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SA should expect 'Australia's cheapest power prices'

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South Australians will have the cheapest power prices in the country in as little as six months, energy experts say.

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The state already has some of the lowest wholesale power prices as a result of increased gas generation.

But those cheaper prices are not yet being reflected in household bills where rates are set periodically.

Solar Council chief executive John Grimes says if bills don’t drop then consumers have a right to demand answers from suppliers.

“If it’s not (cheaper) then the question is, why are the big power companies gouging the people,” he told reporters in Adelaide today.

The former chief executive for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Oliver Yates said increased investment in renewable energy would also drive down prices.

“If you increase supply, you will actually lower prices and so what we need to do is exactly what this state is doing, which is showing a leading example in encouraging investment in renewables,” he said.

Yates said the Coalition Government’s National Energy Guarantee was a roadblock to driving down costs because of its exclusion of a clean energy target.

South Australian Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis was also critical of the national plan because he said it favoured coal-fuelled generation and assumed renewable energy was the reason for the high cost of electricity.

“It’s a nod and a wink to the coal industry,” the minister told the Smart Energy Summit today.

– AAP

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