27 February, 2017
Courtesy of the Daily Telegraph
SYDNEY’S small businesses will this year face electricity bills double what they were just a decade ago, federal government calculations show.
As Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s powerful new Cabinet subcommittee grapples with finding ways to bring down household power bills, government modelling indicates the brutal electricity bills small business in Sydney will be hit with this year.
The modelling shows a mid-sized restaurant in Sydney’s CBD was paying $8031 a year for electricity in 2007. This is expected to rise to $16,544 this year.
The electricity bill for a hairdressing salon in Auburn in Sydney’s west will this year cost around $4881, up from $2159 10 years ago.
And for a cafe in the marginal seat of Queanbeyan in southern NSW, power bills will go up from $2614 a decade ago to $5385 this year.
The government has released the calculations as Mr Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will today warn families and businesses that they won’t be able to afford the deeper financial hit from higher renewable energy targets.
“Every business is feeling the pressure of higher electricity prices and every dollar they have to spend unnecessarily on their power bills leaves less money to reinvest in their business to create jobs,” Mr Frydenberg said.
“We abolished the carbon tax, the Commonwealth is leading efforts through COAG to rein in network costs and thirdly we are putting pressure on the Labor Party to abandon their 50 per cent renewable energy target, which will drive up costs and undermine the system.”
Power prices and penalty cuts will take centre stage in Parliament this week. Normally a state government issue, Mr Turnbull has put energy security and affordability front and centre of the government’s agenda as it argues Labor’s 50 per cent renewable energy target will push prices up and turn off the lights.
Mr Turnbull has set up a new Cabinet committee to formulate national energy policy, and find ways to bring power prices down. Sitting on the subcommittee is the Prime Minister, Mr Frydenberg, Julie Bishop, Scott Morrison, Mathias Cormann and Arthur Sinodinos.
Focusing debate on unreliable renewable energy and the impact to the hip-pocket has been an area where the PM has recently gained traction. “We’ve seen in South Australia what happens when you have unaffordable and unreliable energy — the most expensive and least reliable electricity in Australia,” Mr Turnbull said on Friday.