Energy groups call for urgent policy reform

The Australian Energy Council and Energy Networks Australia have called for urgent national reform to energy policy.

In a joint statement, the groups, who represent energy retailing, distribution, transmission and generation businesses, said Australia’s energy system needs urgent national reform to energy policy and regulation to deliver a reliable and affordable transformation.

“This transformation is already well advanced. It is occurring on multiple fronts: reduced greenhouse emissions, increased energy productivity, improved customer service and greater involvement in energy supply and use by customers,” the statement said.

“A critical measure of successful reform is that all energy investors – including consumers, new entrants, incumbent generation businesses and energy networks – will have sufficient certainty to ensure efficient investment without political risk.”

The statement said energy businesses are committed to supporting Australia’s international commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and support efficient, national, market-based measures for achieving carbon abatement, preferably an emissions intensity scheme for the electricity sector or an economy-wide price on carbon.

“Renewable energy sources will play an increasing role in a cleaner energy system and will require effective integration in the National Electricity Market,” the statement said.

“Without material changes to better integrate carbon and energy policy in national frameworks, Australian energy customers will pay more than necessary or face more supply risk in the transition to achieving a cleaner energy system.”

The AEC and ENA called on the Australian Governments, through the COAG Energy Council, to urgently commit to implement nationally consistent, enduring and market-based policy frameworks to achieve current and future carbon abatement targets.

The statement was released ahead of the Council of Australian Government’s meeting today.