Fam­i­lies’ $520 bill for green en­ergy

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - KAREN COL­LIER

VIC­TO­RIA’S am­bi­tious new re­new­able en­ergy tar­gets will cost house­holds up to $520 each, based on gov­ern­ment es­ti­mates.

Con­sumers are likely to pay through an ex­tra charge on elec­tric­ity bills for up to 20 years, the Sun­day Her­ald Sun has learned.

En­ergy Min­is­ter Lily D’Am­bro­sio said the im­pact of the Vic­to­rian Re­new­able En­ergy Tar­get on house­holds would be “mod­est” at “no more than 50 cents per week over the life of the scheme”.

She re­fused to re­lease de­tailed mod­el­ling, cit­ing cur­rent Cabi­net con­fi­den­tial­ity.

Sun­day Her­ald Sun cal­cu­la­tions show a 50c-a-week im­post over two decades would slug house­holds a to­tal $520.

Based on cur­rent house­hold num­bers, that would amount to about $1.2 bil­lion.

The An­drews Gov­ern­ment wants 25 per cent of elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated in the state to come from re­new­able en­ergy by 2020, and 40 per cent by 2025.

The planned mas­sive change has trig­gered con­cerns among some in the power in­dus­try about po­ten­tial elec­tric­ity sup­ply re­li­a­bil­ity prob­lems and price volatil­ity.

An auc­tion scheme will be set up for com­pa­nies to bid for long-term con­tracts.

It is in­tended that costs will flow through to con­sumers from 2020. The pre­lim­i­nary view was that re­cov­er­ing costs through dis­tri­bu­tion charges was best.

Fed­eral En­ergy Min­is­ter Josh Fry­den­berg said the An­drews Gov­ern­ment’s “di­a­bol­i­cal” en­ergy poli­cies were hurt­ing fam­i­lies and busi­nesses.

Av­er­age Vic­to­rian house­hold elec­tric­ity cus­tomers al­ready pay $80 a year for ex­ist­ing fed­eral and state green schemes.

Un­der the lat­est Vic­to­rian re­new­able en­ergy tar­get, up to $9 bil­lion will be spent on build­ing wind and so­lar farms.

The gov­ern­ment claims re­new­able en­ergy gen­er­a­tors will re­coup most of that money by sell­ing power into the grid.

The Sun­day Her­ald Sun un­der­stands its con­fi­den­tial cost­ben­e­fit anal­y­sis also as­sumes re­new­able en­ergy will dampen whole­sale costs, re­duc­ing house­hold bills.

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