Electricity is overpriced

Even the Prime Minister thinks that Australian energy costs are excessive.

It’s official. Even the Prime Minister thinks that Australian energy costs are excessive. In a speech yesterday Prime Minister Julia Gillard gave the states until December to take the pressure off electricity prices or be hit with “the big stick of regulation”.

Ms Gillard said that the system had failed to strike the right balance between affordability and reliability of supply, and threatened to give greater power to the Australian Energy Regulator, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, if prices continued to rise. She also said that the states needed to give consumers better information, such as when they were using ‘peak power’ (more expensive), or ‘off-peak power’ (less expensive), in order to allow them to control their energy spending.

The states were warned to stop price-gouging by over-investing in poles and wires. The practice of over-investing, or ‘gold-plating’, causes power prices to increase unnecessarily in order to fund the increased overheads of the owners of the system, which in some states is the state government.

In New South Wales, where the state government is responsible for energy prices, the cost of energy has increased by 69 per cent over the last four years, which had nothing to do with the carbon tax. This year it has increased by 18 per cent, only half of which is due to the carbon tax. 

In order to control this increase, Prime Minister Gillard has said that the states must agree to a series of measures at a meeting in December or face tighter regulation.

To find out more read The Age article Gillard threatens to use shock therapy on electricity prices.
 

Comment – Forcing energy prices down

While I think Julia Gillard has her flaws, and I don’t always think she hires the right people (shame on the speechwriter who came up with “the big stick of regulation”), for the first time in a long time I am proud of our nation’s leader.

There is so much petty infighting in the political world at the moment that, until I read this speech, I had forgotten why we have politicians. It’s not so that they can win elections. It’s certainly not for our entertainment, or to keep the papers in business. We have politicians so that there is always somebody looking after us, the little people. And that is exactly what has been done here.

We are being massively overcharged on our electricity bills, by companies that earn more money than many of us can even begin to fathom, and finally someone has spoken up. Yes, Tony Abbott blustered on about the carbon tax after the Prime Minister made her speech. But it is obvious from the statistics that these outrageous price increases were happening long before that little political nightmare. This isn’t about the carbon tax, it’s about a much bigger problem. We just have to hope that Ms Gillard isn’t all talk and that, come December, she sticks to her guns and fights for our right to turn on the lights without handing over our life savings for the privilege.

What do you think? Are you paying too much for electricity? And do you think that stricter regulations will make a difference, or is this a losing battle against the corporate giants?



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    COMMENTS

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    jennyya
    8th Aug 2012
    11:17am
    All the people who voted Julia in in the first place, and you would find that not many would admit it, are to blame for the state our country is in at the moment. Electricity prices are going to go through the roof along with food and most consumables. Now Julia is looking for yet another scape-goat (or the same one - poor old Tony) to blame for the cost of living and yet again trying to pull the wool over the more simple minded voters eyes and there are many, so that she can be elected once more and really do the job on this country. Wake up Australia. We have to get rid of this woman.
    Grateful
    8th Aug 2012
    2:15pm
    You are very sad jennya. Not enough exclamation marks to describe your shallow bigotry.
    As for aquatrek asking why wait until December, that is the next meeting with the premiers where the PM can eyeball all those weak kneed new priemers to give them the opportunity to negotiate a consensus resolution. The way it should be done in a democracy, failing which, the P.M. then has the option to enforce regulations. It is up to the state governments, who contribute to the vast majority of the costs of electricity, that have to change their thinking, otherwise, they will be forced to. Let's see who comes out of that meeting as a leader and not just a politician. I know who my money will be on.
    Michael
    8th Aug 2012
    3:50pm
    I must confess I feel just a little sorry for "poor old Tony" One would have to feel sorry for someone as negative as he is, not to mention his appearance. Oops, sorry, I said not to mention his appearance!
    PlanB
    8th Aug 2012
    11:32am
    Oh poor old Phoney Tony LOL
    textappa
    8th Aug 2012
    4:56pm
    Phoney, yes. Poor, no. LOL indeed
    janell279
    8th Aug 2012
    12:02pm
    Just how insulting can you be about our Prime minister. I personally think she cares about people and not power !!! At least she spends money on the Australian folks who really need it, instead of storing it in the coffers to make the bank balance look good !!!!
    jennyya
    8th Aug 2012
    12:44pm
    Yes and we would end up like Greece if you had your way. Take off the blinkers and be a thinking Aussie!!
    slapsy
    8th Aug 2012
    1:23pm
    I thought Tony was the one with the blinkers.They do need adjusting though.
    Oldie@83
    8th Aug 2012
    2:39pm
    Quote from elsewhere:
    Mr Hartcher NSW Energy Minister “Unfortunately our Prime Minister fails to understand how the national energy market operates. It’s Gillard’s own regulator that approves the network price rises,” Mr Hartcher said.
    “All state governments have identified problems with the regulator and called for change – it’s time the Federal Government did something about it.”
    Unquote:
    Its a bit of a worry; whoever, whatever or why, the problem needs fixing.
    aquatrek
    8th Aug 2012
    12:14pm
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Larry-Pickering/236991276355038

    http://pickeringpost.com/article/serious-questions-for-gillardbr-still-no-answers/139

