Victoria announces return of State Electricity Commission

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Victoria’s State Electricity Commission (SEC) is officially back and set to lead Victoria’s renewable energy transition with a focus on supply, homes and people.

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan launched the State Electricity Commission’s Strategic Plan 2023-2035, which sets out three clear priorities for the next 10 years: Investing to accelerate the energy transition, supporting the switch to all-electric households, and building a renewable energy workforce.

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The State Electricity Commission will invest an initial $1 billion towards building 4.5GW of new power through renewable energy and storage projects—enough to power around 1.5 million homes.

The plan includes funding for domestic electrification of heating, hot water and other appliances, as well as support for developing long-duration storage projects.

It will also fund electrification pilots in 2024, an education drive to help industry and households understand the benefits of electrification and establishing a trusted ‘one-stop shop’ to step people through the switch.

Under the new scheme, Victorian manufacturers, schools, and hospitals will be able to buy energy directly from the State Electricity Commission, which will sell both retail and wholesale electricity.

Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton said while governments can play a critical role in markets as regulators and as participants, they needed to ensure that they strike the right balance.

“The industry has capital that is ready to be deployed, and we welcome the government’s acknowledgement of the importance of partnerships and leveraging enormous private sector investment,” he said.

Thornton also said that support for long-duration storage projects was an area where governments in particular, could play a key role in future.

“It is vital that when governments make market interventions, that all consequences are taken into consideration. “What unites this industry is that we want to see sustainable investment from governments across Australia in a way that supports our long-duration success in reaching our renewable energy targets and delivering low-cost, clean energy for homes and businesses.”

Rewiring Australia also strongly endorsed the strategy, which could save the average detached house $2,740 on its annual power bill by going electric.

“Research shows that electrifying households with commercially available technologies is the fastest and cheapest way to decarbonise the economy,” Rewiring Australia executive director Dan Cass said.

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“We strongly endorse the SEC’s commitment to electrification, starting with pilots which provide proof of concept and help the community understand the benefits.

“The Victoria Government is already a world leader in supporting electrification and providing trusted information to consumers. The SEC will help make the transition process even easier.”

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