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Prime minister supports solar power drive

9th Aug 2012

Australians are paying too much for their electricity and measures need to be taken to help poorer households to pay for energy improvements, including solar panels.

Or so says the prime minister, Julia Gillard, who told audience members at a speech to the Australian Institute of Energy that while introducing a carbon price was necessary, a resulting rise in home electricity costs of nearly 50 per cent over the past four years was not.

"While wealthier households can cut power costs through more efficient devices and solar panels, the poorest customers are exposed to the full cost of the increases," she explained.

However, it seems the prime minister is keen for the government to wade in on the argument, suggesting financial support for investments such as solar panel installations could be on the horizon.

"The bad news is, today, Australians are paying more than they should for electricity, because of the price rises that have come without a dollar of assistance," she explained. "The good news is - we can do something about it."

Rising energy costs were recently highlighted in a report by the Australian Industry Group, which said businesses are being put under increasing strain as a result.

According to the prime minister, it is obviously easier to invest in renewable energy technologies such as solar panels if you earn more and it is barriers to progress such as this that the Labor government is elected to tackle.

She also argued for reforms across the energy sector to ensure the public was not exposed to inefficient and cumbersome regulations and ageing infrastructure.

Gillard pointed to a number of trials around the country that are using solar systems and clean energy technology to maximise the output of existing platforms.

These smart and affordable technologies are in operation now, she explained, so it is important to support this clean energy transformation.

Posted by Bob Dawson

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