Study: Power bills to rise if renewable targets dropped

THE ABBOTT government's plans to abandon the nation's renewable energy target will cost consumers an extra half a billion dollars on power bills, a new analysis has found.

A study commissioned by the Clean Energy Council, released Wednesday, showed removing the RET would force households to pay and extra $500 million for electricity by 2020.

It also found if the target was removed, as per the government's plans, it would cost households a further $1.4 billion in power bills each year after 2020.

CEC chief executive David Green said the report showed average families would pay an extra $50 a year on their power bills from 2020 if the RET was scrapped.

He said it reinforced the role renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, could play in protecting consumers from rising gas and electricity prices.

"Recent price rises in Queensland and New South Wales reinforce estimates that gas will increase dramatically in price this decade, as Australia enters the international gas market," he said.

"While the RET remains a critical policy to support Australian projects, the good news is that renewable energy is coming down in cost.

"The RET will help to protect consumers from the power price pain of rising gas prices, while delivering billions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs for regional areas of the country."

The report also found that if the target remained in place, renewable energy would be able to deliver up to 22% of the electricity consumed in Australia by 2020.