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Hydro's Losses Cost Taxpayer Dearly

27 Oct 2016

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Energy spokesperson

Tasmania’s energy crisis gave Matthew Groom the chance to show leadership and guide Tasmanians through a very difficult time.  Instead, Hydro Tasmania’s Annual Report shows it was a $64 million wasted opportunity.

The energy crisis cost Tasmanians $126 million.  Despite using the Minister’s diesel generators for just a few weeks and generating only a small amount of electricity, the cost of hiring, installing and running them came to $64 million.

The $64 million spent on barely used diesel generators could've been spent financing lasting renewable energy generation.  

For example, the total cost of a fair feed-in-tariff over the next four years would be $15 million.  It would mean 23,000 rooftop solar systems installed and hundreds of jobs created.   

Hydro Tasmania's Annual Report paints an ugly picture of Minister Groom’s handling of the energy crisis.  Some costs were unavoidable, but his failure to work with government bodies and residential customers to find electricity reductions came with a huge price tag. 

Minister Groom’s determination not to seek energy reductions has risked the long-term financial sustainability of our energy generator.  Hydro Tasmania is burdened with a $65.4 million underlying loss, and its net debt has also increased by $95 million over what was forecasted to $827 million. 

Hydro Tasmania’s financial position was only saved by record-low interest rates.

Nearly half the electricity used in Tasmania during the energy crisis was in the residential, business and government sectors.  

The Minister refused to work with government departments, government businesses and councils to find energy savings, or to give practical assistance to small business and households about energy efficiency measures and savings. 

The $126 million cost of the energy crisis should be placed solely at the feet of Matthew Groom.