Frydenberg hails NEG breakthrough

Minister for Energy and the Environment Josh Frydenberg.

Minister for Energy and the Environment Josh Frydenberg.

Last week’s decision by the COAG Energy Council to progress to the final design stage for the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) is a big step forward, according to Minister for Energy Josh Frydenberg.

Mr Frydenberg says the NEG will deliver a more affordable and reliable energy system as Australia transitions to a lower emissions future.

“Backed by an unprecedented cross-section of business, industry and community groups, the guarantee is a technology neutral energy policy that will drive the right investment in the right place and at the right time to secure Australia’s energy future,” said Mr Frydenberg.

“Modelling undertaken by the Energy Security Board (ESB) shows that wholesale electricity prices will decrease by 23 per cent under the guarantee, flowing through to households and businesses.”

The Federal Government will continue to work constructively with the states and territories and the ESB to finalise the design of the Guarantee in the lead up to the next COAG Energy Council meeting in August 2018.

“There was a lot of good will in the room, and while there is still much work to do, there was a commitment to getting an outcome in August,” said Mr Frydenberg.

“The guarantee is only one element of the Turnbull Government’s comprehensive plan for a more affordable and reliable energy system.

“It complements practical actions such as our agreement with energy retailers to offer millions of customers a better deal on their power bill, new laws to stop the networks gaming the system and the work we have done to ensure more gas for the domestic market before it is shipped offshore.”

Industry backing

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) said the COAG Energy Council’s in-principle support for further consultation with stakeholders on the design of the NEG is a sensible way forward.

“The alternative to this decision would have been yet another round of political deadlock and blame-shifting,” said APPEA Chief Executive Dr Malcolm Roberts.

“It is a relief that the Energy Council has avoided that low road.

“APPEA supports the NEG as the best policy option available today for cutting emissions without jeopardising reliable supply.

“The next stage of stakeholder consultation should settle, quickly, the outstanding points of detail in the design of the NEG.

“It is vital that the Energy Security Board receives the support it needs to deliver, promptly, a final design.”

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