    open your eyes and read or keep your head buried in the sand
    Kohleria
    8th Aug 2012
    12:33pm
    What a pity personal prejudices and emotion, to say nothing of the language are allowed into what should be a rational and fact based discussion.
    Don't place all the blame on our current Federal Government but look more closely at State Governments, past, present and of different colours where infrastructure has for many years been ignored.
    As for "borrow borrow borrow" which for Governments is met with horror, is precisely what businesses do to develop and is seen as "wise". Think about it!
    aquatrek
    8th Aug 2012
    12:54pm
    What kind of fiscal policy allows constant unending massive borrowing yet claims a surplus !! Companies do not borrow beyond their means otherwise they go broke - or individuals go bankrupt - look at the situation in the EU - PIGS [Portugal/Italy/Greece/Spain] - is that what you would wish for the future of Oz ? Labour declared 'tax breaks' for the needy by raising the tax free threshhold - yet all pensioners on the basic payments were already granted dispensation [Iam one so I know - its a fact] - no straightforward pensioner ever paid tax - its just all spin spin spin lies lies lies. The carbon tax and its 0.007c in the dollar impact on the 'average' Oz is a farce. Now the states are to blame and throw in the opposition as well [weird accusation that one]. Duck hide mismanage incompetent - thats why the polls consistently show that Fed Labour will lose nearly all of their seats at the next election. The Oz people are not stupid. Dont get me started hehe
    jarraby
    8th Aug 2012
    2:05pm
    Businesses borrow against future profits. Taxpayers shouldn't be seen as a profit centre, although judging by recent increases to politicians' salaries, you'd think we were!
    davewatto
    8th Aug 2012
    12:51pm
    The whole point of the Carbon Tax was to raise the cost of producing energy yet Gillard has the gall to try to pass the blame somewhere, anywhere , else. By the way, itsn't this daily discussion blog getting just a bit political? The premise put forward each day is from a very left of centre perspective. Personal opinions should be left aside and a discussion initiated in an even-handed way.
    Rachel Tyler Jones
    8th Aug 2012
    3:53pm
    Thank you for your comment, Dave. We always appreciate it when people take the time to leave us feedback, and yours was particularly well-put. Just to explain, when we publish a news article we first provide the facts, free of opinion or bias, to the best of our ability.

    We then include a comment, or opinion. The opinion comes from one of our individual authors, and as such gives their personal point of view on the topic, in much the same way that all of our members have the chance to express their point of view in this comments section.

