Greens call for electricity bills price cap and regulation

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The Green Party has called on the government to introduce an electricity bills price cap and for the market to be regulated in view of skyrocketing energy prices.

The Green Party made the demand just before Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull meets Energy Chiefs in Canberra on Wednesday to demand that energy prices are driven down.

electricity bills price cap
Greens Energy Spokesman Adam Bandt

The government believes that the meeting offers a chance to pressure major retailers into making pricing plans more transparent and to guide consumers onto the best and cheapest path to avoid the steepest hikes.

But the Greens have gone one further, demanding that energy market is re-regulated in New South Wales, parts of Queensland, South Australia and Victoria by the end of 2017.

The Greens’ plan also involves giving the Commonwealth the power to order the Australian Energy Regulator to set prices.

Electricity bills price cap will help families and businesses

Adam Bandt, the Greens’ Energy spokesman said: “”The role of government is to act in the best interests of the people and it’s time to admit that competition has failed to deliver electricity that is cheap and clean.”

“Simply jawboning the retailers won’t help. States and territories where regulation of prices is still in place generally have lower prices.”

As things stand, energy prices have doubled in the last 10 years and in New South Wales, have jumped up by one fifth since the price hike announced at the beginning of July.

Electricity bills price cap should be coupled with market regulation

The Greens want energy price increases to be pegged to the pace of annual wage growth. The plan is not likely to sit well with the coalition, but it already has some support from Labor as NSW opposition leader Luke Foley made a similar call in June.

The Greens want each electricity retailer to offer a “default regulated standard offer” as a price ceiling. The benchmark would be based on average ACT prices.

“The Greens want to take the power back from big corporations that have been driving up prices so they can drive up profits,” Mr Bandt said.

Leading Edge will be following the developments in Canberra and will bring you updates as they come in.

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