Gov't 'failed consumers' on energy issues

A Labor senator has criticised the federal government for failing to warn Australians about rising electricity prices.

Senator Matt Thistlethwaite told the Energy Efficiency Council national conference that consumers should be armed with better information as current energy market conditions equate to rising electricity prices, the AAP reported.

In addition to deregulation of the market in the 1990s, he said the situation is now being compounded with the carbon tax and the monopoly that some businesses have on the marketplace.

He commented: "I don't believe we've prepared the public about that transition and what it means for them."

The senator said that the government is doing its best to remedy the current situation through a range of reforms including creating the Energy Consumer Challenge Panel.

CEO of Choice Alan Kirkland said that the government must have electricity prices at the top of the agenda during the Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) meetings which start today (December 7).

He claims that a quarter of household energy bills are directed towards infrastructure that is only used 43 hours a year during extreme weather conditions.

The Greens leader, Christine Milne, said that the only way to get out of the volatile market of non-renewables is to embrace sources such as solar and wind.

Posted by Charlie Moore