Media - Solar Citizens

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Australians Yet to See Clean Transport Cost of Living Savings in Federal Budget

11 May 2023: Australians Yet to See Clean Transport Cost of Living Savings in Federal Budget

Solar Citizens today responds to the significant lack of focus on clean transport spending within Tuesday’s Federal Budget. Solar Citizens National Director Heidi Lee Douglas said that although the organisation warmly welcomed investment in clean energy in Tuesday night’s budget, she hopes that the government soon starts to deliver on the significant opportunity for cost-of-living savings from clean transport.

“Rising fuel prices due to Russia’s war in Ukraine have left Australians dealing with record high fuel prices at the petrol pump. High fuel prices are especially bad for regional Australians, who on average drive further, have older, more inefficient cars, and pay more at the petrol pump than people in cities. This means a higher portion of regional Australians’ income is being guzzled up and sent offshore to foreign oil barons,” said Douglas.

“In addition to its commitments to a Fuel Efficiency Standard and charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, this Government should now focus on ways to secure smart, effective cost-of-living savings for Australians from clean transport. 

“We can essentially eliminate household fuel bills if we marry electric vehicles with the rollout of more home solar, enabled by the low‑interest loans for energy‑saving home upgrades in this Federal Budget. This would be a massive saving for Australians’ hip pockets amid ever-rising household costs.

“In addition to what’s already included in the program, the Federal Government should extend the low‑interest loans for energy‑saving home upgrades to e-bikes. Households could see huge savings by swapping out their second car for an e-bike, and also reduce congestion on our roads and carbon emissions.”

Earlier this month, it was announced that Transport Minister Catherine King would conduct a 90-day review into infrastructure projects, to assess which projects are the highest priorities for Australia’s national interest.

“We welcome Minister King’s 90-day review into infrastructure projects, and urge her to address ways that sensible, long-sighted transport decisions can help reduce cost-of-living,” said Douglas. 

“We urge the Government to prioritise walking, cycling, and public transport infrastructure when assessing projects during this review – putting people and the planet first. 

“Building and widening urban freeways encourages more driving, causes congestion and carbon emissions, and is an expensive option for households while petrol prices skyrocket. Instead, building more walking, cycling and public transport infrastructure gives people a low-cost, low-carbon and healthy alternative to driving, while also reducing congestion”

“Solar Citizens supports the Climate Council’s call for 50% of the transport budget to be spent on public transport and 20% to be spent on walking and cycling, but any shift in this direction would be very welcome.” 

Tuesday night’s budget commitments for clean transport include:

Reducing Transport Emissions

The Government will provide $20.9 million over 5 years from 2022–23 for initiatives to decarbonise the transport and infrastructure sectors and support achieving the net zero by 2050 target. Funding includes:

  • $7.8 million over 4 years from 2022–23 to develop a Transport and Infrastructure Net Zero Roadmap and Action Plan to support the decarbonisation of the transport and infrastructure sectors
  • $7.4 million over 4 years from 2023–24 to develop Fuel Efficiency Standards to encourage light vehicle manufacturers to increase the supply of fuel efficient and electric vehicles in the Australian market
  • $5.2 million over 4 years from 2023–24 to support Australia’s transition to electric vehicles through the development of a national charging infrastructure mapping tool, safety guidance and training for emergency service workers. Funding will also support the evaluation of requirements for retrofitting existing multi-residential buildings with electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and a large format battery recycling, reuse and stewardship initiative in Australia
  • $0.6 million in 2023–24 to develop a Maritime Emissions Reduction National Plan to facilitate the energy transition for the domestic maritime sector.

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ABOUT SOLAR CITIZENS: 

Solar Citizens is an independent, community-based organization working to protect and grow renewable energy and clean transport in Australia. Our website is https://www.solarcitizens.org.au/ 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Heidi Lee Douglas, National Director, Solar Citizens
m: 0401 092 570 | e: [email protected]

Federal Budget Response 2023

May 9 2023: Budget comment from Heidi Lee Douglas, National Director at Solar Citizens

Solar Citizens warmly welcomes the Federal Budget commitment to providing energy bill relief for millions of Australians who urgently need support, in particular long-term energy bill relief through low interest loans for solar and energy saving upgrades.

We also welcome the $300 million to help people in social housing benefit from energy performance upgrades. The best way to help people in social housing to lock in lower bills for good is through clean energy upgrades like efficiency and adding rooftop solar to social housing.

