ACT’s 100% renewable energy target comes at a price

The ACT government has pushed for an ambitious renewable energy target by committing that Canberra will be completely powered by renewables in 2020, making it the first in the country to use 100% sustainable energy.    

“Being powered by 100% renewables by 2020 places Canberra at the lead, both in Australia and internationally, of cities taking effective action on climate change,” said Environment Minister Simon Corbell as per the Business Insider.

Last year, the government had set a target of going 90% renewable by 2020 and 100% by 2025. But Minister Corbell is now boosting the current renewables auction from 109 megawatts to 200MW, with bids due on May 13, so that they can reach targets five years earlier.

While this is good for the environment, the bad news is that Canberrans will see an extra $290 added to the average electricity bill at its peak in 2020.

The government however feels that the additional costs could be largely offset by savings that households can make through programs such as the free replacement of downlights, reported the Canberra Times.

Top 3 ways to offset high electricity bills

Energy efficient heating and cooling. Every 1 degree higher for heating and 1 degree lower for cooling can add 10% to the running costs of your appliance. The smaller the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your electricity cost. Recommended temperature setting for winter: 18°C-21°C, and for summer: 23°C- 26°C.

Replace old appliances. Old and inefficient appliances like an old fridge or washing machine can be some of the biggest energy sucks in your home. See if you have any of these old ‘big ticket’ appliances (like a fridge or washing machine) guzzling power at your home, and update them with new energy efficient appliances to see significant savings on your electricity bill. Check out the Australian Government’s energy rating website to compare the energy ratings of different brands.

Switch your electricity provider. With an increasing number of competitive power deals and discounts on offer, if you haven’t changed your energy provider in a long time, chances are you could switch to a much cheaper energy plan. In fact, according to Mozo’s free online electricity comparison tool, a 4-person household in ACT could save up to $120 a year by switching to the cheapest energy tariff.


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