9th Aug 2017

Australians are dissatisfied with the cost and reliability of electricity

Australians are dissatisfied with the cost and reliability of electricity
Leon Della Bosca

According to Energy Consumers Australia’s (ECA) third national survey of energy markets, Australians are deeply concerned about the future cost and reliability of electricity.

The Energy Consumer Sentiment Survey of 2019 households and 280 small businesses, conducted between 30 March 2017 and 6 April 2017, asked participants about how they manage their energy usage and costs.

On consumer satisfaction, respondents rated electricity last – lower than banks, insurance, internet and all other utilities. Overall, the study revealed that households lack confidence that the market is working in their interest.

Yet despite this dissatisfaction with the market, around half of Australian households have never switched providers. Those who switched enjoyed higher levels of satisfaction with value for money and service.



Australians are confident that, given easily understood information (which at the moment is lacking), they would be able to make better choices about energy prices and services.

ECA’s Chief Executive Rosemary Sinclair has called for energy retailers to address rising electricity costs to improve outcomes for households and small businesses.

“We are deeply concerned about the impact that surging electricity prices are having on households and small businesses,” said Ms Sinclair.

“The Government has the Finkel review findings and the ACCC inquiry into electricity prices is deep into its work, but industry needs to put its shoulder to the wheel as well because we can’t afford to wait to deliver better value to consumers.

“Electricity prices have doubled in the past 10 years and these latest increases are a real threat to household budgets and the economic viability of many small businesses, right now.

“We have given energy retailers a range of options, based on several years’ research by a range of energy consumer advocates, all of which have been put forward in ECA’s submission to the ACCC review into electricity prices.”

The group is meeting with Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg in Canberra today to discuss these issues.

“One of the steps which can be taken now, is for retailers to proactively reach out to their customers to help them move onto the best deal for them, and provide advice on how to manage their consumption and costs,” said Ms Sinclair.

“Consumers are currently defaulted onto higher price offers without proper notice and it is highly likely that many are paying hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars more for their electricity services than they need to be paying.”

According to a report from energy economist Bruce Mountain, the 'Big Three' electricity retailers charge two to three times more in NSW, VIC, SA and QLD compared to the ACT, which is still a regulated market. Typically, households annually pay around $444 in NSW, $485 in Victoria and $650 in South Australia, whereas, ACT households are charged around $225.

Do you pay too much for electricity? Have you ever switched provider? How was your experience? Would you recommend your provider to our members? Do you think regulating this industry would work more in our favour? 

Related articles:
Electricity bills explained
How to cut your power bills
Five best ways to cut power costs





COMMENTS

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MICK
9th Aug 2017
10:09am
Dissatisfaction with the high cost of energy has nothing to do with providers and everything to do with huge profits. Same deal as health insurance where premiums are put up every year. no justification required there either.
I changed providers earlier in the year. Rates are the same because it is the wholesaler who determines these and the problem is at the generation level and the fact that the grid has been flogged off. Don't expect rates to go down.
I am doing what I need to do to escape being held captive to the coal monopoly: putting on solar panels and a small (affordable) battery. Of course once other Australians go the same way the coal industry will impose even higher Service Availability Charges. By that time battery prices will have come down and capacity gone up and people will go off grid. Can't wait for that one.
Retired Knowall
9th Aug 2017
10:42am
The next wave to hit the industry is the individual Solar Generators being able to sell their excess power to their neighbors at an agreed price. Already happening in Busselton WA.
Can't wait to hear the reaction from the Industry Players.
MICK
9th Aug 2017
10:56am
That will likely be resisted unless you run your own cable next door. One has to remember that coal is fighting for survival and its puppets in government will do anything and everything to keep the funding coming. That includes selling out voters and the nation.
Rosret
9th Aug 2017
11:46am
MICK it doesn't work that way. I have solar hot water and my electricity bill is horrid - they just said thanks that's more we can charge you.
If you go off the grid it will be like the water bill and you will be charged for it just going passed your house. They will get their pound of flesh.
So much for the market place offering competition. Surely they could have figured out what would happen when they deregulated bread prices.
I used to like that all our successive governments used to care about all Australians but the pendulum has certainly swung the wrong way. - and the profits from the electricity rates won't even stay in Australia. How foolish have our Parliamentarians been!
The only way to fix this is by making our new power source Australian owned however Tesla has already stepped in to fill that void.
Retired Knowall
9th Aug 2017
12:51pm
It has nothing to do with running cables to your neighbor, It only requires a NET meter for both parties and connection to a power management company, as I said, already happening in Busselton.
Retired Knowall
9th Aug 2017
12:52pm
http://www.afr.com/news/next-big-thing-selling-solar-power-to-the-neighbours-20161116-gsqky6
MICK
9th Aug 2017
3:32pm
A few clarifications.

