The NSW government's plan to help families and businesses struggling to pay surging power bills is not a final solution as less-responsible states continue to drag the national power grid down, the premier says.
"It's a national issue," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney on Monday.
"Some states haven't been as responsible as NSW when it comes to deriving their energy sources. They've moved too quickly to renewables," she said.
She pointed to South Australia's rolling-blackouts, where power was cut to hundreds of thousands of people when demand outstripped supply over summer, as an example of one state relying on others for energy security.
Her comments follow Sunday's announcement of a NSW energy relief package, which includes increases to low-income household and family energy rebates, concession cardholder discounts and small business concessions.
The reforms will encourage households to use less energy by rewarding consumers who purchase energy efficient lighting and air conditioning.
"We're the most resilient state but that doesn't stop us being susceptible because other states aren't doing the right thing," she said.
"But what I can do, as the Premier, I can provide support for families and businesses and individuals who would have felt that stress if we hadn't intervened."
Energy prices are tipped to increase between 15 and 20 per cent in the coming weeks, and while the premier said the issue is beyond NSW's control, the rebates are designed to absorb the surging bills.
Ms Berejiklian said this was not her solution to rising energy prices but an offer of support people until a national strategy including secure energy supply and a stable transition to renewables was found.
NSW Energy and Utilities Minister Don Harwin said energy retailers would also be forced to abolish early termination fees, paper bill fees and fees for paying over the counter at Australia Post.
Opposition leader Luke Foley said the package was too little too late.
The rebates will be available for the next three years before being re-evaluated, the premier said.
The increased rebates will come into effect immediately for consumers who already receive energy rebates and the appliance upgrades for fridges and televisions are also available now.
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19 December 2018
20 December 2018