We call on state governments to match this funding dollar-for-dollar so everyone in social housing can save with both solar and other energy upgrades.

National polling released this week clearly shows the vast majority (79%) of Australians want Federal Government assistance for ongoing energy bill relief through access to cheaper, smarter and cleaner household solar. The Australian community also supports funding for installing solar on public and community housing as a priority (79%).

Electrification of households requires more cheap, clean, renewable energy, and just last week Energy Minister Chris Bowen stated we urgently need 60 million more household solar panels installed on Australian homes in the next seven years. To do this, we need solar on social housing and on rentals.

No Australian household should be left behind in the move to cheap clean solar energy. Solar Citizens calls for tailored government support to ensure the 30% of households who are renters do not miss out on the ongoing, year in year out energy bill relief that solar can provide.

All Australian households should be running on cheap, clean solar power instead of burning expensive, polluting fossil fuels. 

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Media contact: Jane Garcia (Essential) 0455 111 593

More Household Solar Should Be a Priority for Federal Budget: New National Poll

A new national poll has revealed the vast majority (79%) of Australians want Federal Government assistance for ongoing energy bill relief through access to cheaper, smarter and cleaner household solar.

The Glow poll commissioned by Solar Citizens found:

·   79% of Australians want the Federal Government to prioritise subsidies or grants for low-income households to install solar in the upcoming Federal Budget,

·  75% of people want funding for interest-free loans for homeowners to purchase rooftop solar included in the Federal Budget;

·  Community members also supported solar equity, with 79% indicating funding for installing solar on public and community housing should be a Budget priority;

·  86% of Australians say their energy bill gas increased a lot or a bit over the past 12 months; and

·  About half of people indicate they’re using air conditioning or heating less (50%), or cutting back on other energy use (49%).


Heidi Lee Douglas, National Director of Solar Citizens said, “Australian households are feeling the pinch with rising power bills and increasing cost of living including yet another interest rate rise.

“This poll shows the community wants support in the upcoming Federal Budget for more household solar to reduce energy bills, because we know that solar saves money. Having access to solar at home massively cuts your energy bills. It’s that straight forward. 

Rooftop solar can save up to an average of $750 per year on their electricity bill, for up to 20 years, but upfront costs and other barriers are preventing many households from accessing these savings.

“The Federal Government must support more households to afford solar and share in the benefits it brings. But we need to make sure no-one is left behind - especially those that need it most.”

“Besides general support for households to afford solar, such as targeted financial support and interest-free loans, federal funding for social housing would also help states roll out solar panels on social housing properties - which could cut the power bills of at least 249,000 struggling households.

“Faster roll-out of household solar will amplify the Government's household electrification agenda.  “Australians are looking to the Federal Government and this upcoming Budget for real action to address the cost of living crisis and soaring energy bills with significant investment in solar – for all of us,” she said.

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Heidi Lee Douglas is available for interview
Poll results
 available here.


Media contact: Jane Garcia (Essential) 0455 111 593

Coalition of Civil Society, Environment and Faith Groups Launch Eight-Point Climate and Cost of Living Plan

Queenslanders renters could save up to $3,200 per year with better access to clean technology.

A coalition of civil society, conservation and faith groups have today launched a new eight-point plan to address cost of living pressures on Queenslanders through investment in climate solutions.

The new Power Together coalition includes Queensland Conservation Council (QCC), Queensland Community Alliance (QCA), Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS), Solar Citizens, the Uniting Church in Australia Queensland and Anglican Church Southern Queensland (Social Responsibilities Committee), with support from research partners the Griffith University Climate Justice Observatory and the QUT Centre for Justice.

The new report, Powering Our Future: An Action Plan for Qld's Cost of Living and Climate Challenges includes an urgent call for the Queensland Government to further increase the $200 electricity bills rebate to vulnerable Queensland households while electricity costs remain high.

Additional immediate Government action must also include assistance for vulnerable social housing tenants slash their power bills with better access to renewable energy, the rollout of solar on at least an initial 10,000 private rental properties and financial support for households to access clean technology such as solar and storage or for energy efficiency.

A recent report by the Climate Council shows the average Brisbane household can reduce their power bill by up to $1,588 a year with improved energy efficiency and electrification [1].

Analysis undertaken by Power Together has revealed a third of Queenslanders who rent or live in social homes are missing out on up to $3,200 in savings per year because they don’t have equal access to clean technology, like rooftop solar, to slash their bills.