    I look forward to reading what you have to say in the future, and once again thank you for your feedback.
    Sylvia
    8th Aug 2012
    1:07pm
    If Ms Gillard cares so much about people, then why wait until December to do some thing? People in South Australia who listen to 5AA and Leon Byner are already trying to address this problem, I dread to think how this country is going to get on if this government stays in for much longer. The experts!! who introduced this tax know that inflation will go through the roof, this is just the tip of the iceberg. So why weren't any safe guards put in place, they had long enough to work this out!
    And is any of this tax going to be invested into finding better ways of providing clean power? or do they already know the answer to that!
    aquatrek
    8th Aug 2012
    1:26pm
    The very first worlds greatest treasurer the one dishonourable foul toungued serpent Keating predicted that Oz would be a banana basket case and this might well be achieved in the next 12 months unless there is another haemorrhage 'coup'.
    aquatrek
    8th Aug 2012
    1:33pm
    Hey [off topic - make another good blog though] - we have the 'plucked from thin air' foreign affairs minister jet-setting whilly nilly around the planet and was last seen shaking hands with our neighbour that is still under a military dictatorial coup leadership - is there no end to the Labour hypocrisy ? I just cant get over the 'too many poles and wires' statement - so sad really.
    slapsy
    8th Aug 2012
    1:36pm
    In the area I live in there is a coke works.It has been there for 100 years,continually spewing it's muck into the atmosphere.There doe's not appear to have been any great effort over the years to address this.However,now that they may have to spend some money to gain a reduction in their carbon tax they claim they will have to shut down.Just like the negative attitude of mr.abbott !!!!
    tomtom
    8th Aug 2012
    1:42pm
    OK lets look at what REALLY may be the case for these ridiculous prices being charged.Firstly,the Liberal Government of the day sold of the utilities to pay for the hand outs of the then State Labor party,which almost bankrupted us - our power stations were bought by overseas conglomerates who are only interested in making money and sending profits back to their overseas head offices ( such as Hong Kong ).In the past we payed our SECV bills,now you have a choice of "RETAILERS ",so,according to today's newspaper,25 - 35% goes to the Generators - 25 - 35% poles & wires ( anybody seen any workmen working replacing poles and wires ) 20 - 30% retail charges & compliance costs( what the hell are compliance costs ) and 15-20% State and FEDERAL Government charges.So,since retailers have been introduced we are paying 20 - 30% more.If our generation is predominantly Victorian,where the hell do FEDERAL charges come into it.So as you can see people we are behind the blackball - neither State or Federal Government's will really do anything,because they will lose money - Happy thoughts
    Kenny G
    8th Aug 2012
    1:58pm
    Here here tomtom, right on the money. We have the same problem with water. Victoria has nineteen water authorities. West Australia has one. We are paying for CEO's perks, bonuses plus $300K+ salaries to run water through existing pipekines etc. The desalination plant was given the nod despite the then labour government knowledge that the DISPLAN people were told to prepare for extensive flooding. This information was to be kept secret because the gov. wanted it up and running so more water charges/tax could be applied. Which former unelected Premier got a job with Macquarie Bank who were financing the desal project? The Gippsland Dam would have been a whole lot cheaper.
    bernieo
    8th Aug 2012
    2:10pm
    Hey Julia!!! How about hitting those pesky Kiwis with a carbon tax slug for firing up that volcano over there?
    doclisa
    8th Aug 2012
    2:33pm
    wow I read some of these. It is worth noting that Guillard has dome much for everyday people. For instance raising the tax free threshold fro around $5,000 to around $18,000 makes absolute sense. It will change the way people on lower incomes can be in control of their funds and not seek welfare through the narrow channels available.
    She is talking to the Premier who are a peculaiarly short sighted bunch. Take the current Queensland Premier who has closed Breast Screen QLD, the Tuberculosis Hospital and refuses to assist people on disability. Tony Abott who is merely the dud unelected leader of the opposition has been cheering this behaviour on.
    We have an excellent Prime Minister and she deserves our support and our respect. Lok to how Australian you are by recognising our government to start with. Then actually lisiten to what is happening. The Pricing of Carbon IS NOT A TAX. It is a levy on polluters. It should assist us to bring down our use of electricity and fund finding solutions that are not the unreaasonable burning of fossil fuels. It has been carefull managed to ensure that no one will do without reasonable electricity in their everyday lives by applying payments to those who need it. The aim is to bring down our use of electricity. We need to do this. We are Australian we are proud and we should due to our natural riches in raw materials, like sun and wind and the intelligence to use them, be able to lead the world in setting up commercially viable uses of natural resources that are carbon neutral.
    Every time someone whinges about 'julia' and about the carbon tax you have a duty as a proud Australian to ask them to respect our Prime Minister, use her name as Guillard PM, and tell them that the carbon levy is a must to ensure future jobs in a clean energy country that we can be.
    aquatrek
    8th Aug 2012
    2:57pm
    How many mineable sand grains [silica/SO2] do we have - they are essential for solar panels ? Who makes the worlds most solar panels ? China. How much subsidy is there now available to those who try to switch [no pun intended but I do like them when they just pop out haha] to solar ? none - killed off by Labour. Go figure it all out and you will see that clever far sighted science based manufacturing is dead in Oz. Killed stone dead. Wind farms - how many have we got ? very few - what I hear you say we dont have wind ? Nuclear - ooohhh now there is a nasty - we mine it and ? ship it to India etc. Look at all of western europe and see how much nuclear makes up their power generation. They have been using it for many years. Governments in this country are inept - ill advised - Garneau, an economist, sits on the board of one of the worlds biggest polluters OK Tedi and was the selected advisor for the environment - what a farce. Flannery - gone very very quite hasnt he. We will have a surplus is the Labour battle cry - yeh, a surplus of sand and electricity that the elderly and poor just cant afford. It will all soon be over Ju-liar.
    aquatrek
    8th Aug 2012
    3:00pm
    Unfortunately your first paragraph just illustrates that you dont understand the $$$ trickery/spin/woolly blanket that has been pulled over your eyes.
    Millie
    8th Aug 2012
    2:57pm
    by the way, raising the tax threshold is long overdue and should happen every year in line with the inflation!
    it should not be seen in any way as a tax cut.
    borrowing money for non-productive reasons is a path to governmental bankruptcy.
    businesses borrow to ultimately make more profit, can't compare that with government.
    We haven't yet solved the problem of using energy that is not carbon producing.
    how about addressing the issue of massive over consumption and subsequent land fill.
    No one ever talks about this because we are driven by consumerism and growth.
    unfortunately everyone "wants" more for their own benefit, not enough produce to pay those "wants".
    doclisa
    8th Aug 2012
    2:57pm
    I would rather be a proud Australian by using our intelligence, our creativity, our wonderful and unique country and peoples to build up a carbon neutral energy system that would be the envy of the world. I want us to look at our country NOW.
