Power price relief for consumers is in the balance.
Power price relief for consumers is in the balance.

Power savings hang in the balance

CONSUMERS could miss out on up to $550 a year of power price savings if there is any delay to a deal on the National Energy Guarantee, state governments have been warned.

Under the proposal being pushed by the Federal Government, Australia's reliance on coal will remain the same for the next decade, new modelling has found.

But renewable energy will increase from 17 per cent to 36 per cent of national energy market generation by 2029-30.

The plan, which aims to cut prices while ensuring energy supply and cutting emissions, will allow future governments to impose tougher targets to reduce carbon pollution.

The predictions are contained in a report released by the Energy Security Board ahead of a crunch meeting between the state and federal energy ministers on Friday next week.

The modelling includes previous forecasts that households will save $550 a year on power bills from 2020-21 to 2029-30, with $150 of this directly attributable to the NEG.

In a move that puts pressure on Queensland and other states to sign up to the deal, Energy Security Board chair Kerry Schott warned lower prices hinged on agreement from all governments.

"Any delay, or worse a failure to reach agreement, will simply prolong the current investment uncertainty and deny customers more affordable energy," Dr Schott said.

The Queensland Government has left open the option of rejecting the plan and has raised concerns it does not do enough to cut emissions.

State Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said the states should not be expected to sign up to the deal when Malcolm Turnbull has not yet secured backing from his own MPs in Canberra.

 

Savings hinge on the National Energy Guarantee.
Savings hinge on the National Energy Guarantee.

 

"I have already raised my concerns with Minister Frydenberg directly about the process of state and territory ministers being asked to consider and approve the NEG ahead of further consideration - and potential amendment - by the Federal LNP party room," Dr Lynham said.

In a bid to win over states, the Energy Security Board argued the deal was designed in a way to allow future government to impose tougher targets to cut emissions.

LNP MPs who have been pushing for a new coal fired power station in north Queensland may have concerns with the plan, which forecasts there will be no increase in coal fired generation.

The modelling suggests there will be no coal fired power plant closures beyond the already planned shutdown of the Liddell plant in NSW in 2022-23.

It also predicts black coal capacity will decline in Queensland in about a decade, putting upward pressure on power prices.

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the independent modelling found the Government's plans would slash power prices and urged states to "act without delay".



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