PM feels no shame over 'significant' power price rises
Looming energy price rises are not an embarrassment for the government, the prime ministers says, despite describing the hikes as significant.
The Australian Energy Regulator released its draft default market offer decision on Wednesday for the upcoming financial year, showing a 25.4 per cent rise, or $1738 a year more, from July 1.
The default market offer represents the maximum price energy retailers can charge residential and small business customers in NSW, South Australia and southeast Queensland.
The final decision on what the offers will look like will be made in May.
Anthony Albanese said the price hikes would be even higher were it not for government intervention in the market.
However, he said Australia was not alone in experiencing rising energy costs.
"The bottom line is there's been a war in Ukraine that has put up global power prices. And because of our energy market and the way that it works, that has an impact on Australian prices as well," he told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Thursday.
"(The price hike) is very significant and that's why we intervened in the market in December - the increase would have been far greater."
The government intervened in the market by capping the price of coal and gas, with money set aside for energy bill relief measures.
It has flagged relief in the federal budget - to be handed down in May - through rebates being negotiating with the states and territories.
When asked if the price rises were embarrassing given election promises to lower energy bills, Mr Albanese denied it was the case, pointing to the global spike in prices.
Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley said the government was presiding over a cost of living crisis.
Meanwhile, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced the capital would be the only state or territory in the national electricity market where regulated tariffs would decline in 2022/23.
In his state of the territory address, Mr Barr said ACT consumers were effectively shielded from high electricity prices because of long-term renewable energy contracts.
"The climate action plan the ACT government has been leading for decades will ensure that the ACT remains best placed to support our economy, community and Canberra households through the national transition to a low emissions future," he said.
"Our climate action agenda is showing the way for others and we are already seeing the benefits."
Council of Small Business Organisations Australia chair Matthew Addison told AAP owners would have to significantly manage costs in coming months.
"If energy becomes more expensive again then typically business owners work harder and are paid less. Many will consider closing," Mr Addison said.
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief Andrew McKellar said the forecast energy price spike was a "hammer blow" to small businesses already facing increasing input costs.
He urged accelerated investment in renewable energy generation, storage and transmission to keep up with growing energy demands.