The plan will coincide with the Greens’ policy of 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030, which has been at the forefront of their national campaign in the lead-up to the May election. The party is also promising free childcare, free TAFE and university courses, dental to be included in Medicare, and affordable housing.
Under the power plan, “low-interest” loans of up to $100,000 for businesses and $20,000 for households will be available to help pay for the transition to electricity.
Subsidies of up to $10,000 per battery for small businesses and $5000 for household batteries will be available, along with additional low-interest loans of up to $50,000 for businesses and $10,000 for households.
The Greens say their Cheaper and Cleaner Power for Homes and Businesses Plan would cost taxpayers $17.1 billion to electrify Australian homes, plus an estimated $14.8 billion for small businesses, and $12.6 billion for battery installation over the next decade.
According to the Parliamentary Budget Office – an independent agency that reports to parliament rather than the executive government – the net cost to the budget over a decade would be $15.8 billion on an underlying cash basis.
The office did not assess the proposal’s impact on the Australian gas, solar or electricity industries as it said it was difficult to determine the net impact on industry profits, employment, or the Commonwealth budget. There was also some uncertainty over how the loan repayments would affect the bottom line.
Bandt said Queensland was a “renewable energy paradise”, but many could not afford batteries to get the most out of their solar panels.
“The Greens’ plan will help people get batteries for their homes and switch from gas to renewables, cutting power bills and cutting pollution,” he said.
“The Greens will make sure Queenslanders are getting bang for their buck, and we expect this plan will see power bills drop to record lows.
“Government support has helped bring down the cost of solar panels, and the Greens want to do the same with batteries.”