The Australian Industry Group has warned industry and households to prepare for escalating electricity and gas prices over the next decade.
In its latest report Energy Shock: Confronting Higher Prices, the AiGroup delivers a sobering message about the “relentlessly increasing energy prices which are impacting on businesses and the community.”
"This new research by Ai Group demonstrates that energy costs have risen substantially over the past five years and that there is no end in sight to these increases,” says Ai Group Chief Executive Heather Ridout.
“This report assesses recent developments and medium-term trends based on the latest data and a survey of more than 150 companies, Ms Ridout says.
“It finds that by 2015 electricity prices are projected to at least double from 2008 levels.
"Australian industry is already grappling with the challenges of a strong dollar and an economy nearing capacity. Cheap energy has been a key source of competitive advantage for Australia in the past, and while Australia is far from alone in confronting rising energy costs, industry is going to have to adapt to higher prices than we have been used to.”
Greater energy efficiency is an obvious strategy, says Ms Ridout.
“Efficiency has long been core business for large companies in energy-intensive sectors, but the coming price rises will require many other businesses to focus on efficiency too.
"Ai Group’s survey, which included many smaller and medium sized companies, found nearly two thirds had not improved their energy efficiency over the past five years. Almost as many did not anticipate making improvements in the next two years.
"This is a worrying result. Ai Group will be working with members and governments to ensure that industry has the support it needs to get on the front foot to deal with this growing problem," Ms Ridout said.
Energy Shock: Confronting Higher Prices can be found at: www.aigroup.com.au/policy/reports