Rosret: I hear what you are saying. That used to be the case but not sure if they can currently charge you if you are not connected.

Retired Knowall: I have a net meter but I do not own the poles and wires. There is an Achilles Heel.
There are currently peer to peer trials under way but don't be naive in thinking that they'll give you anything for free. The coal companies are not in the Santa Claus business.
Retired Knowall
9th Aug 2017
5:12pm
The trials have a Poles and Wire cost of 2c/KWH for the energy provider and 2c/KWH for the management company. The groundswell is growing, also running in Victoria. I'm a little more optimistic and see technology working for the consumer.
I guess I'm a glass full sort of guy.
Dougie
9th Aug 2017
10:17am
The only answer is to return both electricity generation and distribution to relevant State Government control as was the case previously.
Privatisation of the industry has been an absolute failure.
Our water supplies are following suit charging more for LESS water use.MADNESS.
We need to take some steps backwards and return to the real world.
MICK
9th Aug 2017
10:57am
That might help but remember who is in charge in the background.
Rosret
9th Aug 2017
11:59am
Apart from the legal battle, the government(s) sold off our utilities to pay for infrastructure. We don't have the money to buy them back and they aren't for sale. Would you sell back your company if you knew you could hold a nation to ransom?
Rae
9th Aug 2017
12:55pm
What infrastructure Rosret. Not much evidence of anything new around here. Even the High School built for 800 has 1400 in it now. No new hospitals.

There are dozens of new housing estates but I'm pretty sure the purchasers paid for the infrastructure there and those narrow streets and cut-de-sacs. Not a park about.

The community halls and children playground have even been sold.

The foreign governments won't sell our grid back. They are subsidising their own countries at our cost.
George
9th Aug 2017
1:34pm
Agree, Dougie. Also, impose maximum CPI-based increases only if justified.
chris
9th Aug 2017
2:50pm
I agree with what u say re water Doug. Our council has a bad habit of charging more for water if we as consumers have the temerity to use less. It fills a hole (with more money) for them to spend on their wish list.
MICK
9th Aug 2017
3:36pm
Rosret: just think of the poo which is going to hit the fan when we have a much higher population and have sold the best of our farming land to foreign governments. What then? The electricity issue pales into insignificance with what I see coming 100 years down the track. The idiots in Canberra did not even have the common sense to sell our land with a 99 years lease. It's FREEHOLD. That means gone forever. Just like the huge pools of LNG we have no access to.
Tib
9th Aug 2017
8:16pm
Privatisation is madness and we should never privatise our utilities. We get screwed over every time. Remember when the commonwealth bank was government owned, the other banks had to at least compete with it and it was a way to keep them reasonably honest. Now they are all privately owned and they work together to screw us over.
Telstra ...sell it ... Buy some back... At every turn the Australian people pick up the bill. The Australian government sells our assets to big business and allow them to rob us blind. Electricity is the same deal.
Not Senile Yet!
9th Aug 2017
10:38am
The Govt sold our Assets...yes Our Taxpayer funded Assets to Private Enterprise...took the money...and reneged on a promise for Cheaper prices by De -Regulating the system!
No those Private Corps can change the price whenever they want as well as increase the supply charges.
Governments save Billions by not having to
invest! We the tax payers are now paying extra so Private Enterprise is Guanteed a Profit on their Investments. Secret Deals guarantee them min investment returns well above market rate...which we pay for!
Govt...again....De Regulating and loosing control?
jackie
9th Aug 2017
11:00am
These companies were deregulated that's why they are out of control. Regulation will fix the problem up.
George
9th Aug 2017
1:36pm
Yep, deregulation is a complete (and predicted) failure! Any political party if they have the people's interest (hard to find one) must reverse it.
MICK
9th Aug 2017
3:36pm
That takes guts George. Which Party are you thinking of?
George
9th Aug 2017
4:30pm
I am afraid none comes to mind at the moment, MICK.
We actually need a Trump-like new force which is needed for fresh thinking in an Australia (and people) First approach. I wonder if Andrew (Twiggy) Forrest could fit the bill - if the idea interests him?

