State Electricity Commission: Renewable, Public Owned Energy Future

State Electricity Commission: Renewable, Public Owned Energy Future  Main Image

06 March 2023

Welcome back folks to Connolly’s Corner – my monthly article for the Star Weekly where I talk about what the Andrews Labor Government is delivering for our community in Melbourne’s west.

If you’re old enough, you might remember back when Victoria owned the energy grid. We called it the State Electricity Commission. Then the Kennett Government stepped in and sold it off in the 1990s, and Victorians have been paying the price ever since. Now I used to work in the energy sector for over a decade before I was elected to Parliament. Let me tell you that in my experience, prices only ever went up, and consumers weren’t getting anything better for it.

We know that cost-of-living pressures are hitting households like never before. There’s no illusion in my mind that folks out there are doing it tough. Whether it’s the price of petrol or potatoes, everyone is feeling it somehow. But nothing hurts us all as much as the cost of our gas and electricity bills.

This government has previously supported Victorian households to pay their power bills and keep prices low. It introduced the Victorian Default Offer, setting a market standard for power prices. And over the last two years, you’ve probably been told about the $250 Power Saving Bonus just from comparing providers.

But perhaps the biggest thing being done to tackle the growing cost of power is by making more of our own. Because you may have heard last year that the Andrews Government is bringing back the State Electricity Commission that was sold off all those years ago. Over $1  billion will be invested to deliver of 4.5 gigawatts of clean renewable energy – enough to replace the coal power station Loy Yang A, which recently announced it was shutting down operations.

Over the next ten years, the SEC will compete alongside private enterprise in offering Victorians a cheaper, cleaner alternative, with all profits invested back into the system. Not only this, but combined with other renewable energy projects, the SEC will play a big role in transitioning our State to reach our renewable energy targets of 65% by 2030 and 95% by 2035.

And it’s not just good for the environment. Our economy will benefit by a massive $9.5 billion in GDP, and the SEC will create nearly 60,000 jobs over the next ten years, with the SEC Centre of Training Excellence to support 6,000 trainees and apprentices to help set up this incredible initiative.

We all know that selling off the SEC in the 90s was a big mistake. This government is getting on with setting it right, bringing it back, and enshrining it in Victoria’s own constitution, to make sure it never gets sold off again.