    We have a unique position in the world. Economically we are one of the few countries on our feet, despite the negative whinging and incorrect information of the unelected Liberal Party. Their strategy to tell us we are not doing well is almost criminal in it's ability to de-stabalise our economy.
    We need to decide what kind of country we want to be. We need to retain funding in creativity, education and experimental technology. We are part of a new world that values content and the ability to share this as free or as a financial exchange. The Liberal Party is still tied to older technologies and limiting our fair and reasonable access to the benefits of selling our country's minerals, and to the next step where the funds from this short term benefit are squandered on their own trivial concerns and personal wealth of the few when these funds need to support our ability to participate in the new world order.
    We are a proud people and we need to take advantage of the benefits we have and not let them be lost for we must recognise that minerals are a short term thing, and the funds from this are simply going unhinered to the pockets of the 3. Gina Rienharrdt the richest woman in the world has never never given money to support a charity a community nothing, has complained that she cannot afford to pay tax and attacks the Prime Minister for the reasonable demand that she does pay tax. Abbott for no reason seems to think Gina should not pay tax either. Go figure.
    We need a bit of respect for our duly elected and hard working Prime Minister. Guillards task is hard. She is our first woman Prime Minister and as such we need to recognise the everyday difficulties that contains and actually be able to show our pride in our democratically elected leader and respect the position.
    Stop using her first name and actually think about what she says. It is usually for the benefit of the broader community not the few at the top of the money chain.
    Lets join together and get people to repect the positon.
    aquatrek
    8th Aug 2012
    3:02pm
    She was not democratically elected.
    aquatrek
    8th Aug 2012
    3:04pm
    In undeveloped countries it is called a 'coup' - in this case it was an internal back stab by very powerful factions that are not transparent to the Oz public.
    aquatrek
    8th Aug 2012
    3:06pm
    again - pls read the http://pickeringpost.com
    EELS
    8th Aug 2012
    3:00pm
    "I personally think she cares about people" eh janell279. Trouble is she seems to care more for people in the rest of the world than Australians. $500 Billion in cuts from Aged Care and oh guess what we can afford to give $400Billion to Syria! Give us a break.
    doclisa
    8th Aug 2012
    4:07pm
    there are a range of important reasons for giving aid to foriegn countries. There were not 500 million taken from aged care.
    get a grip stop believeing the lies of a bitter an twisted opposition leader who could not get elected and could not form a government.
    EELS
    8th Aug 2012
    3:18pm
    Sorry make that Million!!
    motaleon
    8th Aug 2012
    3:23pm
    All this rubbish about being adequately compensated for our electricity consumption is being pedalled by a government with egg on its face. Anything you buy from a business will have a component of THEIR electricity bill passed on to the consumer to cover THEIR increase in costs; that means everything you buy!
    doclisa
    8th Aug 2012
    4:13pm
    the government does not have egg on it's face.
    Yes it will cost us more to use things that need electricity.
    That is part of the reason that we have the levy. We need to recognise the 'free kick' that business has had for years of NOT PAYING for polluting our atmosphere.
    We need to change the way we use our resources. The polluters having to pay a more real cost for what they do is just the start. We need to learn our to moniter and change our usage. We need the funds from current mining to go to new technology industry and jobs to replace the outmoded technology we currently use.
    We are Australian. We need to use our resources well. We need to recognise our democratically elected government and actually make choices and understand more than our parents ever had to. The world is not simple and our duly elected government and leader is thinking it through for us. We need to support our Prime Minister and stop the crock of lies such as the 'coup' comments above. That predates an election that was carried out to the usual standards in our democratic country.
    jennyb
    8th Aug 2012
    4:11pm
    I'm just glad I went solar when I did. Not a huge system, doesn't cover my fairly frugal needs, but makes a big difference when the bill comes in compared to my hapless neighbors. Incidentally, I've always been fascinated as to why GST is charged on electricity supply - surely an essential service? Can anyone help me out here?
    Alexia_x
    8th Aug 2012
    4:13pm
    Wake up people!
    Prices on electricity and other utilities will keep going up regardless who is in power, it is a natural consequence of progress and the inflated salaries that people in industry, government and executive positions demand these days.
    Any promises made by fake Tony, or anyone else, will fall by the board and be justified somehow by the proposer, excuses and blame are the property of those chasing power and of course politicians are the main example of this.
    So, do the best you can or jump and down at their door when election time comes. They are all useless anyway.
    And if you don't want to pay the raises, go back to fireplaces and candles!
    EELS
    8th Aug 2012
    4:41pm
    Doclisa, talking about people getting a grip. You are most opinionated and not everyone is an idiot, thank you. We do not need to be indoctrinated by either political leader to be able to see it like it is. You are obviously a hide bound ALP devotee who believes all the propaganda dished out by the your party, but please don't try and shout down anyone with an opinion that is not yours with your verbal diarrhea.
    Pass the Ductape
    8th Aug 2012
    5:10pm
    And the world goes around - and the world goes around!
    aquatrek
    8th Aug 2012
    5:18pm
    So reassuring and comforting to see all the olde regulars on here again !! We should organize a piss up - ooops morning tea at say Ayers Rock. Should be easy to count the new poles and wires on our collective way to the venue.
    Pass the Ductape
    9th Aug 2012
    6:56am
    Sounds like a plan.
    Don't know about the poles and the wires though. Haven't seen many of those for a while so I might need re-educating as to what they might look like these days. I've been getting all my power courtesy of the sun for the last 12 years and overall, it's paid off big-time.
    aquatrek
    8th Aug 2012
    5:25pm
    aha - Ju-liar is just confused about which electricity poles and wires she was attempting to refer to. Silly silly of us/me to get all het up over that gaff. Here is the real reason:
    http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/government-it/nbn-costs-blow-out-by-46b-20120808-23u0f.html
    hmmm - 10% increase 'so far'. Probably caused by the rise in electricity prices for the extra poles and wires for the NBN !! iNCOMPETENT ? na not really cause there is no stronger word that I am allowed to use on here.
    aquatrek
    8th Aug 2012
    5:28pm
    ps - for all of the fanatical socialist personnel blogging on here that is a staggering 4.6 BILLION Oz dollars !!!!!!!!!!!!! Probably just borrow some more from China.
    aquatrek
    8th Aug 2012
    5:40pm
    oooopsy - there goes that battle cry/promised surplus out the proverbial window. Wonder what the worlds second greatest treasurer will say about that. Pls stop me someone.
    piklo
    8th Aug 2012
    5:33pm
    gooday people
    I agree with the majority of comments today wake up australians juliar gillard (red ned the commo) is trying to pull the wool over our eyes again what a load of bs she has lied just about everytime she opens her mouth and being a labour voter for many years this woman has put me off voting labour ever again if I live for another 65 years they are all as bad as each other but she takes the cake the bills will keep going up no matter what someone has to pay for all the illigals the bill I believe is $7000000.00 and going up some one has to pay quess who ??????????