In the absence of that, the next best option is to throw out all existing Liberal / Labor / Greens seat-warmers who do nothing for the people - by placing them last in voting preferences. That will get the message across, and maybe there will be hope in the future for better parties / candidates.
buby
20th Aug 2017
10:55am
Well Government thinks they have saved money by not investing but thats rather stupid saying that, all they have done by selling it and not taking the responsibility of looking after it thats all. they just wanted to wash their hand of it. so it was easier to sell it off, and now Private enterprise has got it, and they can do with it what they like, and that will cost the Government more, cause we will be sticking it to them in the Elections over it!
so they really need to make a choice, Stop wasting our money, like they do with every other decisions they try to make, and stop treating us like we are total idiots and think we don't understand what the hell is going on??
Grow A brain YOU polli's
musicveg
20th Aug 2017
1:20pm
Yes wasting millions on a postal vote for marriage equality when it isn't even binding, they can still reject either outcome. And investing in Indonesia so they can build all these resorts to help their economy! I am sure there are many more things they are wasting money on too and then they say we cannot afford pensions and welfare!
Lookfar
6th Sep 2017
5:43pm
Regualtion is fine, when it is stopping companies using dodgy equipment that kills us normal folks, just to save money, but regulation, when used by corrupt Govts. like we have in Australia, - (perhaps excepting the greens party ), that favours corruption is not an answer, it is only a further gift to the already obscenely rich, who in the face of history, continue their destruction.
Regulation by the rich is not Regulation as you have imagined it, it is regulation by the murderers to be able to continue murdering.
The word regulation, by itself, has no meaning, unless one looks at what is being regulated, how, and by, and for who.
That is what one needs to analyse.
EricV
9th Aug 2017
10:49am
I wish I did pay the annual figure of $485 here in Vic quoted above by economist BruceMountain, my first six months of electricity is already $650 and I get a great pay on time discount of 40% from my supplier.

Where do these figures come from?
MICK
9th Aug 2017
11:01am
What is the average per kWh for you? That somewhat puts your bill into perspective.
EricV
9th Aug 2017
11:31am
Average on last bill was 12.14 compared to 14.50 same time last year
Rosret
9th Aug 2017
12:01pm
$485 a quarter
George
9th Aug 2017
1:39pm
The article says "households annually pay ...", not quarterly. Can't understand where they got these figures from, unless it was a typo and meant to be quarterly figures.
MICK
9th Aug 2017
3:37pm
If I could get that Eric I would not be putting in more panels.
grahami2006
9th Aug 2017
10:54am
After an argument with AGL yesterday about there total lack of accountability in issuing monthly bills at the end of each month [ received July electricity on 08/08] I was given an apology and told that a lot of their customers were experiencing problems the person I spoke to increased my discounts on electricity from 20% to 24% and gas from 8% to 16%.
I was told this was not "in the book" but to keep my business they could do this for me.
Just checked and it has happened with no increase to charges for supply etc.
EricV
9th Aug 2017
11:34am
We get 40% on electricity and 26% on gas with energy australia. Gas is more of a cost issue for us, as we are all gas, heat, cooking and hot water (which used to be the way to go!)
Rosret
9th Aug 2017
11:50am
grahami2006 and EricV. I just received an advertisement on AGL offering senior discounts - is this worth it? I assume that is what you are referring to g2006.
And EricV 40% discount because??
MICK
9th Aug 2017
3:41pm
Citizens are being done over. Gas? Australia is the third largest exporter of gas on the planet...but none for us. Blame Howard for that one. Electricity? Flogged off and deregulated. The Party which did that should be voted out for a minimum of 20 years for that treachery. In case nobody noticed another (state) Liberal Party betrayal. The media does not talk about that for some reason.

