Lower power prices all that matter: PM

Consumer prices are all that matter in the energy debate, says Malcolm Turnbull.
Consumer prices are all that matter in the energy debate, says Malcolm Turnbull.

Malcolm Turnbull says lower power prices are all that matter for households and businesses, in rejecting calls for an energy royal commission.

Instead, the prime minister says, an "illuminating" Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report on the electricity sector will be released this week.

"There's only one thing that matters: lower prices, lower prices. Everything should be a means to that end," he told reporters in Tasmania on Monday.

"What we need to have is a certain investment environment, which we haven't had for a long time."

Coalition and Green MPs are pressuring the federal government to act on power prices to counter skyrocketing energy bills for households and businesses.

Greens energy spokesman Adam Bandt says the Greens will seek to introduce a bill setting up a commission of inquiry into power prices when parliament returns.

And coalition MPs, including former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce, have urged Mr Turnbull to threaten power companies with a royal commission unless they cut prices.

But the prime minister says the coalition's proposed national energy guarantee will bring prices down while ensuring reliability and cutting emissions.

"We are making real progress there. We've turned the corner on electricity prices," he said.

Crossbench senators Pauline Hanson and Derryn Hinch don't believe the issue warrants a royal commission.

One Nation leader Senator Hanson would prefer to see an inquiry into family law courts, while Senator Hinch believes the consumer watchdog is best-placed to deal with power prices.

Mr Bandt said the Greens would negotiate with Labor and coalition backbenchers to vote for a commission of inquiry in parliament.

Australian Associated Press