Push all politics aside, businesses need the NEG

Friday 3 August, 2018 | By: Olivia Van Der Wagen

At the end of the day, the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) promises what we’ve all been waiting for – a downward pressure on electricity prices and policy certainty.

With the average household bill expected to be $550 lower each year through to 2020 from current costs, with $150 of those savings will be because of the NEG, it can be confidently assumed businesses will stand to pocket even greater savings.

Now that we know the final detailed design of the NEG which was released earlier this week, CCIQ strongly urges the Queensland Government to vote in favour of the NEG and leave the politics aside.

The NEG - a technology neutral, two part model that guarantees reliability of supply whilst driving down the sector’s greenhouse emissions - is businesses best hope in energy price relief and energy policy stability. 

The emissions guarantee is in accordance with the Paris Agreement and will be implemented through the amendment of Commonwealth legislation, namely the Australian Energy Market Agreement, the National Electricity Law and the National Electricity Rules. This is discussed more specifically in the publication.

Opponents of the NEG argue that the emissions guarantee - which guarantees a 26 per cent reduction from 2005 emissions (in line with the Paris Agreement) - is pitiful. However, this emissions target is only a minimum, and legislation will not prevent state governments from setting higher targets. 

We urge the State Government to set aside politics when the COAG Energy Council makes a decision on the Federal Government’s proposed policy on August 10.

Queensland Energy Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, has raised concerns about having to approve the NEG before a federal LNP party room which may result in amendments. However, the amendment to the Commonwealth legislation will still have to be passed in Parliament which will allow members of the COAG Energy Council to vote against the NEG if the policy has changed since the August 10th vote.  

With electricity prices the number one concern for small businesses across the State, there is growing desperation for an energy policy lifeline and the NEG stands as the best solution on the table.

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