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Voters blame energy companies – and PM – for sky-high power prices

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While Malcolm Turnbull has been busy calling Australian energy retailers to account for lumbering Australian consumers with eye-watering electricity bills, a new poll shows that almost one-quarter of people surveyed believe the PM himself is to blame for the nation’s power price woes.

Essential Poll Electricity Prices

The Essential Poll, the results of which were published on Tuesday, shows that while almost half of respondents (49 per cent) blamed the profit seeking behaviour of private power companies for soaring electricity prices, a noteworthy 22 per cent believed that the Turnbull government was mostly to blame.

That’s reassuring, because it is becoming increasingly evident that it is the bidding of generator companies in wholesale markets that is pushing up wholesale prices, as the latest regulator analysis shows quite clearly.

What is more, less than half of that number – 9 per cent – put the blame on the push for action on climate change; while just 5 per cent blamed renewable energy costs – the Coalition’s traditional scapegoat for rising power costs.

The result should serve as an eye-opener for the Turnbull government, which faces increasing pressure to fix the broken energy market before the coming Australian summer.

At the same time, pressure is also mounting from within party ranks, to slow the shift to renewable energy and supporting technologies like large-scale battery storage, in favour of more coal and gas-fired “baseload” energy.

As summarised by Queensland MP ­George Christensen earlier this week, it is the firm belief of the Coaltion’s right wing – led by former PM Tony Abbott – that the introduction of a clean ­energy target would push up ­prices and hurt jobs, and must be avoided at all costs.

“As a government — on a whole range of fronts — we’re running out of arrows to fire, and ­energy is a golden arrow, if you like,” Christensen said. “If we throw that away, we’re throwing away our electoral chances.”

The problem for Turnbull remains, in which direction to point that “golden arrow.”  

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  • Joe

    I love seeing Polls. And wow, 22% of punters blame Big Mal for the sorry situation we are in. Lucky then that Big Mal had that 2nd tea and bikkies session last week with the Energy Majors. Those promised magic letters and invoice barcodes will surely save us all. And Big Mal is again showing the punters what a….. ‘Strong Leader’ he is.

    • trackdaze

      he needs to have tea and bickies with the network providers.

  • Chris Fraser

    The Coalition focus groups aren’t worth the shite they pay them. Hopefully they will underestimate the electorate in the years to come.

  • MaxG

    Polls… whatever… what is the sample size, what is the method? without it = useless. However, it clearly show the public has no real idea who is causing the rise in cost — it is the incumbent government, but only some 20% picked that; another 10% blames environmentalist for it… interesting. and 15% have no idea. To sum it up: 50% of the sample does not understand who causes the price rise. As usual, the people do not understand the root cause, but rather the effect, which is power companies rorting the people, because of government inaction and having sold public assets in the first place.

  • Jake Frederics

    “What is more, less than half of that number – 9 per cent – put the blame on the push for action on climate change; while just 5 per cent blamed renewable energy costs – the Coalition’s traditional scapegoat for rising power costs.”

    ……..why not show the other statistics as well?approx 50% of people unwilling to pay 1c more for greener energy

    • wholisticguy

      If 50% believe that power companies are ripping them off, is it any surprise that 50% don’t want to pay those same companies MORE money for ‘green power’ especially when you can just buy solar panels yourself and put it on the roof.

      • Joe

        Wholi, spot on comments there. Why would anyone pay a ripoff merchant anymore of your hard earned than you need too. Installing rooftop solar is taking back some control of your own energy situation and of course you generate your very own ‘GreenPower’ instead of feeding those ripoff merchants.

  • Miles Harding

    The Tragic Turnbull government has no chance of fixing this problem. They are completely captured by vested interests and dogmatists.

    It is good to see that consumers know they are being gouged for energy, but concerning that only 22% have connected this to the LNP puppet circus.

  • Sally Noel Triggell

    All these polls show is that the electorate is being misinformed (read lied to ) by a corrupt and incompetent government and media. When you get the wrong information, then chances are very high that you will make the wrong decision. My evidence the results of the last 2 elections.