Dave Copeman, Director of Queensland Conservation Council said, “The Power Together coalition is launched today with a clear message for the Queensland Government – action on climate change is action on cost of living for Queenslanders.

“The number one topic on everyone’s mind is how to manage the cost of living crisis and a large part of that solution is literally shining down on us every day.

“If the Queensland Government is concerned about the cost of living, it must implement the 
Powering Our Future action plan and invest in climate action, including renewable energy and storage and energy efficiency.”


Aimee McVeigh, QCOSS CEO said, “The cost of living crisis is seeing Queenslanders going without food, medicine, air conditioning or heating, in order to save money wherever they can.

“Queensland needs to fast track its transition to renewable energy so that more Queenslanders can benefit from lower power prices, sooner.

“It’s vital that the transition to a low-carbon economy not just benefit the wealthy. The Queensland Government should support all Queensland homes to move away from gas appliances, become more energy efficient and power their home with cheap solar energy, as a guaranteed way to help families reduce their bills.”  

Stephanie Gray, Deputy Director at Solar Citizens
 said, “The clean technology we need to help everyone slash their power bills is here, and now it’s a matter of governments making it available, including for the third of Queenslanders who rent or live in social housing,” said Stephanie Gray, Deputy Director of Solar Citizens.

 “In other states governments are investing in solar and storage on social housing and public buildings, and offer financial incentives and no-interest loans for households to invest in solar, storage, and efficient electric appliances.

 “These schemes not only help participating consumers, they also incentivise more cheap solar energy and storage that work to relieve grid stress and bring down power bills for everyone.”

Dave Copeman and Stephanie Gray are available for interview.
Interviews with spokespeople from other Power Together organisations and case studies may be available on request.

Powering Our Future: An Action Plan for Qld's Cost of Living and Climate Challenges report [attached]

The eight-point plan for Queensland’s cost of living and climate crisis includes the following recommendations for the Queensland Government:

  • Commit to continuing and increasing the $175 electricity bills rebate to vulnerable Queensland households while electricity costs remain high.

  • Assist the most vulnerable social housing tenants slash their power bills by rolling out a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) on at least an initial 10,000 dwellings.

  • Facilitate the rollout of solar on at least an initial 10,000 private rental properties.

  • Provide targeted financial support, including interest-free loans and grants for those at extreme risk, for the rollout of household clean technology, such as small-scale solar and storage, energy efficiency upgrades and electric appliances to replace gas.

  • Bring online more publicly-owned renewable energy projects sooner to bring down power bills and improve reliability for Queenslanders. If a further 2,000 MW of publicly-owned solar and wind projects and 500 MW of utility-scale battery storage came online before 2025, it would bring down wholesale power prices and create up to 3,475 construction jobs.

  • Include an enforceable mechanism in the upcoming Renewable Energy Target legislation to ensure Queensland’s targets are met, and there’s ongoing accountability for the rollout of renewable energy and the replacement of fossil fuel generation.

  • Work with the Federal Government and other Australian states and territories to deliver an ambitious National Framework for Minimum Energy Efficiency Rental Requirements, and ensure mandatory minimum energy efficiency rental standards and mandatory disclosure are implemented as soon as possible in Queensland.

  • Invest directly into communities through a purpose built fund  to enable community based organisations to collaborate and organise within their communities, to build energy and climate resilience

Media Contact: Jane Garcia, 0455 111 593 or
Bron Matherson, 0438 844 765

Media Statement from Solar Citizens on Minister Chris Bowen's comment at Smart Energy Conference, Sydney today

Media Statement from Solar Citizens on Minister Chris Bowen's comment at Smart Energy Conference, Sydney today

Speaking at a panel session at the Smart Energy Conference in Sydney today, Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen confirmed the government's commitment to a capacity investment mechanism that provides stability and certainty for investment in large-scale storage, if it's both renewable and dispatchable storage.

The Minister provided further information at the conference, indicating there will be financial support for the capacity investment mechanism in next week's Federal Budget. He indicated the Federal Government will be working in co-operation with states to roll out gigawatts of power and millions of dollars of renewable energy investment.


Treasurer Jim Chalmers has previously stated there will also be an energy support package for household electrification and energy efficiency in the Budget.

Comment in response from Heidi Douglas, National Director of Solar Citizens, who is attending the conference:

"Solar Citizens welcomes the comments from Minister Chris Bowen today that the upcoming Federal Budget will support growing both large-scale renewable storage and household electrification. 

