Xenophon announces co-op energy retailer plans for SA

A plan to introduce a not-for-profit electricity retailer to bring down power prices has been announced by SA-BEST leader Nick Xenophon.

Households with annual incomes of $75,000 and small businesses with power bills under $20,000 will have access to cheaper power supplied by a not-for-profit community-based electricity retailer, which will be established under SA-BEST’s energy policy.

The Senator-turned-candidate for SA Premier is proposing to use the internationally proven co-operative business model to lower SA power prices by 20 per cent.

“If the government can’t get prices down by 20 per cent in the next two years, or can’t keep the lights on, then the lights will go out in the Premier’s office,” Mr Xenophon said.

“Energy needs to be an absolute focus and priority for the next Government of South Australia. SA-BEST will guarantee that.”

To be named the Community Electricity Trust of SA (cETSA), the retailer would enter into a tender process for a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the development of a new 150MW dispatchable renewable energy power station in South Australia, to compete in the highly concentrated generation market.

According to SA BEST, up to 50,000 lower-income households and up to 5000 small businesses would be part of the co-op, and power prices for those members would come down by 20 per cent.

The South Australian state election will take place on March 17.