Media Release

12 July 2017

A future Foley Labor Government will work to make electricity more affordable for New South Wales families and businesses.

Households are facing record energy price hikes next month, adding to already unaffordable cost of living pressures.

From July 1, the energy companies that have a 90 per cent share of the NSW retail market will increase electricity prices by up to 17 per cent collectively.

Annual average increases of $320 for households and $920 for small businesses are expected, with many paying much more.

It comes as the Berejiklian Government does everything it can to drive up electricity prices, including taking legal action at every turn to block the Australian Energy Regulator’s determination to lower bills.

For six years the NSW Government has had one energy policy – privatise everything. The result is an electricity supply that is fast becoming unaffordable.

Today Shadow Minister for Energy Adam Searle was joined by Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park and Wollongong MP Paul Scully to tour the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC) at UOW’s Innovation Campus and discuss Labor’s plan to re-regulate electricity and lower power bills for Illawarra families and businesses.

A Foley Labor Government will:
· Use proceeds from the transfer of the Snowy Hydro to invest in renewable generation across regional New South Wales
· Provide a fair minimum solar tariff – so that households with rooftop solar are paid fairly for the power they generate. We will legislate for the IPART recommended rate to be mandatory.
· And massively increase solar energy generation on the rooves of government buildings.

Across the New South Wales public sector, including local government, there are a multitude of opportunities to install rooftop solar on buildings such as schools, TAFEs, hospitals, police stations, libraries, offices, courts and depots. This is an industry with huge growth potential.

Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Energy Adam Searle today said:
“Families and small businesses are facing record power bills – because the Government did everything it could to drive the price up ahead of privatisation.

“Labor will not stand by and let family budgets be crushed and businesses wrecked by power price hikes.”

“NSW lags behind other states and territories when it comes to installing solar panels on homes and it just isn’t good enough.

“NSW Labor will continue to campaign to increase the amount of our energy that comes from renewable sources, and fight for a fair deal for those who have invested in rooftop solar.”

Shadow Treasurer, Ryan Park MP said:
“People in my electorate tell me how hard cost of living pressures are. Some are afraid they simply won’t be able to afford to turn on the heater this winter.

“Residents across the Illawarra will be wondering why, if the Government has got so much money in the bank, life under the Liberal National Government is getting harder not easier.”

Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully MP also said:
“The energy generation and battery technologies being developed on the Innovation Campus are a way of helping to put downward pressure on prices.

“Investing in the roll-out of renewable energy generation and a fair solar feed-in tariff are ways that we can support the creation of green-collar jobs and help families with the electricity bills.”