"Solar Citizens has joined with many environment groups and members of the community in calling for greater government investment in renewable storage and assistance for households to replace devices with more efficient electric versions, preferably also powered by renewables.

"Household electrification is not just a big win for the environment, it is a big win for reducing household costs and the cost of living pressure from rising electricity and gas bills.

"The action we need to fast-track the transition to renewable energy with storage can also be effective action on cost of living.


“Solar citizens calls on the Federal Government to include both a large scale and small scale storage in a renewable energy storage target or the Minister's own goal of 60 million more home solar systems in the next seven years with storage won't be met.”

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Media contact: Jane Garcia (Essential) 0455 111 593

 

Queensland to overtake other states as an electric vehicle leader

21st April 2023: Queensland to overtake other states as an electric vehicle leader

Solar Citizens today welcomes the Queensland Government’s increases to their electric vehicle (EV) rebate scheme, which has doubled the rebate from $3000 to $6000 and increased the threshold for eligible vehicles from $58,000 to $68,000. 

Solar Citizens Clean Transport Campaigner Ajaya Haikerwal says that Queensland is becoming a leader in clean transport. 

“This is the biggest commitment of any state government towards the affordability of EVs. In a cost of living crisis, where households are struggling with skyrocketing petrol bills, Queenslanders now have even more of an incentive to start saving big bucks with EVs,” said Haikerwal.

“We know that EVs are up to 95% cheaper to run than a petrol vehicle when charged with rooftop solar, which Queensland is already a leader in. What’s important here is the means testing – these subsidies won’t just line the pockets of the ultra-wealthy and will mean that a wide cross-section of the state can access cleaner, cheaper-to-run vehicles. 

The Federal Government’s National Electric Vehicle Strategy was announced earlier this week, including a commitment to introducing a Fuel Efficiency Standard, the one key mechanism to addressing EV supply.

“The Queensland Government’s announcement pairs really nicely with the Federal Government’s commitment earlier this week to implement a Fuel Efficiency Standard. We’re calling on the Federal Government to adopt a strong Standard that will mean Australians have access to a wider variety of clean vehicles,” said Haikerwal.

“The only way we can feasibly ramp up our supply is by securing a world-class, loophole-free Fuel Efficiency Standard, in line with New Zealand or the European Union.

“The auto industry thinks they can dupe the Australian public by going slow and pushing the Federal Government to adopt a poorly designed Fuel Efficiency Standard, riddled with loopholes and dodgy credits that exist in countries like the United States. But we’re at the back of the global queue for EVs and we’re certainly not going to catch up by going at a snail’s pace.”

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Media Contact: Ajaya Haikerwal 0400 723 324

National Electric Vehicle Strategy marks the start of Australia's electric vehicle revolution

19th April 2023: National Electric Vehicle Strategy marks the start of Australia's electric vehicle revolution

Solar Citizens today welcomes the release of the Federal Government’s National Electric Vehicle Strategy, recognising the important progress towards cleaning up Australia’s transport sector, in particular with the introduction of a Fuel Efficiency Standard by the end of the year. 

Clean Transport Campaigner Ajaya Haikerwal says that the Government has made an important step by putting a Fuel Efficiency Standard at the centre of the Strategy, but it's vital that the Standard implemented is ambitious to catch Australia up with the rest of the world.

“After over 500 submissions to the consultation process, the vast majority calling for a Fuel Efficiency Standard, it’s heartening that the Government has finally got the message that it needs to put the pedal to the metal. There’s clearly the willingness from both the community and the industry to fix Fuel Efficiency Standards and get it right as soon as possible, to bring more clean car choices for all Australians,” said Haikerwal. 

“Australia is already at the back of the global queue when it comes to access to electric vehicles (EVs) – we’ve become a dumping ground for crappy, inefficient vehicles that aren’t accepted in other countries. We need to join the same queue as the rest of the world, but there’s no point joining at the back, or we’ll simply end up in the same predicament we’ve been in for the past decade. 

“What we’ve needed for a long time is a world-class Standard that is at least as ambitious as Europe or New Zealand, without loopholes or dodgy super credits that create perverse climate outcomes, and that give all Australians a fair go and reduce spending on petrol. It’s an easy rule change with a minimal cost to the Government.”

Solar Citizens analysis has shown that if the Federal Government implemented a Fuel Efficiency Standard matching the European Union, Australians could save at least $11 billion in fuel cost savings over 5 years, including $4 billion for regional Australia. 

