COSBOA is holding a Summit - The Small Business Energy Summit. Below is our rationale for that summit. Will it be a talkfest, or can we get a result? It'll be in Melbourne on 20 March 2019. It is invite only so we can keep the far left and far right emotions and ideologues away and seek facts and real measurable achievable outcomes. It might be exhilarating to see the climate warriors of the left and the adamant deniers of the right clash and argue, but in the end that argument is all about them. We want a focus on the whole community and on our future. If you'd like to register for the summit, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, email address and any dietary requirements.
Electricity prices have increased in recent years and are creating significant financial challenges for Australian households and businesses alike.
COSBOA believes that this issue has emerged due to the repeated failure of successive Australian Governments (and their State/Territory counterparts) over the past 20 years to agree a pathway for the future delivery of affordable and reliable energy; done in a manner that supports the Australian Community’s desire for prudent reduction of our national GHG emissions.
In the meantime, State/Territory governments have advanced strategies outside an agreed national framework and some have sold energy generation and transmission assets without due consideration of possible impacts on market competition.
In the wake of the Australian Government’s decision to abandon the National Energy Guarantee framework, other strategies are being pursued including a proposal to utilise an asset divestment mechanism to ‘encourage' energy companies to make all reasonable efforts to reduce annual electricity prices for Australian electricity consumers.
While COSBOA supports this policy in the absence of any other reasonable mechanism for incentivising price reductions, it is a last resort mechanism that – if ultimately exercised under any extension of the provisions of Australian Competition law – would mean everyone loses (i.e. energy companies, their customers and the wider Australian community).
So what else can be done. How can business (small, medium and large) work cooperatively with energy companies to take control of their energy costs and implement strategies that reduce their increasing exposure to rising energy costs.
Essentially, this is a change management task and requires a co-operative approach by all stakeholders (Government, energy companies and consumers) to develop a way forward – one that recognises the risks and successfully navigates these risks to deliver reliable and affordable electricity in an environmentally responsible manner.
This Summit will focus on the possible policy settings, desirable business practices and co-operative supplier-consumer actions that might be pursued to reduce the growing impact of rising electricity costs on the Australian business sector.
The summit will also focus on managing risks. Any change creates risks for the business community. The increase in black outs and brown outs combined with a spate of extreme weather events have created the need to improve risk management as well as to review insurance needs and general preparedness. In business it is all connected. How do we keep energy connected?