    8th Aug 2012
    6:21pm
    Interestingly, in WA, our electricity bills have gone up by 62% since the Liberals got into power and that was before the GST was introduced.
    purplejan88
    8th Aug 2012
    6:45pm
    electricity is a necessity not a luxury - should be a flat rate, government owned utility and not for profit
    toot2000
    8th Aug 2012
    7:30pm
    We had a campaign running in Sydney called One Big Switch, 234,000 people registered and the organizers sought deals with electricity and gas providers and sent us a list of companies to choose from. Last week we signed up with Tru Energy who offered a discount of 16 1/2 percent on electricity and 11 1/2 per cent discount on gas. Exit fees apply and it’s for a 3 year contract. Haven't had a bill yet, expecting one soon.
    aquatrek
    8th Aug 2012
    7:50pm
    I had Origin and AGL begging me to accept their offers - promises were made that couldnt be kept - absolutely ludicrous the to-ing and fro-ing via telephone and snail mail when I had already accepted a contract [10 days cooling off period - how the bloody hell is that supposed to work when one gets bills quarterly ?]. Totally out of control = crazy debacle all caused by you know who.
    toot2000
    8th Aug 2012
    8:01pm
    Agree, 10 days is ridiculous, fingers crossed it all works out.
    Grateful
    9th Aug 2012
    9:32am
    Sorry toot2000. If you check ALL the charges that TRU Energy includes on their bills, you will find that the discounts are genuinely very good, but, although the hourly rate is competitive after the early payment discount, the daily service charge is massively more expensive than many of their competitors. Overall, you will find that TRU Energy is barely much cheaper than what it was before the One Big Switch campaign and you have to pay the bill within 21 days. So, what they give with one hand they take with the other.
    And aquatrek, I get my electricity bill monthly and I can't believe that someone who espouses such knowledge needs a 10 day cooling off period AFTER signing any contract. Why didn't you check out ALL the relevant details BEFORE you signed the contract?? Naughty, naughty, I thought that we were all taught that.
    toot2000
    9th Aug 2012
    10:13am
    So what you are saying is that 234,000 people have been conned, I think I'll wait until I get my bill before making any further comment.
    Grateful
    9th Aug 2012
    11:59am
    No toot2000. Just that it is nowhere as good as it sounds. Never is when you look at the fine print. If your previous rates were higher than what TRU Energy has offered after the discount, then, of course you will be better off. But, check the TRU Energy rates, all of them, with your previous supplier and do the sums. No, it is not a con, it is just a reasonable deal for those that don't want to do the hard work of comparing for themselves. There ARE better deals out there than this TRU Energy one. That's why I didn't sign up and that's all I am trying to say. Simple.
    But, do your own research and you will find out what I am alluding to.
    toot2000
    9th Aug 2012
    1:13pm
    If there are better deals out there than Tru Energy, what are they?
    Grateful
    9th Aug 2012
    1:58pm
    Toot2000. My "research" was to personally ring up all the major suppliers and/or billers and got their best price. If you don't want to go to that trouble, although it is not much trouble, you can log into GoSwitch.com and they will give you comparisons for the area in which you live (as you know, all areas have different charges).
    The very easiest way is to simply ring your previous supplier and tell them the deal that you have received from Tru Energy and more often than not, from what I have heard from friends and family, the previous supplier will match or better TRU Energy's "deal". But, don't forget to include ALL charges, especially the daily service fee, and the terms of the discount, to make a fair comparison.
    I will not advertise the company that I am with, but, for my area, it is FAR cheaper than TRU Energy.
    I am also doing my bit by being much more responsible with our usage. That alone saw my electricity usage drop by more than 25% and this has also gone a long way to negating the rises in costs. We still heat our home with a reverse cycle air conditioner, but, set on 21/22 degrees, not 30 degrees that many do, never use a clothes drier or a dish washer (that's me) and don't leave lights on un-necessarily. It's not hard to do and I am getting the same savings as I would have had if I installed solar panels. Win/win.
    P.S. I am on the full age pension with my wife and a very tight budget as most of you are also experiencing, but none of the above has had any detriment on our previous lifestyle. So, you don't have to be a martyr, just be a bit more careful in your electricity usage.
    aquatrek
    9th Aug 2012
    7:41pm
    Grateful - you are so dumb - the contract had a 10 cooling off period - toot2000 saw that - its in black text - go get your reading glasses.
    Grateful
    10th Aug 2012
    10:03am
    Aquatrek, I must be dumb as I read in this partcular blog that it was YOU that signed a contract with a 10 day cooling off period and I reponded to that by saying that i was surprised that a person with your often stated brilliance would ever sign ANY contract and needed a 10 day cooling off period. We were always taught to NEVER sign ANY contract unless you were perfectly satisfied what you were comitting to. You only need a 10 day cooling off period if you hadn't fully researched the decision that you made in signing that contract. But, let's keep the personal abuse out of what Toot has introduced as a very interesting and important issue as 234,000 people have been involved in what really could prove to be a highly overated scheme, good, but overated. Toot has entered into the scheme in good faith, like many others, I am just saying that although he will still be getting a better deal than previous, there are even better deals out there if you do the hard research.
    toot2000
    10th Aug 2012
    10:47am
    After making some enquiries, I have opted out of Tru Energy and by staying with our current provider AGL, we will save approximately $50 per quarter. Definitely worth the exercise of delving into the abyss of providers claiming to be the cheapest, they tell porkies.
    Grateful
    10th Aug 2012
    1:19pm
    Good on you Toot2000. The TRU Energy deal certainly is far better than their previous offerings, but, they, like most of them, are still ripping us off and unless we help ourselves and actually speak to these people, they will continue to do so. Very worthwhile exercise and certainly worth that phone call. Well done.
    aquatrek
    10th Aug 2012
    1:30pm
    Dear Grateful - dont try to tell me with your arrogance 'how to suck eggs'. I am not stupid which is what you have implied with your 'personal' viciousness. AGL is the company that I chose to go with just as toot2000 has. I merely stated that the contract had a 10 day cool off period [billing is quarterly so 10 days is rather silly] - you are so inept that you are cluttering up these pages with multiple copies of posts - go in and remove the duplicates or do you just like to see your text over and over and over again ?
    Grateful
    10th Aug 2012
    3:58pm
    Aquatek. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. While you concentrate on abusing the person, hopefully, the rest of us will stick to the issues under discussion. I hope that my suggestion to Toot2000 has saved him money and very much hope that others do the same. You call me "dear" "dumb" and the P.M. "Ju-liar", so, why does anybody possibly take you seriously? I won't even bother to tell you and every other reader what I really think of you and your "contributions". I am sure that very many have reached the same view.
    professori_au
    8th Aug 2012
    9:33pm
    Hi all,
    Just so I am not accused of ranting and raving, let me point out I am apolitical as I see that both major parties have ignore our constitution and are in the process of corporatizing our country and taking away all of our Common Law rights. Our utilities belong ed to the people, yet these governments sold them off to overseas interests without seeking the approval of the people through a referendum.
    Our departments have been corporized and corporate organisation named councils in Vcitoria have been raising taxes and other revenue, which is the perogative of the commonwealth. Local Government has no standing under the constitution as it is the State that is the local government provider, responsibile for funding our local community services. The present government is proposing to put up an referendum to recongise a third tier of government called local government. Why do we need two local governments. One would be sufficient if it did it job properly instead of pandering to vested interests of overseas multinationals or pandering to the power factions of political parties. Bring back our rule of Law, which is the Commonwealth Constitution that protects our rights. The people of the Commowealth are the employers of the government, not theeir servants, nor the grab bag for revenue raising
    aquatrek
    8th Aug 2012
    10:00pm
    I wondered where you were lurking professori_au hehe welcome - I actually academically studied this local government phenomenon and it is indeed a blight upon our nation. But it is systematically 'entrenched' and only a complete pheasants revolt would usurp the current arrangements. Long live democratic Freedom.
    Pass the Ductape
    9th Aug 2012
    7:02am
    More 'power' to ya aquatrek.

