Don’t let your energy company pull the plug on solar
Millions of Australians are now powering their homes, businesses and farms with solar and wind power and pumping energy back into the grid. Australia is one of sunniest, windiest countries in the world -- so it makes sense to use our natural resources wisely and sustainably.
People are choosing renewable energy sources over polluting coal and gas energy because they help them control their power bills and protect the environment. What’s more, this boom in the renewable energy industry has also created nearly 25,000 new jobs around the country, with 18,000 more planned in the coming years.
All this has been made possible by the Renewable Energy Target (RET) -- arguably one of the most successful bipartisan policies of our time. Yet corporate interests are set to put this all at risk -- and the culprit could be your energy company.
Origin Energy, AGL, and Energy Australia together represent 77% of the household energy market. And while the dramatic growth of solar and wind energy has been welcome news for consumers and their power bills, these energy corporations are trying to destroy any competition.
This 'Dirty Three' are using their political muscle to try to weaken the target. This means locking out solar and wind, and locking in higher household bills and climate-driving coal and gas power for decades to come. This puts at risk thousands of new jobs and a possible $140 saving in every household power bill. See our infographic for the full picture.
Some of the mistruths being spun by energy companies CEOs are deeply misleading and are distorting the public conversation about how Australia can embrace renewable energy.
Grant King, Managing Director of Origin Energy said: “The RET is not achieving any of its objectives. We’ve seen interventions, from the old RET, to the SRET, to increased targets, and all these sorts of things, so to your core question, all of those policies which go to supply of energy in the community. There is still substantial uncertainty about key elements of that policy mix and how we achieve our environmental objectives as well as our economic objectives in this country.”
Renewable energy offers Australians an enormous opportunity to reduce power bills and move away from unsustainable and climate-driving coal and gas technologies. By campaigning against the Renewable Energy Target, the Dirty Three are trying to consign Australia to the 19th century and stop Australians accessing cheaper energy sources.
The Renewable Energy Target is under review
The Renewable Energy Target is currently being reviewed by the Federal Government.
Greenpeace and others are working to ensure the RET remains strong. If we win, the target will ensure power bills drop and 18,000 jobs are created between now and 2020. But if these energy companies get their way, the target could be either scrapped altogether or weakened significantly.
This isn’t the first time the RET has been reviewed. The 2012 review found that the RET was effective and doing exactly what it was designed to do: helping Australians reap the benefits of clean, cheap renewable energy. But this latest review tribunal is headed by climate change sceptic Mr Dick Warburton. Other panel members have strong links to the fossil fuel industry.
It’s essential that Australians make their voices heard during this review period to ensure the target stays strong.
Why should we support the Renewable Energy Target?
The RET is a great success story of clean energy in Australia you’ve probably never heard. It has:
If the Renewable Energy Target is weakened or scrapped Australia will be left in the dust by the rest of the world which is heavily investing in renewable power. And we will be left to pay for higher priced, dirtier electricity.
Destroying our Renewable Energy Target risks:
- An extra $50 on your household electricity bill each year in 2020 and $140 per year - beyond that
- Losing an extra $14.6 billion in new investment in Australian renewable energy projects
- Dumping an extra 34.7 million tonnes of carbon emissions into the atmosphere
- Forgoing an extra 18,400 jobs that are calculated to be generated out to 2020
It’s not surprising this is one the most successful bipartisan policies of our time. And polls continually show Australians love renewable energy and want more of it not less.
How you can help