Anthony Albanese’s power play to keep the Aussies off by $230

Electricity bill explosions are being eased dramatically after the federal house approved a year-long price cap on coal and gas to keep households $230 better off than they otherwise would have been.

It comes with a warning that Australians will still face higher electricity bills, but the government’s emergency package – including unprecedented market intervention – will save homes and businesses from total crisis.

The key point for Australians to keep in mind, however, is that they won’t get a $230 off their electricity bill – rather, market intervention means using coal and gas will cost consumers less on their future electricity bills, eh on average, two affects about $230.

In a special session on Thursday, the government’s emergency energy package, backed by Greens, David Pocock and Jacqui Lambie, sailed through both houses in the Senate.

The legislation sets a 12-month price cap of $12 per gigajoule for gas and $125 per tonne for coal.

The federal government will provide $1.5 billion for an aid package, which will be supplemented by the states and territories. It has yet to be distributed, but the discounts will be administered by state and territory governments in April in the form of reduced energy bills to curb inflation.

Anthony Albanese said a direct rebate would exacerbate inflation, which in turn would prolong the energy crisis.

“This plan is a combination of immediate action but also future reforms,” ​​the prime minister told parliament.

“We must act now to get through this crisis, to keep Australians employed, to support families, but also… to secure our energy future.”

It is estimated that the combination of the $12 per gigajoule cap on gas, the $125 per tonne cap on coal and the $3 billion support

The opposition has slammed Labor for its $230 figure when it vowed to cut bills by $275 ahead of the election.

Labor says the war in Ukraine has created a global energy that could not have been foreseen.

In the October budget, the Treasury Department forecast that utility bills would rise 20 percent this fiscal year and 36 percent the following year — a combined increase of 63 percent.

The caps will slow growth to 23 percent next year, but bills will still be 47 percent higher over the two years.

Those who are entitled to the rebates will be better off by around 10 percent.

Gas bills, which were forecast to rise 20 percent this fiscal year and 20 percent next year, are expected to rise 18 percent this year and just 4 percent next year.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers confirmed that the price cap would be reassessed in mid-2023.

Energy Secretary Chris Bowen downplayed concerns that the price cap would have devastating effects on the gas industry.

“In 2021, 96 percent of gas was sold for less than $12 per gigajoule. The average price was $9.20 – that was a fair price and the gas companies didn’t complain,” Mr Bowen told Parliament.

“They made decent profits and since then we’ve seen those prices skyrocket.

“This is Australian gas under Australian soil and under Australian sea and Australians have a right to a fair price.

“We respect the gas companies’ duty to maximize their profits. It is our job to protect the Australian people and act in the national interest… We will not stand by and watch (Australians) pay the price for Putin’s war in Ukraine.”

In exchange for their backing of the legislation, the Greens have secured a package to help low-income Australians and renters make the transition from gas to renewable electricity.

Greens and the government alike say this will further ease the pressure on electricity costs in years to come as renewables are proven to be cheaper than gas or coal.

Originally released as a power play by Anthony Albanese to keep the Aussies off by $230

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