Posted by Andrew Bray

MEDIA RELEASE: Origin chief feels heat over anti-renewables stance

Shareholders of Australia’s largest energy retailer have today called on the AGM to block a proposed $3.75 million bonus for Origin Managing Director Grant King, because of his prolonged campaign to destabilise the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

A group of shareholders will today question Origin management over its renewable energy position and will hand out flyers asking fellow shareholders to do the same.

“We know that Origin has been hard at work lobbying MPs to cut the renewable energy target” said Lindsay Soutar, National Coordinator of 100% Renewable, the group coordinating the action.

“But Origin’s anti-renewables stance has more to do with defending its poor investment decisions in coal and gas than with the cost of the target.

“While the world is embracing renewable energy with $271 billion invested globally last year – more than that invested in coal and gas - less than 5% of Origin’s energy generation comes from renewables sources. It’s increasingly looking like Origin has backed the wrong horse.

“While Origin’s public advertising is trying to maintain an image of being renewable energy leaders, behind the scenes they are major renewable energy blockers, trying to change the rules of the game to suit their own investments.

“Origin has over 500,000 Greenpower customers who actively support renewable energy. They would be very disturbed if they realised the lengths Mr King has been going to destabilise the Renewable Energy Target” said Ms Soutar.

"A recent poll of 1800 Origin customers showed that 90% of them would consider switching to a retailer who genuinely supported renewable energy.

“Grant King is completely out of step with the community in his attempts to stifle renewable energy. Today we are calling on Origin to stop blocking and start backing renewable energy.

“If Mr King really cared about rising energy prices, he’d do well to focus less on his own bonus, and more on investing in the only source of power whose costs are falling – wind and solar” said Ms Soutar. 

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