Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Page: 6115

Senator MILNE (TasmaniaLeader of the Australian Greens) (15:34): I move:

That the following matter be referred to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 29 October 2012:

The causes of electricity bill increases and options to moderate future increases, with particular reference to:

(a) identification of the key causes of electricity price increases over recent years and in future projections;

(b) whether the current electricity market objectives, and governance and regulation structures have been and will continue to be effective at moderating costs and serving their intended purposes;

(c) the accuracy of past electricity demand projections, the impact of declining wholesale electricity prices and the role of energy efficiency;

(d) barriers to reform created by the National Electricity Market institutions, including state-based regulators, the Australian Energy Market Operator, the Australian Energy Market Commission and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), and whether the reach of the AER is unnecessarily restricted;

(e) the difference in cost drivers between private and government-owned transmission and distribution businesses and the significant decline in the productivity of these businesses;

(f) the impact of state and federal government measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support renewable energy and energy efficiency in light of market externalities, broader social and economic benefits and whether market objectives should be reconsidered in light of these benefits;

(g) whether or not network reliability standards are unnecessarily high, and whether there are benefits of moving to a more sophisticated probabilistic approach to reliability standards, including more appropriate metrics of value of unserved energy and value of customer reliability;

(h) the effects of the imposition of obligations on electricity distributors for minimum targeted levels of 'demand management' and consumer energy efficiency schemes;

(i) the benefits of decoupling the profits of electricity distributors from the volume of energy supplied;

(j) the materiality of 'merit order' based price reductions in the wholesale energy market from increasing levels of distributed generation;

(k) regulatory and other barriers relating to the connection processes for embedded generators;

(l) the potential to shift from an energy-only market to markets in both energy and capacity, to restrain price volatility, ensure resource adequacy, and foster the development of a broad, competitive mix of generation and demand-side resources;

(m) the potential for increased funding of, and capacity for, consumer advocacy to reduce bills through countering the lobbying of market participants and networks;

(n) the need for a government agency to coordinate and promote energy savings, demand management and distributed generation;

(o) barriers to reform of the energy markets and systems in Western Australia and the Northern Territory; and

(p) any related matters.

Question agreed to.