Thousands of Illawarra residents are feeling the heat, or should that be cold this winter, as rising electricity prices are forcing many to turn off the power.
And there is no respite in sight, with reports NSW energy companies are set to increase electricity prices by an average of $320 for households and $920 for small businesses.
Keira MP Ryan Park said people in his electorate were afraid they won’t be able to afford to turn on the heater this winter.
This does not sit well with Shadow Minister for Energy, Adam Searle, who said the NSW Government has created the ‘’mess we are in’’.
Mr Searle joined Illawarra Labor MP’s Ryan Park and Paul Scully to outline Labor’s plan to ‘’fix the mess’’.
Fittingly the Wednesday tour took place at the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC) at UOW’s Innovation Campus.
SBRC research facilities manager Craig McLauchlan said there were big financial savings to be had from building and living sustainably.
‘’This building here we generate twice the power than we use and the rest of that we send out and that covers some of the usage of our student accommodation across the road,’’ he said.
‘’I like to think that our solar power covers this building but it also boils a lot of kettles and makes plenty of cups of tea for students studying.’’
This is the type of technology Labor plans to promote to make the electricity supply more affordable for NSW residents.
‘’“The energy generation and battery technologies being developed on the Innovation Campus are a way of helping to put downward pressure on prices,’’ Mr Scully said.
‘’Investing in the roll-out of renewable energy generation and a fair solar feed-in tariff are ways that we can support the creation of green-collar jobs and help families with the electricity bills.’’
Mr Searle added families and small businesses were facing record power bills - ‘’because the Government did everything it could to drive the price up ahead of privatisation’’.
‘’“Labor will not stand by and let family budgets be crushed and businesses wrecked by power price hikes,’’ he said.
‘’NSW lags behind other states and territories when it comes to installing solar panels on homes and it just isn’t good enough.
‘’NSW Labor will continue to campaign to increase the amount of our energy that comes from renewable sources, and fight for a fair deal for those who have invested in rooftop solar.’’
A Foley Labor Government will:
- Use proceeds from the transfer of the Snowy Hydro to invest in renewable generation across regional New South Wales
- Provide a fair minimum solar tariff – so that households with rooftop solar are paid fairly for the power they generate. It will legislate for the IPART recommended rate to be mandatory.
- And massively increase solar energy generation on the roofs of government buildings