#auspol Not just federal Labor blaming and wrongfully cracking down on greens


12 APRIL 2012

The Total Environment Centre has today challenged the NSW Government to come clean over how it benefits from raising power prices and end the misinformation in its response to IPART’s

announcement of price rises for NSW electricity consumers in 2012-13.

According to TEC Executive Director Jeff Angel, “While NSW Energy Minister Hartcher has used the announcement of an average 16 per cent price rise to campaign for the end to the Renewable Energy Target, there are some things he – and IPART – aren’t telling us.”

“One is that dividend gouging by the state government is a major reason why the state-owned

networks have been asking for big revenue increases in recent years. The three distribution and one transmission businesses pay annual dividends of between 44 and 80 per cent of after tax profit to the government. This amounts to over $500 million dollars a year.”

Half the price increases for next financial year will go to the networks. Is the government also planning to cut its take of the cake to help households and businesses? Probably not, because we suspect it is fattening up the networks in readiness for selling them off – and consumers are paying the price.”

“The IPART announcement also fails to mention that about 90 per cent of consumers will be at

largely compensated for the price rises through tax cuts from 1 July.”

“As for the Renewable Energy Target, a carbon price of $23 per tonne is not high enough on its

own to drive the transformation of Australia’s energy sector. The RET and other green schemes are complementary measures that will also be required to create a low carbon economy.”

“Without them, it is likely that most investment would still be in coal and gas-fired generation,

which would entrench NSW as a dirty, backward-looking economy out of step with the global shift to a low carbon future.”

“The announcements by IPART and Mr Hartcher also fail to mention the other advantages of the RET and other green schemes for NSW, which create more jobs, and healthier ones, than those they replace, as well as reducing our dependence on electricity pumped from interstate.”

“Finally, these announcements fail to consider how much electricity price increases in NSW could be reduced if we invested in energy efficiency and peak demand management instead of just building more poles and wires. When a $1500 air conditioner costs about $7000 in additional network upgrade costs, there is clearly a case for working harder to reduce peak demand rather than blame green schemes.”

“Mr Hartcher needs to think of the state’s future instead of sticking his head in the coal.”


information: Jeff Angel 02 9211 5022 or 0418 273773

Jeff Angel

Executive Director,

Total Environment Centre

p: 02 9211 5022, f: 02 9211 5033

Suite 2, 89 Jones St, Ultimo. 2007


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