Spender calls for “People Power Plan” to get consumers out of fossil fuel trap & tackle cost of living

Independent MP, Allegra Spender, calls on the Government to implement new measures that will give more Australians access to renewables at their home or business.

Independent MP for Wentworth Allegra Spender is calling for the creation of a ‘People Power Plan’ that aims to permanently lower energy bills after years of dependence on ageing and unreliable coal-fired power stations and the “price gouging of a foreign-owned gas cartel”.

Spender, one of a number of so-called “Teal independents” who have swept to prominence in Australian politics in recent years, used a speech to the Smart Energy Conference to call for “a People Power Plan that will get households out of the fossil fuel trap with home electrification and rooftop solar.”

Spender says her People Power Plan will give families cost-of-living relief now and financial security into the future, taking away a key driver of inflation.

“Home electrification is a massive cost-of-living and climate opportunity,” Spender says. “But there are too many people who are still locked out.

“That’s not fair. Today, I am calling on the government to fund a People Power Plan to lower energy bills at the May Budget.”

According to Spender, there are hundreds of dollars in power bill savings available to those who install rooftop solar and more efficient electrical alternatives.

But to make these savings available to everyone, Spender is calling for additional government support to help the more than half of Australian households who face insurmountable hurdles to electrification.

The People Power Plan is based on three main pillars of government support, including support for households that have been left behind, such as renters and apartment-dwellers, as well as additional support for people in regional and rural Australia.

Spender’s plan also calls for government support for regulatory reform designed to dismantle the bureaucratic barriers currently preventing lower power bills.

Funding the plan would take inspiration from the United States’ Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) which was passed in 2022 and, despite its name, was a multi-billion-dollar clean energy investment package designed to build up a domestic clean energy manufacturing industry, with billions in tax incentives to attract local manufacturing.pender

The People Power Plan would also aim to tax the windfall profits of the gas industry, securing the capital necessary to help close to half a million homes electrify over the next three years.

“It’s vital that the Albanese government act now to expand and share the cost saving benefits of renewable energy,” said Spender.

“The very real pain that households are feeling is being weaponised by political opportunists and fossil fuel advocates who seek to blame renewable energy and delay climate action. Delay will just make the cost-of-living pain so much worse."

Spender also took a swipe at the the Coalition’s nuclear-first energy policy and their opposition to climate action in federal parliament.

“Rather than accepting the science and the economics – we have seen the Coalition revert to Abbot-era climate denialism and an energy policy that wouldn’t survive first contact with a High School Commerce Class.”

Author
Joshua Hill
April 21, 2024
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