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Funds to reduce SA business power costs

AAP logoAAP 12/12/2016

Big businesses in South Australia will get access to $31 million in funding to review and improve their power use so they can save money on bills, with the state government criticising "predatory" power generators.

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis says the money, provided through a mid-year budget review, will help businesses audit their facilities to see where energy efficiencies can be made and implement the necessary changes.

The funds will be rolled out over two years, with audits completed by June 2017.

Mr Koutsantonis said the process will prevent SA from losing jobs if it is too expensive for manufacturers to operate in the state.

"If they can't compete with their interstate or international competitors then they won't survive and we'll lose these jobs here," he told reporters on Tuesday.

Up to 500 SA businesses will be able to share in funds to cover a third of the cost of an energy audit.

Among them at least 110 will be able to receive funds to make changes, which could include installing solar systems with battery storage units or special equipment that reduces power usage.

Mr Koutsantonis said helping businesses use less energy or create their own would break up the monopolies held by the state's "predatory" power generators.

"Their monopoly behaviour does not belong in the 21st century and that's why we're using our procurement to go out and incentivise new generation here in South Australia," he said.

"If they keep on using this predatory practice of pricing, the government will react even stronger in the upcoming budget."

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