Page 3359 - Week 09 - Thursday, 24 August 2017

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Renewable energy—review

MS LEE: My question is to the Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability. Minister, the Jacobs Group, which was engaged by the ACT government to review the next generation renewables auction process, found that while value for money was achieved in the outcome of the auction, the energy storage contribution, or the ESC arrangements, costed at $25 million and payable over four tranches, is not value for money. The government’s response to the review’s recommendations agreed that “it is appropriate for other sources of finance to be considered by the government. However, it is important to note that the ESC amounts were set by a highly competitive process and therefore reflect the efficient cost of capital for renewable energy developers delivering energy storage capacity”. Minister, how much of the $25 million has been committed?

MR RATTENBURY: I will have to take that question on notice. What has been committed already is the rollout of the 5,000-household battery scheme. Not all of that has been spent. At this point I think a bit over 200 people have signed up for that scheme and there 5,000 batteries available through to 2020, or 5,000 financial packages through their service providers. I am happy to provide a detailed answer to Ms Lee on notice.

MS LEE: Minister, has the government given any thought to changing the contribution, given this finding from the Jacobs review?

MR RATTENBURY: Not at this time.

MR PARTON: Minister, what is the government doing or will the government do to ensure value for money for ACT energy consumers?

MR RATTENBURY: The government has got a range of measures in place to ensure value for money for ACT consumers. The large-scale feed-in tariff, which is where the question started, is considered, nationally and internationally, to be highly successful. I was very pleased that the public service team responsible for that recently won an award for the design of that program. What we saw through that auction process was the lowest prices ever achieved at the time for renewable energy being supplied to ACT households.

The government has been very successful in achieving value for money for ACT consumers. What the Jacobs report showed was that the ultimate cost of the scheme will be even less than the government envisaged when the legislation was brought before this chamber. Again we have seen an even better value for money outcome than this chamber anticipated and that this chamber supported the legislation for.

In addition, there is a range of programs such as the energy efficiency improvement scheme, which is delivering savings to households through a range of energy efficiency improvements, and the smart energy program. There is a whole series of programs designed to ensure that Canberrans can have the best possible financial

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