Federal cabinet has discussed a national energy policy. Among the key issues energy prices, reliability and renewable energy, and a new report says consumers need to say no to bad deals from retailers.

Jorja McDonnell reports.


A clean energy target and an ACCC report on the cost of energy in Australia are on the agenda.

The report says the average household bill has increased by almost 44 per cent over the past decade leaving families an extra $514 out of pocket.

The government says lowering the cost of electricity bills is a priority.

Mathias Cormann, Finance Minister: “Our unequivocal objective is to put downward pressure on electricity prices.”

The figures show most voters want the government to subsidise renewable energy, but it’s not popular among all ministers.

Darren Chester, Federal Transport Minister: “Renewable energy can’t expect to get a free ride into the future.”

Division within the party is another hurdle for cabinet in getting clean energy policy off the ground, but it’s an issue for the Prime Minister to tackle tomorrow, when the policy is introduced to the party room.

While some conservatives in the coalition oppose a clean energy target, Labor is making it clear they support it.

Mark Butler, Shadow Energy Minister: “The best outcome for power prices will be delivered by a clean energy target.”

The ACCC says a clean energy target is designed to cut emissions, but concedes it’s hard to say whether it would also bring down prices.

Jorja McDonnell, QUT News.