Representatives from local cold chain logistics companies had the opportunity to discuss energy prices and energy security with the Federal Minister for Energy and Environment, the Hon Josh Frydenberg, at a Q&A session hosted by Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta this week.
Minister Frydenberg said he understood power bills were a major expense for cold-storage businesses in Australia, and that they had an impact on their ability to compete with overseas companies.
“The Turnbull Coalition Government’s National Energy Guarantee will drive power prices down and improve reliability as we transition to a lower emissions future,” Minister Frydenberg said.
“The National Energy Guarantee is supported by industry and experts. It is truly technology-neutral, offering a future for investment in whatever technology the market needs – solar, wind, coal, gas, batteries or pumped hydro storage.”
Mr Vasta encouraged attendees to share real-life examples of their power bills and usage, and what businesses had been doing to offset power price rises.
Paul Fleiszig from Oxford Cold Storage, Australia’s leading privately owned cold storage company, said their power bills had risen dramatically even as they’d lowered their power usage.
“The local market is finding it harder and harder to compete. We’ve done everything to improve margins. There are no margins left,” Mr Fleiszig said.
A number of guests shared similar experiences with rising power bills.
Minister Frydenberg said the day’s discussions drove home the importance and urgency of what the Government is trying to do.
“The experiences of businesses here in Bonner is why the National Energy Guarantee is so important as a means to deliver a more affordable and reliable energy system,” Minister Frydenberg said.
Mr Vasta invited attendees and other local businesses to send him further examples of their power bills and usage, which he would present to the Minister to strengthen the Government’s case for change.