Turnbull demands answers on power
PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has demanded a “please explain” from the bosses of the nation’s biggest power companies over price transparency and the country’s electricity price crisis.
In a letter to the eight major power companies, Mr Turnbull says Queenslanders could save $ 900 a year if they were more open on their pricing.
The move comes as he tries to turn the political dialogue away from the same- sex marriage debate dividing the Coalition and on to issues impacting voters’ hip- pockets.
The PM has called a special Liberal party room meeting on Monday at 4pm to head off the marriage debate before Parliament returns on Tuesday, while the Nationals are meeting in Rockhampton today.
Australian Energy Regulator figures show a 55 per cent spike in households in Queensland having their power disconnected in the three months to March, or 460 disconnections a week.
Mr Turnbull called bosses from Energy Australia, Origin Energy, AGL, Snowy Hydro, Momentum Energy, Alinta Energy, Simply Energy and Australian Energy Council to Canberra on Wednesday.
He criticised them for lack of transparency, before calling them to attend the sit- down with himself, Treasurer Scott Morrison and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg.
“I am particularly concerned by reports that consumers are being pushed from discounted market rates to higher prices standard contracts or non- discounted plans often without realising it,” he said.
At the start of the year, Mr Turnbull promised to make power prices more affordable.
In March, he announced an ACCC power price probe, which would specifically look at electricity retailers and seek out anti- competitive behaviour. The result of the probe is not due until July 1 next year.