Personally I am going to take my future into my own hands. Panels coming shortly and a large battery system when these become affordable. Give that one 5 years. That way I practice what I preach and help the planet.
Rosret
9th Aug 2017
9:35pm
Actually MICK Julia Gillard sold off all our gas. But you can't say it been one party or the other. They both have been merrily selling off everything.
Yet the number one rule for national security is NEVER sell off your utilities and vital services.
buby
20th Aug 2017
10:58am
My company Alinta energy just got my gas account and sprouted over the phone how they would give me 40%off on my gas because i have brought it to them. but all they did was give me a heavty bill, then when i called them, and asked them what was going on, they said OH NO its only 35percent, how quickly they change their minds???
Ted Wards
9th Aug 2017
11:18am
Im in a situation where two different companies own the gas and electiricty meters. I can have whatever provider I want as long as its those who own the meter. Interestingly enough, they put smart meters in late last year and both bills have doubled. Im a single person in a studio unit who travels a lot. They try to tell me my water usage has doubled. Interestingly they did a watch on both meters and yes it confirmed my usage has doubled. Another interesting point was I informed them I was going away traveling for those four weeks and they supposedly turned the meters off. Yet guess when they did the study. When I pointed that out too them and gave them the reference number they knew nothing about me having turned it off. Nothing they say or do is legal and guess what, when you ring up to complain they dont care! We need a really great provider to come in, undercut them all and charge about a third of what we are bring charged. Thats in all industries, not just our energy industry!
Rosret
9th Aug 2017
11:54am
This was a really common complaint in Victoria when they introduced the smart meters. People received horrendous bills.
Its time for a call to the ombudsman. Can you take the smart meters out and change companies?
Tom Tank
9th Aug 2017
11:20am
The basic cause of high electricity prices is one word PRIVATISATION.
In every case we have been hit with higher prices and the profits go overseas. In Victoria the old SECV made a profit, after payment on all borrowings to expand the business, which was then paid into government coffers. Kennett made hay when he took the SECV, Gas and Fuel and Board of Works outstanding debts from them and called them State Debt which looked horrendous despite those bodies servicing those debts, as any other business would. He conned the people into privatising almost all State owned bodies on the back of that and would have also privatised water as well but was, fortunately stopped. We have been paying the price ever since.
Energy, water, communications are all fundamental to our modern day survival and should always remain under Government control. Too late now.
Rosret
9th Aug 2017
11:54am
Yep.
billy boy
9th Aug 2017
11:35am
horses for courses ;(
Alky
9th Aug 2017
11:37am
It's even worse down here in Tassie as Aurora has the monoply on electricity. Fortunately fibe years ago I installed a solar electricity system and haven't had to pay a power bill since. In fact I'm in credit of $1100 purely because the house generates more than I use. At the moment I'm getting one-for-one tarrif on what I generate, but that will end soon and then they'll only give me 8 cents per kwh GRRRR. At least the built up credit will help to offset that for a little while
MICK
9th Aug 2017
3:42pm
What size is your system and are you rural or residential?
Pamiea
9th Aug 2017
12:09pm
Here in WA we only have one electricity provider Synergy and I have 8 panels. So far so good but what will happen when the 40cents is taken away? Freeze in winter and swelter in summer.
MICK
9th Aug 2017
3:43pm
Subsidy disappeared on 1 January in NSW. I thought yours did too?
Theo1943
10th Aug 2017
4:18pm
I'm in WA and on the 40 cents scheme. Goes to 2021. My bill is $1200. That's the total cost since August 2012. This year they've doubled the connection fee to 98 cents a day. That's $350 a year if you don't use any power.
Boomah52
9th Aug 2017
12:15pm
World leaders lol... amazing how all of the ex politicians responsible for this mess, and one in particular who in SA who said privatisation in the late 90's would mean cheaper prices - still going around as public figures collecting their lifelong perks for their obvious mistakes - world leaders here as well?
floss
9th Aug 2017
12:19pm
Our problem started with our forced population growth., to provide the required infrastructure we had to get money from some where and guess what our power providers had to be sold at a quick give away price and this is was the start of the problem. Turnbull is our P.M. it is his job to reverse the process which I don't think can be done.
MICK
9th Aug 2017
3:45pm
And there you have it floss. I have been banging on about this for some time but the do gooders are happy to shout me down.
Now we all pay for the bleeding hearts who were so quick to sell out the country.
EricV
9th Aug 2017
12:21pm
Rosret

40%is because I said I was looking around which I was, they said they don't want to lose good customers who pay on time
Old Geezer
9th Aug 2017
2:28pm
40% discount on what? I know of one company that charges over 30% more for electricity than others and then gives a 40% discount. I worked it out and I would be paying more for that deal than I do with another company that offers less of a discount.