“Our ‘Recharging Australia’ report has demonstrated the cost of living relief that this policy will bring – a whopping $11 billion invested back into the Australian community, rather than leaving our shores forever and lining the pockets of foreign-owned oil companies,” said Haikerwal.

Solar Citizens' Electric Ute Roadshow is currently gathering the views of regional and rural Australians towards EVs by touring the first commercially available electric ute around regional Australia. 

“We keep hearing the same message over and over again from regional communities – give us the vehicles we want, at a fair price point and we’re ready to make the switch. 

“Our electric ute is the first of its kind, and it certainly won’t be the last. But we won’t have access to the variety of cars and utes that exist overseas—including ones that are suitable for regional Australia—if we don’t fix Fuel Efficiency Standards ASAP.”

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Media Contact: Ajaya Haikerwal, 0400 723 324

About Solar Citizens

Solar Citizens is an independent, community-based organisation working to protect and grow renewable energy and clean transport in Australia. Our website is https://www.solarcitizens.org.au/  

How Australian drivers can save $11 billion

28 March 2023: How Australian drivers can save $11 billion

Australian drivers can save a combined $11.2 billion over five years if the Federal Government brings in a Fuel Efficiency Standard that matches Europe, a new analysis from Solar Citizens has revealed.

Senator David Pocock is launching Solar Citizens’ ‘Recharging Australia’ analysis today at Parliament House, alongside the Solar Citizens ‘Electric Ute Roadshow’ Parliament house stopover, where the ute will be on display and take members of parliament for rides.

The ‘Recharging Australia’ analysis, based on Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, found:

  • A Fuel Efficiency Standard aligned with the European Union would save Australian motorists at least $11.2 billion over five years in reduced fuel costs 
  • Regional Australians would save a combined $4 billion over five years 
  • The number of electric vehicles in Australia would boom from nearly 40,000 in 2022 to more than 900,000 in the first five years of the Fuel Efficiency Standard.
  • Standards that are aligned with other trading partners could be considered too, with the United States representing the bare minimum, and New Zealand reflecting a similar ambition

Solar Citizens Clean Transport Campaigner Ajaya Haikerwal said the fuel savings would be welcome news for all Australians during the current cost of living crisis.

“With Australians facing high interest rates, high fuel prices and energy bills, saving at least $11.2 billion over five years and $52 billion over ten years would be welcome news for Australian families,” said Haikerwal.

“More than three million Australian homes and businesses now reap the rewards of cheap solar energy. The perfect way to slash petrol bills is to combine rooftop solar with electric vehicles – you can charge your car virtually for free.

"But we need to fix Fuel Efficiency Standards to unlock these savings for Australian motorists. We’re a long way behind the rest of the world, and car makers exploit this fact and send us their most polluting and least efficient cars. 

"Fixing Fuel Efficiency Standards would see car makers send us more efficient petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric vehicles – and Australians could choose vehicles that are cheaper to run and pollute less. 

"The $11 billion that Australian motorists can save on fuel in the next five years could instead create local jobs by being spent in local communities, as well as on paying off home loans. We need Standards that come into effect in the next 12 months and not waste time with dodgy super credit schemes.”

Senator David Pocock launched the ‘Recharging Australia’ report in Canberra this morning, saying it highlighted the opportunity for Australia and its motorists.

“It is a privilege to launch Solar Citizens’ Recharging Australia analysis, and to be a part of their Electric Ute Roadshow.

“Their analysis underlines the opportunity offered by the adoption of Fuel Efficiency Standards that are strong and have integrity.

“Australians want electric cars and electric utes in cities, in regional areas, and in rural and remote parts of the country. It’s on us as politicians to make sure that Australians have access to affordable vehicles that will save them money and help our climate.

“I congratulate Solar Citizens on the ‘Recharging Australia’ analysis, which shows just how important it is to push the government to move swiftly on this reform.”

Solar Citizens' regional Electric Ute Roadshow is touring the first commercially available electric ute, the LDV eT60, around regional Australia. 

“Our electric ute is the first of its kind, but we’re not going to have access to the variety of cars and utes that exist overseas, such as the Ford F150 Lightning—the type of car that regional Australians are screaming out for—if we don’t fix Fuel Efficiency Standards ASAP,” said Haikerwal.