    Damn - I just can't help myself!
    kizibo
    9th Aug 2012
    9:17am
    Just a note to doclisa when you state that the Carbon Price is not a TAX but a levy - the Oxford dictionary definition of a levy is: The imposition of a TAX,fee,fine or a subscription.
    Grateful
    9th Aug 2012
    1:29pm
    Kizibo. Actually, it is neither a tax nor a levy and the sooner people understand that the better for their peace of mind. This "Carbon Tax" is a penalty, a charge, a fine, against the largest polluters of our atmosphere and is topical to this discussion, as the majority of that pollution is generated by the very people who are at the root of our higher electricity charges.
    If these 400 or so companies that are being penalised were seen to be spilling a few thimbles full of oil or chemical discharge into our rivers and oceans, I bet that EVERYONE on this forum would be screaming for their heads and to have them jailed and very heavily fined. But, call it a "tax" and instead of calling for the heads of the perpetrators of this major pollution, we ask for the heads of the people who are prepared to fine them. Akin to asking for the police to be put in jail for arresting drug smugglers. Crazy. And the fines that will be collected will be put towards clean energy research, family assistance and our kids' education. And some want it scrapped and as an alternative, to PAY the major polluters to COUNTERACT their polluting!!!!! If people threw away their bigotry and did some real research instead of reading those highly inaccurate newspapers and listening to those biased, vindictive "hot jocks", they would see how foolish their criticism is and how valuable those fines will be to the benefit of our environment, families and children.
    tomtom
    9th Aug 2012
    10:45am
    It is fantastic to see all these comments the people of Australia are making in YourLifechoices,it shows we as seniors are listening and talking/communicating with each other,however,are the politicians looking/listening?I think not.There are people TRYING to get organised to get the message to those who DO NOT want to listen.For a start,there is a new party trying to form to take troubles up to the Government - contact the following on e-mail to find out more: australiangreyparty@hotmail.com If you dont want to be involved in this,instead of whinging in the paper,get on to your Federal and State representatives,e-mail,write,phone,visit - let these people start to EARN their money,take it up to them,put to them what you have been putting in the Lifechoices.Seniors of Australia,it is about time we were heard - DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT - NOW.Have a great day
    Boof
    9th Aug 2012
    11:02am
    Jennyya is a bigot, without looking at the facts. Privatisation has cused the Electricity prices to rise. GREEDY CEO's of many Power Companies, which the State Governments have empowered to do their job for them, paying them of course with our money. CEO's of these companies have to keep up appearances with their "Pit Street" Four Wheel Drives and million dollar tastes'. Poor old pensioners' can't afford "Solar Panels" on their roof or are renting, which would ease the pain a bit. CEO's of Power Companies can and pay nothing for their power. Governments were supposed to be in charge of INFRASTRUCTURE, not pay someone else to do it for them, whilce they stick their piggy noses into ordinary people lives.
    wills nan
    9th Aug 2012
    11:05am
    hi all this is my ist to this site.. i changed electricity operators a few yrs aback because their prices were rising,, have been with another one for nearly 5 with no real issues ,the latest bill come in via my trusty internet and i was pleasantly surprised. although i put 40 to 50.00 each fortnight away . ive always been able to cover my electric bill. and this latest one was only 8.00 more than the previous one.. my hot water system died 2 yrs ago and changed over to rinnai gas hot water system as we already have gas for home heating and cooking.. we have used 2x45 kg tanks so far this winter and will just be ready with a back up to change over soon.. this will take us through to probably end of sept then the next one will take us right through to about april next yr.. again i put x amount each pension for gas as well as electric.. i am a labor supporter by my own choice.. i dont think julia is doing too bad.. yes she did fluff it with the carbon tax issues.. but come one all you one eyed voters for whatever party you follow .. both ( whoever is in) parties have been the best thing since sliced bread and the the worse party ever in power.. according to others againgst which ever party is in power at any one time everybody whinged about gst yrs .. it was going to be the ruination of us all. some jobs are going ofshore.. cos asia can do it cheaper,, which is sad when we have lots of industries here in oz.. i will aways buy oz brands. from family companies in preference to imported. if it keeps aother family in business,, i am a 11 gen oz person. prould of my heritage ,yes my very ist one came here from ireland for pinching something . to feed his family, but his ist son become my original oz so i am proud to support other small families.. . as for electrric and gas hies.. budget budget budget.. i cannot fathom how some people live from week to week.. with 500.plus bills.. pay it in small amounts and then shoullllldnt be to much to pay if any when billing cycle comes round.. i grew up in the bush with a very frugal mother.. who taught me how to budget.. my dad was a sharefamer. shearer and anything else he could do to feed us.. we had lots of rabbit stew.. but we were never cold or hungry.. and my live thes days is th same.. minus the rabbit stew.. i inherited estate from my day and he always wanted us to look after ourselfes.. and our daughter.. etc.. so we bought a( complete 2 houses in one) house kids are upstairs . us oldies downstairs.. but we put money into the rates for the house.. and as i said before i budget for house commoditeis.. and we can still go away for aweek here or thewre.. depends on 5 yr old grandson we can enjoy a nice bottle of wine and a nite out every now and again.. cheers
    Pickles
    9th Aug 2012
    11:34am
    I wonder how much of the increases that were to pay for infrastructure maintenance are actually being used for that purpose or how much is being diverted to other uses Surely if all the money raised is not being used for the publisised purpose then the managers and directors should have a case to answer for fraud or mis-representation and should be legally punished
    tomtom
    9th Aug 2012
    1:52pm
    G'day Pickles -I have been saying for months & months,where is the money going - I have not seen any new infrastructure,line work or anything to suggest our money is being used other than to prop up foreigners.In Victoria,Latrobe Valley,the majors - Hazelwood Power,owned by global giant,IPR - GDF Suez. Loy Yang,partly owned by Tokyo Electric Power Company and Yallourn owned by Hong Kong based CLP.So you can see where the money is going,certainly NOT back into helping Australians.
    Alexia_x
    9th Aug 2012
    1:06pm
    wills nan:
    I am happy for you that you are so contented with your life, but understand that others are not due to the current political and economical climate in our country and so we appreciate your life recommendations and so forth, but please do not tell us your life history and then try to teach us all how wonderful a frugal and penny pinching life is, we all have some experience in life and could tell you a few things that would surprise you (a lot) but prefer to simply discuss the issue exposed by the article above, namely the increase in price of utilities that everyone depends on, did you realize that was the subject?
    Pass the Ductape
    9th Aug 2012
    1:12pm
    Yes, I tend to agree!
    EELS
    9th Aug 2012
    2:20pm
    Complete the statement vivity - because the previous State Labor Government artificially kept prices down by not increasing them to keep pace with costs for 11 years. This resulted in the taxpayer having to subsidize everyone's bill. In other words, those in huge mansions were being subsidized the same as the more modest users. Now that parity is almost achieved, it means user pays and if you cant the Government has measures in place to assist those in hardship.
    Anonymous
    9th Aug 2012
    10:20pm
    Eels as you noted it was a statement like other posts saying how much electricity had gone up in other states. I hope you heard the News that Libs
    Front Bench are agreeing that Electricity costs have gone up to pay for needed infrastructure in All States, certainly Vic and Wa can relate to that. There are plenty of new poles very recently delivered in my neighbourhood to confirm that, I don't think all states have been Labour for the past 11 years.
    I find your comments to myself and others on here patronizing and it is this and the aggressive attitudes which is damaging the Liberal party hopefully Abbott gets kicked out and Malcolm Turnbull comes in. Incidentally I live in Barnetts Electorate and a lot of "those big mansions" have been rebuilt by the hardworking offspring of the original owners they also pay their taxes and go without holidays and luxuries, mine is an original but on their behalf I found your comments quite offensive.
    robby
    9th Aug 2012
    2:37pm
    Don't get annoyed Alexia_x with somebody whose wise parents have left them in a slightly better position. The facts of the matter are that consumers are being ripped off by the elected Government BIG TIME.
    If you look at your water & electricity bill, you will see that a major item is the supply charge. This is an insult to our intelligence. A developer in the NSW outer city suburbs does a subdivision & he pays a ball park figure for electricity infrastructure of $4,000 per block, $5,000 for sewer infrastructure per block & $5,000 for a duel water supply. The costs plus the borrowing costs plus a profit margin of 25 to 30%, totalling around $20,000 are built into the price of the block of land that you buy. when you buy the block to have your home built, YOU BUY THE TOTAL COST OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE which you are then charged for again by your carrier or supplier, because they have to supply a massive dividend to the State Government that does not own the infrastructure. We are being treated like idiots & do you know why? We are. We voted for these thieves.
    Grateful
    9th Aug 2012
    2:49pm
    N.B. STATE governments!!!
    Alexia_x
    9th Aug 2012
    7:33pm
    robby;
    you miss my whole point, never mind.
    By the way, who is left by their "wise parents" in a "slightly better position"?
    Do you know what you are talking about?
    Alexia_x
    9th Aug 2012
    7:33pm
    Nah!
    robby
    9th Aug 2012
    9:26pm
    Alexia_x, I was trying to make a comment on a friendly basis. I don't know what you think I don't know about what I am talking about, but if it is about the infrastructure rip off, yes I do. However, if you are determined to be bitchy, go for it.
    professori_au
    9th Aug 2012
    11:33pm
    Hi Aquatrek,
    Nice to see you again.
    The reason why I have not been on is because the "peasants “are starting to revolt.
    I have been pretty active and pushed the idea that if we sit down and recognise that our parliaments are acting illegally but fail to do nothing more than grizzle we deserve what we get.
    Over the years I have spoken with people who have a “Whatchagottado” mentality and do nothing but criticise rather than support and contribute their knowledge and experiences in the fight to get back our Rule of Law.
    There is one case being prepared around the concept of treason. I was told it applies only with the Monarch. That is incorrect. Treason can be against the sovereign and in Australia the sovereign represent the People of the Commonwealth of Australia.
    I have spoken with people who have been studying for years our constitution but have not got into action. Well I have started here by challenging these de facto councils to show their authority to sell off public assets and crown lands. I have done the same with government departments. While forwarding my challenge I have also sent it to the media.. I have been working with many people and groups Australia wise. One person whom you may wish to seek information from is Peter Olney. He is presently setting up some class action. He can be contacted on Peter Olney. Email me: peterjil@iinet.net.au
    Also, in Victoria is another group http://www.clrg.info/join-mailing-list/ has been involved with research and some cases. You will be surprised with the information you will find.
    People I have spoken with involved with protection of our heritage, parks and gardens, Public Housing, Fighting to protect crown land that the department is proposing to sell off to developers, Farming groups, ratepayers associations. Let us add our voices and we will win.
    Lower Courts in Victoria are basically star chambers, which were outlawed hundreds of years ago in Britain.
    These cases wil be taken to the High courts to resolve.
    The message should start to get through those intellectually challenged politicians we were hoodwinked into believing they would carry out the Mandate of the people. Now people are getting angry and are starting to query governments performances. Over the years we trusted our governments to do what the people mandated only to find they have been altering our laws to suit vested interests and deliberately misinforming the public.
    professori_au
    9th Aug 2012
    11:41pm
    another thouught,
    Ask your "councils" just how much money is held in the numerous envestment accounts. You will not be told that as they, (an incorporated trading organisation) will hide behind commercial and confidential FOI clases.
    Add the same question to all of the government departments, even the victorian government has an ABN number, therefore is an incorated organisation. this is part of the Admiralty Law/ Corporation attempt to Develop a Corporation of government where you will have no rights, including Common Law rights. The Corporation will own everything.
    Do some research yourselves rather than take my word for it.
    Alexia_x
    10th Aug 2012
    12:30am
    robby, you are rude and insulting (also rather uninteresting). And by the way the subject was electricity price raise, not infrastructure...and I was not annoyed then but I am now with you, no need for rudeness.
    Please do not address me again.
    Abby
    10th Aug 2012
    9:27am
    Any relationship to Alex Williamson ?
    aquatrek
    10th Aug 2012
    2:35pm
    http://www.2gb.com/index2.php?option=com_newsmanager&task=view&id=13864
    aquatrek
    10th Aug 2012
    2:48pm
    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/australia/government-budget
    after removing the annoying add
    alter the selection parameters to be Jan 1980 > Jul 2012
    each huge dip is the effect of Labour party policy
    its a wonder that the Coalition keeps dragging us back out again
    a picture tells a thousand words [cant insert it into here though]