Your need to put them all in a spreadsheet and work out who is really the cheapest for you. I found that a smaller discount but double the normal feed in tariff was better for me.
EricV
9th Aug 2017
5:05pm
Old geezer

It's gas, not electricity. It's simply 40% pay on time discount on usage, not on supply charge or gst and it makes a difference
EricV
9th Aug 2017
6:11pm
I'm confusing myself now, I get 40% off electricity and 26% off gas, sorry!
Old Geezer
9th Aug 2017
6:38pm
EricV just be careful as those discounts can be misleading. Read the critical information sheets to see what you are really getting.

Their is one group that sends an email out to over 50s and is promoting a very misleading electricity deal.
jackyd
9th Aug 2017
12:30pm
Not a mention of the high cost to the consumer due to the subsidies of the wind generation industry and how those subsidies are charged back to the consumer. A 20% increase in electricity charges in one hit clearly demonstrates the price we are all paying for this green policy folly that superstitously will save our planet.
The privatization of assets is only a part of the story, the the demonizing of the coal industry with no feasible plan of transition to RET is reflected in the rising cost of electricity so put your beany on folks because this is only the beginning of the green sacrifice that we are now being forced to partake.
MICK
9th Aug 2017
3:52pm
Here comes the coal industry commentary!
I have to admit I am not up to speed here but please break down the "high cost" because I do not believe this. I understand that RECs need to be bought by those in the energy business. It is legislated that 10% of electricity needs to be sourced from renewables but that does not mean you pay even 10% more because energy fed back into the grid has been bought for almost nix for many years and only recently the price in NSW increased to 12 cents per kWh. So consumers are probably paying less than 1 cent per kWh.
Please do some research and clarify that jack.
jackyd
9th Aug 2017
4:35pm
Mick what do you think a 20% increase is, just a walk in the park for every pensioner?
Where do you get 10% resourced from renewables when RET are aimed at 40% to 45% by 2030?
Subsidies for renewables are in the Billions and have priority while Andrews increased the coal royalties feeding Hazelwood three fold making it unviable!
Do your own research Mick by all means and get up to speed.
johnp
9th Aug 2017
12:33pm
Agree with most here. These days only a proportion of the cost to the consumer is due to the generation and distribution of electricity. A significant proportion goes on all the other costs from plush offices, CEO. boards of directors, upper management, sales, marketing, call centres, admin etc etc. This happening multiple times including such as about 100 retailers
ozqueen
9th Aug 2017
12:46pm
The reason a lot of people don't change providers is because if you ring your current provider to tell them you are thinking of changing they will immediately offer you a better deal. Not sure if this is true of all providers and available to all clients but if you show a history of paying your account before the due date they tend to not want to lose you as a client. I usually do it once a year same as I do with house and car insurance. Amazing what savings you can make especially if you can quote deals from other providers.
MICK
9th Aug 2017
3:52pm
More like bone laziness. Too much trouble for most people.
Rae
9th Aug 2017
12:48pm
I switched after door to door contact and signing an agreement that apparently only works on controlling me not the biller. The price went up before the first bill and again on the 1/7.
Definite breach of contract in my opinion. Sell at one price and then charge more later.

It isn't just the providers but those sending bills and passing on the money after taking a fair whack out. Paper shufflers. They don't even read the meters as the provider still does that.
floss
9th Aug 2017
12:57pm
The providers or should we say middle men are not needed ,why did our government ever bring them into the process .What we need is some leader with balls that will revert back to the old system but that is not the Liberal way.We have more than enough PV panels and export 50% of our power back into the grid but gas is a problem and will have to go as you can't make gas at home.
KSS
9th Aug 2017
1:01pm
"Typically, households annually pay around $444 in NSW, $485 in Victoria and $650 in South Australia, whereas, ACT households are charged around $225."

