In August 2016, prior to the State-wide blackout which cost South Australian business approximately $450 million, a coalition of representative organisations led by Business SA called for an independent review of the electricity market’s transition to low carbon; primarily driven by our distress about the impact of high wholesale electricity prices on the community and economy, and concerns over predicted reliability shortfalls should South Australia be unable to access sufficient baseload generation.
Following the blackout, the Council of Australian Governments established the Finkel Review, led by Australia’s Chief Scientist, to investigate all options to transition the National Electricity Market to low carbon while maintaining reliability and affordability. Business SA has been an active participant in this process, including hosting the Finkel Review panel, and are working to ensure that the impacts on South Australian businesses are front and centre in their ultimate decision making.
Business SA is also active in the tariff reform process and recently conducted a joint study with the SA Wine Industry Association on shifting small businesses onto cost-reflective tariffs. While we acknowledged most businesses would be better off financially, we also recognised the difficulty in understanding cost impacts without smart meters and successfully argued for a ‘no mandatory shift prior to 2020’ approach the Australian Energy Market decided in February 2017.
For further information please contact: Andrew Mckenna on (08) 8300 0000.