FEDERAL energy minister Angus Taylor believes the Coalition has the policies in place to prevent a repeat of the shutdown at Mars Petcare over summer due to sky-rocketing power prices.
The major employer in Wodonga was forced to halt production on three occasions in a move Mr Taylor put squarely at the feet of the Victorian Labor government.
Cannery and single serve productions were impacted when energy costs were 1000 per cent higher than usual.
"The Victorian government is pursuing aggressive renewable energy reduction targets without thinking how to keep the lights on and then were surprised when we had blackouts last summer," Mr Taylor said.
"You've got to make sure your system is reliable and that is why we are committed to Snowy 2.0."
Mr Taylor attended a roundtable of major regional employers including Mars Petcare, Bright Brewery, Butko Engineering, McPhee Meats, Norske Skog and Wilson Transformers and all agreed energy prices were the biggest barrier to productivity.
"They want to see a fairer deal for electricity and that is why we've set this price target, 25 per cent reduction in wholesale prices," he said.
"What we are not going to do is actually impose an emissions reduction target that will kill jobs, trash wages.
'"Economy wrecking targets are not what we're going to do and yet it is what Labor has imposed.
"It is crucial for people to ask independent candidates whether they are supporting these aggressive emission reduction targets."
Indi independent Ms Haines was contacted for comment on whether she supported the Coalition 26 per cent or Labor 45 per cent target.
"The transition towards a cleaner energy grid provides huge opportunities for Indi if government would stop standing in the way of investment," Dr Haines said.
"Building our renewable energy infrastructure will create many jobs across the electorate.
"Experts acknowledge the Coalition target of 26 per cent reduction by 2030 is not going to meet the challenges we face.
"I want to see an end to the senseless wrecking that has led to the current situation we are in - a situation where companies that could be investing in renewables here are going elsewhere because they're scared off by the policy uncertainty caused by rhetoric like Mr Taylor's.
"It is time to end the ideological war on climate and renewable energy.
"Businesses need policy certainty to invest and plan how they will develop our clean energy grid.
" I will work with whoever is in government to support a robust and sensible emissions reduction target and provide certainty for business to get on with the job of creating a cleaner, stronger economy."