Where do they get their figures from? I am in NSW, live alone, have no 'expensive' appliances such as air con, heaters or washing dryer, only need one light (LED) on at a time in one room at a time, turn everything off at the wall (except for the landline fridge and built in oven), leave nothing on standby, use the washing machine (4.5*) mostly in the wee hours of the morning on the cheap tariff once a week, am out of the unit for at least 15 hours a day 7 days a week. My quarterly bills were just under $200 before the rises (I haven't had a new bill yet), and get 17% discount for paying on time, which according to the little graphic on the back of the bill was less than half the average usage of comparable accounts. So I was already paying almost twice this annual fee before the increases. I ask again, where do they get their figures?
MICK
9th Aug 2017
3:55pm
Yes KSS. Not sure where anybody could get a bill of $444 in NSW from. That must be from 2005 not 2017.
My bill per quarter is more like $444 PER QUARTER, not per annum....and we are very conservative users of energy.
floss
9th Aug 2017
1:05pm
Of course the industry has to be regulated if not a lot of companies that are big users of power will go under and what does our government do, nothing but talk.
Sevi
9th Aug 2017
1:17pm
Will you stop keeping on about people not changing providers. West Australians do not have a choice - just one provider making a great deal of money, so please, don't shoot us all with the same bullet. Thank you
Alky
9th Aug 2017
1:39pm
Same with Tassie. Only one retailer - Aurora
Troubadour
9th Aug 2017
4:00pm
Agree Sevi - here in the West no other choice as yet.
Raphael
9th Aug 2017
1:36pm
We need nuclear - cheap and clean

It's the renewables that causing high prices
jackyd
9th Aug 2017
3:12pm
Or perhaps New Age Coal!
MICK
9th Aug 2017
3:56pm
"Clean coal"? If nuclear we'll bury the waste in your backyard Raphael because it will still be deadly in half a million years.
Raphael
9th Aug 2017
6:16pm
I wont be ticking in half a million years Mick, so fine by me
musicveg
9th Aug 2017
8:37pm
You have got that wrong, renewable is the only way to go for the future. Nuclear is and always will be too dangerous, do you want one in your backyard?
Old Geezer
9th Aug 2017
10:18pm
There have been 4 sites on the eastern seaboard ear marked for nuclear power stations for quite awhile now.
Raphael
9th Aug 2017
1:39pm
Switch to origin energy
Best provider by a country mile
MICK
9th Aug 2017
3:56pm
A coal owned provider menthinks.
musicveg
9th Aug 2017
8:39pm
Origin, AGL and Energy Australia are the worst when it comes to looking after the environment.
Old Geezer
9th Aug 2017
10:16pm
Musicveg that's just spin by other suppliers. You get the same power no matter who you choose so it makes no difference to the environment. Wake up to these unethical providers.
musicveg
9th Aug 2017
10:26pm
It has got to do with where they invest their money OG.
Old Geezer
9th Aug 2017
10:30pm
Heard that one before too. I'm yet to find a bank with no fossil fuel investments as well.
Raphael
9th Aug 2017
1:39pm
And buy origin shares
Rae
9th Aug 2017
2:32pm
Origin have just cancelled this years dividend due to mismanagement.
Raphael
9th Aug 2017
2:57pm
they cancelled dividends but not for the reason you mentioned. Its a paper loss due to impairment of an investment

full-year underlying earnings guidance had improved to between $2.450 billion and $2.615 billion

your bad luck when shares go from $7 to $13 in a couple of years
MICK
9th Aug 2017
3:57pm
I detect a coal man here. How's Malcolm Roberts, Craig Kelly and the others going?
jackyd
9th Aug 2017
4:54pm
So what is your problem with coal Mick?
Do you really think that the 400 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere is going to kill you?
Does the fact that 300 New Age coal fired power plants are being or planned to be built around the world but none in Australia resonates with your rusted on rhetoric?
The rush to renewables without any plan of transition is costing us dearly.
Rae
9th Aug 2017
5:15pm
Well I'm not happy as that dividend payment paid the energy bill.

Poor management if a paper loss costs shareholders their income in my opinion.

No profits until you sell Raphael. Don't mistake paper figures for real wealth.

Perhaps I'd be wise to follow MICK. Sell the shares and buy panels and batteries.
Old Geezer
9th Aug 2017
6:35pm
I know what you mean Rae as I bought some Woodside at about $11 when oil was under $15 and filled my car with a smile on my face as everyone else whinged about the price of fuel.
ex PS
12th Aug 2017
1:51pm
My Origin shares were paying a nice safe dividend until they called them back, did not lose on them but I didn't make much either over the 8 months I had them. I will now invest in Solar if I want to invest in energy in the future, batteries or solar storage maybe a good bet. Oil and coal based power is going the way of the dinosaur.
trood
9th Aug 2017
2:07pm
This industry needs to be re regulated, if privatisation was supposed to make it cheaper then the govt needs to step in the make it so, enough of this BS
Charlie
9th Aug 2017
2:09pm
I would like to be able to say, "vote for a government that will give us more control over electricity prices", except its likely to be a government that will give us, gay marriage, have refugees wandering into the country without any security checks and ban Christmas because it offends the Muslims..There doesn't seem to be anything the voter can do, to make Australia a better place to live.
jackyd
9th Aug 2017
3:10pm
Charlie perhaps not despair, the only light at the end of this very dark tunnel you have described is the Australian Conservatives!
Old Geezer
9th Aug 2017
2:52pm
I recently worked out which electricity deal was best for me.

