future-proofs generations of New South Wales residents to save on energy bills and is better for health and climate.”
For further comment contact
National Director Heidi Lee Douglas
0401 092 570
5 July 2023: Solar slashes power bills but more government support required
Solar Citizens National Director Heidi Lee Douglas is responding to Energy and Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen's calls for families to cut power bills with rooftop solar:
Rooftop solar can cut household power bills while energy costs are surging, but Energy Minister Chris Bowen needs to provide far more support and subsidies to lower upfront costs and increase access so everyone can benefit from these savings, including low-income households and renters.
With all state, territory and federal Energy Ministers meeting later this week at the Climate and Energy Ministerial Council, the first thing on the agenda should be nationally consistent policies to install rooftop solar on social housing, expand subsidies for low-income households and increase incentives for solar on private rental properties.
$1.3 billion was allocated in the Federal Budget for household energy support. This funding should be immediately rolled out to support families struggling with bills right now.
Households save around $1200 a year with rooftop solar and those savings last for the lifetime of the solar system which might be 10 to 20 years. State and Federal Governments are spending billions on one-off power bill subsidies that are providing essential support right now, but similar investments in rooftop solar would provide savings now and protect families from future increases in electricity prices.
Media Contact: Heidi Lee Douglas, National Director 0401 092 570
A Positive First Step in the Budget, But QLD Government Must Do More on Renewables and Energy Efficiency: Power Together
13 June 2023: A Positive First Step in the Budget, But QLD Government Must Do More on Renewables and Energy Efficiency: Power Together
The Queensland Budget delivered today has recognised energy bill relief for Queenslanders as key for addressing cost of living pressure and climate action with new funding announcements for renewables and energy efficiency, according to the Power Together coalition.
The Queensland Budget includes:
- A new $550 energy rebate for all Queensland households and a higher $700 rebate for about 600,000 vulnerable households;
- A record $19 billion over 4 years to support new wind, solar, storage and transmission;
- $60 million for a household energy initiatives program; and
- $10 million for Vulnerable Households Energy Advice Initiatives.
Dave Copeman, Director at Queensland Conservation Council said, “We welcome the state government’s record investment in renewables and energy efficiency, easing cost of living pressures for households across Queensland.
“Now we need to make sure that this investment is rolled out in a way that benefits Queenslanders as soon as possible.
“To build the renewable energy identified in the Budget in the time frame we need, the Government has to accelerate their planning reforms, and transform their community and Traditional Owner engagement to make sure that local communities are designing their own energy future and protecting their nature and cultural heritage.”
“The rebates are significant assistance for Queensland households, families and communities. Now we need to make sure that renters and social housing tenants also get the full benefit of cheaper, cleaner renewable energy and energy efficiency.
“We have the plan for more affordable, cleaner energy and electricity bill relief, and this budget is a significant step towards implementing it.
Heidi Lee Douglas, National Director of Solar Citizens said, “There’s a bright future ahead for Queensland’s economy and communities if the Sunshine State uses cheaper, cleaner energy to power our homes, businesses and economy.
“Rooftop solar provides households with ongoing power savings and reduces the cost of living while energy prices surge. Every Queensland household should have the support it needs to run on cheap, clean solar power instead of burning expensive, polluting fossil fuels.
“The simple truth of the matter is power generated from burning coal is much more expensive than power generated from the sun through solar. Solar is the cheapest source of energy. Currently the Queenslanders who need it most - those living in rentals, and in social housing - are locked out of savings from solar.
“Investment in solar for rentals and social housing completely missed in the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan. We welcome the $70m Household Energy Initiatives and advice package and urge the Queensland Government to commit further funds to enable access to cheap, clean solar energy for all Queenslanders - and get off coal power sooner rather than later.
“Investment in solar for rentals and social housing creates immediate energy bill savings for householders while we wait for the investment in large scale infrastructure and transmission to come online.”
Aimee McVeigh, QCOSS CEO said, “We welcome the government’s record investment in renewable energy, and the $1.5 billion energy bill relief package, which will make a big difference to household budgets.
“Some Queenslanders on income support will not have to pay anything for their energy bill over the next 12 months, as a result of this cost of living package. This will benefit many Queenslanders who have been choosing to not turn on their lights or heat their homes to save money.
“The Government’s long-term investment in the generation and storage of renewable energy will bring down power prices into the future.”
Dave Copeman, Heidi Lee Douglas and Aimee McVeigh are available for interview.
Powering Our Future: An action plan for Queensland’s cost of living and climate crises is available here: https://powertogether.org.au/
Media contact: Bron Matherson 0438 844 765