Prime Minister Scott Morrison is committed to his government's "big stick" energy policy, despite deciding to leave it for the campaign trail rather than bringing it on for a vote in parliament.
The draft laws are in lower house limbo after being introduced by Energy Minister Angus Taylor in the final sitting days of parliament in December.
Labor opposes the proposal - which includes penalties and the potential forced break-up of energy companies - and managed to delay debate on the draft laws last year despite the government's attempts.
"We're taking on those big energy companies to ensure they're doing the right thing by Australians," Mr Morrison told parliament on Wednesday.
"Our policies are designed to ensure there is reliable energy in the grid to ensure power prices come down and Australians can have the reliability that their lights stay on."
But Labor's treasury spokesman Chris Bowen says the government "can't even be bothered" to bring the proposal on for a vote in parliament, accusing the coalition of being "hopeless" with energy policy.
"We would have opposed this 'big stick' legislation with every vote, with every piece of energy we could muster because it's a bad idea," Mr Bowen told reporters in Canberra.
The government argues the draft laws are needed to ensure power retailers and generators do not make decisions which deliberately jack up the price of electricity.
Energy giants and industry investors oppose the bill, arguing it doesn't address why power bills are increasing, and will instead delay investment and cause prices to rise.
The Australian Energy Council breathed a sigh of relief after hearing the government's plan to delay the legislation.
"As the ACCC report acknowledged, the key to bringing down energy prices for Australian families and businesses is a stable policy framework that provides certainty for investors," AEC chief Sarah McNamara said.
The Senate's economics committee is due to report on the legislation in March.
The Greens are moving an amendment to the "big stick" legislation to say that public money cannot be used to underwrite big coal-fired power stations.
With Labor's support, it would put a spanner in the works to the government's plan to underwrite new generation.
Labor will honour any contracts the government makes ahead of the election, but legislation will first have to pass allowing taxpayer money to flow to such projects.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor's priority is to lower power prices, but he has not provided energy giants or consumers a ballpark figure which he wants to reduce them by.
Labor's energy spokesman Mark Butler says the opposition will take up the government's former policy - the National Energy Guarantee - which aims to reduce bills by $550 a year.