What I found was that there was different pricing of units and standing charges with each supplier. They all had different discount rates and the discount was applied differently from supplier to supplier. The also had different feed in tariffs and how those feed in tariffs were applied.

So discount offered can be very misleading and one needs to read their critical information sheets to find out how to calculate their bill instead.

Those online sites that show one the cheapest deals are also misleading as they don't seem to have the latest pricing and other information in them.

So I calculated my usage etc out for each deal using a spreadsheet. I then rang my preferred supplier and asked for the same as the best deal that I had found.


Remember discounts may sound good just because they look big but they are very misleading.
Raphael
9th Aug 2017
2:58pm
good one OG

easier on Excel than the old abacus
Retired Knowall
9th Aug 2017
5:29pm
Try this site to find your best deal.
Input you data and get instant results

https://www.solarchoice.net.au/blog/solar-friendly-retail-electricity-plan-comparison-tool
Old Geezer
9th Aug 2017
6:30pm
That might work Retired Knowall until you have a plan that takes the discount off after all rebates and solar feed in amounts. eg Many here would be getting the Australian Govt Rebate off their electricity.

I remember one supplier had a big discount but it was useless as it was a percentage off very little even zero for a lot of people with solar.

I think they copied the mobile phone model myself. Lots of big numbers but nothing for the consumer in reality.
micreen
9th Aug 2017
5:55pm
Same old same old.... Wanna be politicians only concern is their pension, they have no balls to tackle the issues which matter most. They allowed natural gas to increase beyond a normal cost to sell overseas, Feds then stepped in and huffed and puffed to try and get local supply back to reasonable cost and secure, same with electricity, profit margins have shot up with no justification in increases and now we have in Australia the highest rate for electricity in the world !! Now Turnbull is again huffing and puffing to electricity people this time trying to get a a better deal, ...the horse has again bolted.
What a costly Joke, same sex marriage appears more important than keeping warm this winter. !!
Old Geezer
9th Aug 2017
6:33pm
I was talking to a fellow today who could benefit from a drug that is on the national health in Britain but no here today. He said why waste all that money on SSM carry on when it could be spent on helping people like him.
musicveg
9th Aug 2017
8:45pm
I use Powershop and I like how you can buy power when it is cheaper, and ahead so you don't get any large bills. Use this link below to get $75 on your first bill.

https://secure.powershop.com.au/r/lindad-svoA2d9?p=104
Raphael
9th Aug 2017
9:24pm
stop spruiking fly by night companies - lots of hidden costs

stick with origin

and if the government allowed them to go nuclear, they could provide cheap electricity to all
musicveg
9th Aug 2017
9:32pm
You are spruiking Origin so thought I would give an alternative to big power companies who only care about profits. There are no hidden costs with Powershop, all inclusive without separate charges for service fee's. I have saved hundreds of dollars using them. Nuclear is not cheap if it ruins the planet. Fuskishima is still radioactive and the damage is ongoing for centuries. Not worth the risk when we have perfectly safe options with solar and wind. It is already proven that solar is cheaper than coal. Read the facts not the fiction portrayed by power companies like Origin.
Old Geezer
9th Aug 2017
10:13pm
Are you sure about Powershop? I worked out they would cost me an extra $250 a year for my power than what I am currently paying. Don't they also have monthly estimated bills as well?
musicveg
9th Aug 2017
10:18pm
For me it has worked out better, but maybe not for everyone. Usually read every month. You can also read it yourself and put in the readings on the months it is estimated.
Old Geezer
9th Aug 2017
10:27pm
Have you checked that Powershop is cheaper and not just taken their word for it. They rang me a couple of times and when I said they were more expensive than other deals they told me that I should just pay the extra as it was good for the environment and no dirty coal etc. I laughed and told them that it was the exactly the same power and they were just be feeding me propaganda.