Download the Recharging Australia report here 

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MEDIA ENQUIRIES: 

Les White, 0409 805 122, [email protected] 

 

ABOUT THE ELECTRIC UTE ROADSHOW:

The Electric Ute Roadshow aims to highlight how sensible transport policies like Fuel Efficiency Standards will give people the choice of more efficient, affordable and diverse vehicles that are suitable for the regions – including the much-loved Aussie tradition of utes.

See more at https://www.solarcitizens.org.au/roadshow 

Regional Queensland Solar Feed-in Tariff Set to Rise

16 March 2023: Regional Queensland Solar Feed-in Tariff Set to Rise 

The reward that solar customers in regional Queensland receive for feeding excess electricity into the grid is set to increase in the next financial year, despite trending downwards in the South East. 

The Queensland Competition Authority just released a draft determination suggesting that in the next financial year the feed-in tariff could rise from 9.300 c/kWh to 12.952 c/kWh for regional Queenslanders serviced by government-owned Ergon. 

In South East Queensland where private retailers set their own feed-in tariff, the average offered is trending downwards and sitting at around 5.7 c/kWh. 

“It’s welcome news that Queensland Competition Authority is again considering raising the feed in tariff for regional Queenslanders. Queensland’s solar owners are playing a critical role in bringing down wholesale electricity prices for everyone while slashing the State’s emissions,” said Stephanie Gray, Deputy Director of Solar Citizens.

“At the moment we’re seeing very high wholesale power prices due to high global coal and gas prices, and the only price relief we’re getting is during the day when the State’s 900,000-plus solar homes and businesses are generating cheap, local electricity.

“The higher power prices we’re seeing at the moment should mean that solar owners get more for the electricity they supply, but unfortunately that’s not what we’re seeing in areas like South East Queensland where retailers can offer customers whatever they like. In many cases it’s a pittance.

“Slashing feed-in tariffs is what many retailers are doing to recoup some of their profits. It can be really hard for solar customers to find a good deal.

“In this environment the last thing that we want to see is for the Queensland Government to allow solar export charging like we’re seeing being proposed right now in New South Wales. 

“In New South Wales network companies have proposals sitting with the Australian Energy Regulator to charge solar owners for putting cheap solar energy into the grid during the middle of the day. It’s an outrageous sun tax and we’re calling on the State Government to rule it out for Queensland.”

The Queensland Competition Authority’s Draft Determination is here. Consultation is set to run until 14 April 2023.

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Media contact: Stephanie Gray 0425 543 006

Key to Affordable Qld Energy Prices Being Overlooked

15 March 2023: Key to Affordable Qld Energy Prices Being Overlooked

Solar Citizens is this morning calling for fast-tracked investment in new Queensland renewable energy projects, following the release of the Australian Energy Regulator’s draft Default Market Offer. 

The new guideline for electricity prices shows that South East Queensland households are set to be slugged with increases of up to 20 per cent in the coming financial year. 

“Power bills are spiralling out of control and so far the Queensland Government has not delivered policies that are ambitious enough to match the scale of the problem,” said Stephanie Gray, Deputy Director at Solar Citizens. 

“A report we recently released with the Queensland Conservation Council found that Queensland’s solar and wind farms effectively brought down power bills by $100 per household last year, and the savings could have been up to $500 if the State Government brought forward the build of more renewable projects. 

“In the June state budget we’d like to see the Queensland Government bring forward their investment in new government-owned solar and wind projects to pave the way for long-term cheaper bills for Queenslanders.

“The Government’s new coal royalties scheme is smart policy and they can utilise that additional revenue to safeguard homes and businesses from further global fossil fuel price shocks.”

Solar Citizens is also calling for more government support for cost-cutting clean technology in the household, like rooftop solar and battery storage, particularly for renters and those living in social homes. 

“We know that rooftop solar provides the cheapest possible electricity to customers, but right now there are very limited state government incentives in place to help more households access affordable solar energy," said Ms Gray.

“In the ACT the State Government is offering no-interest loans to help households reduce their emissions and electricity prices at the same time by investing in solar, battery storage, energy efficiency upgrades and efficient electric appliances. 

“With global coal and gas prices likely to stay high for some time to come, it’s imperative that households be given access to the technology solutions that will provide long-term savings.

“This is a key moment to also provide targeted support to help the third of Australians who rent or live in social housing to access solar energy and energy efficiency upgrades.

“We can make our energy system fairer and bring down power bills for some of the most vulnerable in the community by providing solar for rental rebates and implementing minimum energy efficiency standards for existing rental properties.”

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Media contact: Stephanie Gray 042554006