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Michael O'Brien welcomes energy white paper

Victorian energy minister Michael O'Brien has welcomed his federal counterpart's introduction of an energy white paper designed to address the future energy needs of this country.

The minister said new pricing schemes discussed in the document will reduce electricity prices and will be a boon for consumers.

"Victoria is taking action to tackle the problems caused by peak demand through the introduction of flexible pricing reforms in 2013. This reform will enable smart meters to finally start to pay their way and benefit consumers," he said.

However, O'Brien said that what was lacking from this white paper was a program for the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) to obtain the powers and resources it needs to ensure it can effectively play its part.

He said  the prime minister and federal treasurer Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan need to act to ensure the AER isn't constrained by being a part of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Regulating large energy companies to make sure they are providing the best service they can is the reason why the AER was created, O'Brien said - and it is in urgent need of structural reform.

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Posted by Charlie Moore