SA invests $184m to lower power prices

Lightbulb with money symbol (Sumo Power)

South Australia has launched a $184 million “multi-pronged attack” to cut electricity prices in its 2018-19 State Budget.

The plan includes $100 million to establish a Home Battery Scheme to provide subsidies for homeowners to purchase batteries.

“Reducing electricity costs was a core promise of the Marshall Liberal team and the 2018-19 State Budget demonstrates the new government’s commitment to that pledge,” Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said.

“The Home Battery Scheme is a critical component of the state government’s plans to deliver cheaper electricity to South Australian households and small businesses.

“The Home Battery Scheme will subsidise the cost of buying a home energy storage system for up to 40,000 South Australian households.”

The budget will also see $50 million go towards grid-scale storage to aid the development of new storage technologies.

“Additional grid-scale storage will help stabilise South Australia’s electricity network which has been weakened during the last decade by a disorderly transition that has left our system weaker and more expensive,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.

The government has committed a further $30 million to demand management.

“Voluntary demand management delivers the twin virtues of lower electricity costs and lower emissions and greater reliability by taking pressure off the grid,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.

The state government has committed up to $14 million to accelerate early works on construction of the interconnector to New South Wales that will further reduce the price and improve the reliability of electricity in South Australia.

It will also provide $3.2 million to support the remediation of the environmental legacy left at Bird Lake by the closure of the Port Augusta power station, and $1.3 million across four years has been allocated to support the management of the former mine at Brukunga in the Adelaide Hills.