ELECTION19 ANGUS TAYLOR ENERGY ADDRESS
The Morrison government has set a target to reduce power bills by up to $185-a-year, but Labor warns prices have continued to rise under the coalition.
The target would see the spot price in the national electricity market reduce to less than $70/MWh by the end of 2021.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the saving would amount to a 25 per cent power price reduction.
"This will have a material benefit for all Australians," he said in Sydney on Friday.
Mr Taylor said the government has been "building levers" to achieve the price target, such as underwriting new generation projects, introducing a default market offer and reliability obligations for energy retailers.
But one of the levers is the coalition's stalled divestment legislation, which would force energy companies to split if they deliberately jack up prices.
Labor does not support the proposed laws.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison denied the coalition's new target would result in savings less than those promised under the dumped National Energy Guarantee, which the government claimed would help drive electricity prices down by $550.
At least $150 of that saving would have flowed directly from the NEG policy.
"The work on the default market offer is bringing some prices down by $660," the prime minister told reporters in Rockhampton.
But Labor leader Bill Shorten warned Australians to take the pledge with a grain of salt, saying the government has gone through multiple energy policies while power prices continued to increase.
"The one thing you can set your clock by in Australia is that when the Liberals have a new 'hey presto we're going to reduce your power prices by ...' (pledge) your next bill will probably go up," he told reporters in Cairns.
"Haven't we heard this before? The reality is, the single biggest driver of power prices in this country is a lack of an energy policy."
Mr Shorten said Labor's 50 per cent renewable energy target will drive prices down.
Meanwhile, the energy minister and Labor's energy spokesman Mark Butler are at odds over an election debate, with both claiming the other has refused an offer to discuss policy issues.
Mr Taylor said he had invited Mr Butler to Friday's event in Sydney, while the Labor MP said he asked the minister to debate policy at the National Press Club.