    the newspapers and tv should publish this but I have never ever seen it 'out there'
    robby
    10th Aug 2012
    3:25pm
    I am not addressing this to Alexia_x but am defending myself. She said, Do I know what I am talking about, then followed that up with another post "Nah!" Of course a mere male shouldn't take that as rude. The subject at hand is "electricity is overpriced". I offered accurate & factual information on the rip off involving over 20% of the inflated electricity price. But she is so wise & knowledgeable & calls me rude.
    aquatrek
    10th Aug 2012
    4:04pm
    miaowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww spit hiss miaoooooowwwwwwwwwwwwww spit hiss

    this blogging is so much 'fun' watching the apes cajole each other
    yeh, I admit to taking a cupla swings at the virtual air as well heheheh
    ENGINEFREAK
    10th Aug 2012
    8:11pm
    When we think about using less energy , does anybody think about the implications? . Using electric cars wont stop pollution because of the pollution needed to make them. I wont mention the charging of batteries. There was A steam powered Falcon which could do 100 kms for every litre of power kero. Just before Ted pritchard was about to make this fact public the patents were bought out. Ted died shortly after .
    Abby
    12th Aug 2012
    11:26am
    An interesting bit of info from the past - unfortunatelly not using electricity in Australia is not going to make any significant difference to carbon polution worldwide. The politicians that are promoting Carbon Tax, make more Carbon Pollution jetting around the world spending the Taxpayer's money.
    Grateful
    12th Aug 2012
    4:53pm
    Enginefreak. Do you know if one of the implications of using less energy, eg those that convert to solar and do not use mainsteam electricity, do those that are left then have to pick up the bill for the ones that have dropped out of the system? Someone will still have to pay for the poles and wires and executives' million dollar salaries?
    professori_au
    13th Aug 2012
    1:30am
    poor millionaires.:(
    They are private companies now and as in business if you make errors of judgement then you have to wear it, not the customer; that is why there is no encouragement to develop alternatives.
    Perhaps the best alternative would be to hand it back to the people, from where it was stolen and where real costs can be checked out. These corporations hide behind commercial and confidentiality to stop having to make public their actions.
    Some of these public utilities were bought and developed by the local community without government funding, so really were owned by the locals, yet the government stepped in and sold them. The funds were not returned to the locals.

