The deputy prime minister has warned there is no overnight fix for energy prices as Australians brace for more bill shocks during winter.
But Richard Marles says the cost of living and rising energy prices remain key concerns for the nascent government, with some families struggling to afford turning on the heaters.
“We are very well aware of that. It is not something we can solve overnight but we will be working very hard with the policies we’ve put forward to get the energy policy settled,” he told the Nine Network.
“Renewables are going to take a long time. No one is saying it’s not important but that’s going to take some time.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
“That’s the legacy of having had a decade under the Liberals where they haven’t had a consistent energy policy, where there’s been no investment in getting renewable energy going.”
As Labor looks to address the issue, more than 80,000 customers could face energy price hikes of more than double, the CEO of smaller power retailer ReAmped says.
Luke Blincoe says he is being upfront with customers by telling them the retailer cannot offer them the best deals, with wholesale electricity costs higher than retail prices.
“We thought we would be upfront and tell our customers (that) to get the best deal they would have to leave us. It is gutting for us but it’s the right thing to do,” he told Nine Network.
Mr Blincoe said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the exposure of Australia’s domestic gas market to global gas prices resulted in rocketing rises.
“The wholesale energy price is effectively set by the gas price and the Australian gas price has now effectively doubled with the global commodity price for gas,” he said.
“We’ve seen a really, really steep incline. As late as the last seven days, it has really rocketed away. That’s the driver of the energy prices.”