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PIAA turns up the heat on energy policies

Wednesday, 30 January 2019
By Patrick Howard

Pressing the energy button. Andrew Macaulay with Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, in Canberra

Power surges during heatwave conditions are damaging expensive printing equipment of PIAA member companies in another symptom of a dysfunctional power supply system, according to Andrew Macaulay, CEO.

And right on cue NSW power operators AGL and Origin are both forecasting potential power shortages over today and tomorrow, as they both have broken generators. Between them the two broken generators will take approximately 1300 megawatts of supply out of the system, or around 10 per cent of supply on hot days.

High-profile power crusader Macaulay is continuing to press for Government action as part of his long-running campaign to keep energy prices for printers on the agenda. He points to the slide into administration of RemaPak, the Sydney-based packaging company, as a symptom of high-priced energy.

“It’s ludicrous that Australia, one of the largest exporters of gas in the world cannot maintain supply to local industry at reasonable prices. Suppliers are talking about importing liquid natural gas to meet the shortfall, even as we ramp up export volumes from Queensland,” he said.

Macaulay points to comments by Rod Sims, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, that manufacturers relying on gas will certainly go under at current prices. Sims maintains there is currently a drastic energy shortage in Australia.

“All this feeds through to the higher power prices our members are paying as well as the disruptions to supply due to load shedding on hot days. Members are telling me that power surges are blowing up capital-intensive printing equipment as the network struggles to keep up,” he said.

The latest calls for action reflect a long-running strategy for the Association. According to Macaulay, PIAA members drove the early stages of the national energy policy debate.

“This is now seeing our Federal and State Governments start to take action to focus on the energy consumer’s need for reliable and less costly delivery. PIAA will continue to prosecute this argument.

“We have stepped up and negotiated a service on energy efficiency. This programme will offer members services in reducing their energy consumption, and is forecast to deliver significant saving to participants. The service has just commenced to roll out. It will be offered to all Sustainable Green Print accredited members,’ he said.

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