The Energy White Paper sets out the government’s policy framework for bringing reliable, competitively priced energy to households, businesses and international markets.

Minister for Industry and Science, the Hon. Ian Macfarlane MP, launched the Energy White Paper on 8 April 2015. Minister Macfarlane said, ‘the measures in the Energy White Paper will deliver stable energy policy and efficient, transparent markets that give consumers information to make choices about their energy use, and industry the confidence to invest.’

The Energy White Paper has three main themes.

Increasing competition to keep prices down

The White Paper notes that ‘effective competition needs adequate supply, choice of suppliers and informed consumers’. The Australian Government will work through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council to support the introduction of appropriate electricity use price signals for consumers and the removal of cross-subsidies. The government will also work with COAG on a cohesive approach to address barriers to supply and competition in the gas market.

Increasing energy productivity to promote growth

This theme highlights that energy productivity improvements can help reduce business and household costs and encourage economic growth. Such improvements could include energy markets providing consumers with new products and choice about how and when they use energy. Energy productivity can also be improved through more efficient buildings, transport and equipment and appliances, including information and decision-making tools (e.g. labels and smart apps) for consumers on these choices. The Australian Government will develop a National Energy Productivity Plan to improve how energy is used in Australia. The plan will include a national energy productivity improvement target of up to 40 per cent by 2030.

Investing in Australia’s energy future

The White Paper recognises the importance of investment to realise the potential of Australia’s natural resources and technology innovation. It looks at actions to promote Australia as an investment destination. The Australian Government supports a technology neutral approach, and the White Paper states that it will continue to support research, development and demonstration of new energy technologies.

The White Paper also builds on other initiatives to reduce pressure on energy prices and increase Australia’s competitiveness as a global energy supplier, including:

Visit the Energy White Paper website for the full paper, ‘Energy White Paper - at a Glance’ and related information.