    Regarding Pritchard. I knew him and no of his work intially I believe on a Falcon. However, it was not to be. Vested interests ensured that and governments supported them rather than invest money in further Research and Development. Australia has failed to invest in R&D probably since the 70's. No wonder we are losing our manufacturing industries, our textiles industries etc. Australia was a rapdily developing country until our intellectually challenged leaders were conned into the concept of level playing fields and global economy. th third world countries it was supposed to improve their quality of life has not happened. The corrupt and the rich have exploite them further with low wages, sweat shops, etc.

    14th Aug 2012
    5:18pm
    If you live in Tassie residential customers do not get any choice in energy retailers. Even though owned by the taxpayer, was split into 3 bits to compete with itself and capped til 2012 and now no word from Labor as to when we can go elsewhere.
    .
    Meanwhile they the Labor state government buy 16 billion a year off of a Queensland power supplier as cheaper and now we find one of our 3 bits, wires and pole I think . are selling to them cheap and they resell it back to the government. Really quite typical of Labor these days - gone mad seemingly.
    .
    And the people working for these 3 earn better salaries and perks than most on the Island as well as getting a 20% discount on their power - on top of sponsoring sport and lots of other things all priced into the 62% rise in power before the carbon tax arrives.
    .
    And Labor having promised to roll out mains gas in 2003 only did so the big business so unless close to lines too bad. and now they complain they are not selling as much electricity - dummies people cant afford it and are shutting off using it or going over to LPG by the hundreds.
    .
    And with LPG now has that competition with other suppliers coming down that at least is cheaper than it was. Still some dummies didnt answer the TV ad to freeze the price for 12 months prior to carbon tax. I did got it cheaper than last years and that was cheaper than year before. One man's meat.......
    Beemee
    14th Aug 2012
    6:52pm
    Good grief who do you choose? Julie G who has firmly stated NO carbon Tax while she was in Office. We all know how that turned out.
    Tony Abbott, no backbone to straighten this mess out, but I'll give him credit as he has mentioned a few good things, but I don't think he has the intestinal fortitude to have them implemented.
    What I see from the outside: Pollies and not only one, gave themselves a whopper of a pay rise as soon as J.G gets into power. Not smart when a majority of the population is hurting financially, good way to make immediate enemies.

    All the pollies that run for a position no matter what it is, are ALL quite wealthy in their own right.
    How about having someone like one of us in Parliament? We know how to budget, make do on very little, in some cases save a little and in some cases not, but we pay our bills and keep out of debt. I reckon we would have Australia up and running in 3 years and making a profit like we had in the 60's when we rode on the sheeps back.
    Step 1. Cut ALL pollies wage in half.
    Step 2. Remove the right for pollies to have these huge pensions into the hundreds of thousands AND still get other paid work.
    Step 3. All major companies CEO's have their wage cut cut to around $200,000 per year, and stop this atrocious 1 million plus etc annual wage. Not on.
    Step 4. Make all pollies accountable for their stuff ups, don't reward them by giving them another portfolio, boot them out because it likely they will stuff up something else.
    Garret needs the boot after the insulation fiasco.
    The jerk needs the boot in the nurses wage debacle.
    That's for starters, and wouldn't the pollies scream blue murder.

    Take for example if the average annual pension/payout for a retired PM is $300,000 and we have 20 old farts lingering on, that's $6 million saved in one lousy year.

    If pollies can't manage on $200,000 per year while in Office, they need to get out and get another job, because with that track record they are incapable of running the country and keeping out of debt.

    We are the soldiers for the wealthy, its our money that's propping them up in the way they like to be kept.

    Quite frankly I am now not bothered who gets in, I just wish they would remember that they were voted in by THE people and FOR the people, not for their own agenda.

    And no I didn't vote for the red headed wombat. I knew as soon as she was on the scene there was going to be trouble, and she has a piggish attitude and will not listen to reason. I say out with her and bring back Howard yelling and screaming if necessary, as he had the boat people situation well in hand and under control.
    Irishwolfhound
    15th Aug 2012
    12:33am
    Good comments Beemee ! I have thought that we could all do "Parliamentary Duty" which would be like Jury duty, but for a year or so ! These people should not be paid the ridiculous sums they get.
    Alexia_x
    15th Aug 2012
    5:23pm
    Beemee, please run for office!
    Everything you mention is true, you have my vote.
    Beemee
    17th Aug 2012
    5:27pm
    Unfortunately I am unable to run for office, because of 3 reasons...

    1. I am not a person that has already amassed fortune. (only those with money get in).
    2. I won't bow down to anyone and I will not be brought, conned or bribed to change my position. (Seems a lot of them can bought off too easily).
    3. I would actually work for the people instead of cushioning my own little nest. (Very few of them work for others, but most are in it for what they can get).

    Guess that rules me out!


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