Monthly bills are a real pain as one has to work out their power bills 12 times a year instead of 4. A real waste of time and energy. Yes my calculator's batteries would go flat sooner too.
Old Geezer
9th Aug 2017
10:28pm
How many of those $50 discounts did you get from referring friends?
Old Geezer
9th Aug 2017
10:31pm
Ooops I'm wrong it's not $50 but has gone up to $75 now.
musicveg
9th Aug 2017
10:38pm
As far as I know I have not had anyone taken up the referral because I have not told many people and most can't be bothered changing.
I checked against my previous suppliers. Also there are options with Powershop to buy the cheaper power not the green power.
Old Geezer
9th Aug 2017
10:20pm
One of the latest proposals it to make electricity an essential service so that no GST is payable.
musicveg
9th Aug 2017
10:30pm
That would be a great idea, we have all become dependant on electricity for many reasons and it is very essential in maintaining our health and wellbeing. Not a luxury if you use it wisely.
Rae
10th Aug 2017
7:09am
The Feds would like that. Make the State responsible for education and health etc etc then bribe them to sell everything, refuse to pay up on the promised bribe, then further cut their funding.

This war between LNP and ALP is destroying what was a very good country once.

Bit like super really. Bribe workers with promises of part pensions then swipe the mat away just as the bulk of the boomers hit pension age.
Lookfar
10th Aug 2017
9:31am
Here is how it is from my perspective everyone, - having been a designer, supplier and installer of Renewable Energy systems since the mid 80's, and in touch with world trends of same as well as in Australia, Oz started with Govt departments supplying electricity, - they did a good job for many many years before succumbing to the apply for funding before it ends disease, so many innefficiencys crept in. Then concurrent with the new sell off the people's resources to fund the current govt's latest perk movement, - which meant stop planning for the future so profit looks good... de-regulation was mooted by various researchers to be the best way to lower prices. - However, vested interests, ie huge left over bureaucracies, from not yet sold semi govt departments etc. watered down the de-regulations severely, so they didn't really work. In the meantime the whole network needed to be re-built/modernised, but wasn't, so became more and more expensive, like a car that has given wonderful service but is now so old that you spend more on maintenance than petrol. - it was the worst of both worlds, overbloated bureaucracies, stuff half dead sold off to mates, (read contributors to electoral campaigns) purchasers faced with unplanned expenses so charging too much, still lots of regulations and difficulties from earlier days, and no real incentive to provide better cheaper service.
Now I think it requires total de-regulation, the retail market needs to be totally focussed on providing the best deal, which only the customers can decide.
In America, their electrical industry has been dogged by very expensive Nuclear generated electricity, then still expensive Coal fired electricitity, but being a capitalist country to it's backbone, the retailers are now scrambling to provide the significantlycheaper power from Renewables, which will get even cheaper.
Result is, coal fired power stations are following Nuclear into oblivion bigtime, see http://videos.power-eng.com/detail/videos/power-engineering-newscasts/video/5472642415001/power-engineering-newscast-for-june-6-2017?autoStart=true#category/videos/power-engineering-newscasts/1
- browse their archives to get the full picture.
You may read portentous articles from various engineers and consulting "experts," 'saying, - renewable is intermittent, etc, but the truth is, between Solar and Wind, there are only small periods with neither, easily filled by the quick start-up gas generators and the most modern coal fired generators if prepared to cut their costs, so the retailers factor that cost in but still must buy Renewable to compete, and in the future the growing Tidal Wave, Geothermal, Biomass generators etc, will decrease those periods.
With full de-regulation, all that expensive nonsense from the past is swept away, the retailer who provides the cheapest reliable electricity deals will survive, the rest will deservedly go under, unless regulations are brought in to force us to carry all the old rotting corpses in our wallets, and the old rigid attitudes around our necks.
Cheap Renewables are the future, only allowing renewables to compete will lower prices, which as they are getting cheaper, will go even lower.
Feel free to save my comment to reflect on in a few or sooner years.
Old Geezer
10th Aug 2017
11:08am
Basically Lookfar one is being screwed by the electricity suppliers etc if one does not have solar panels on their roof.
johnp
10th Aug 2017
12:53pm
I agree with Old Geezer re solar.
As I mentioned before, these days, the actual generation and distribution of electricity is only a proportion of the cost to the consumer. A significant proportion goes on all the other costs from plush offices, CEOs. boards of directors, upper management, sales, marketing, call centres, admin, analysts, strategy consultants, I.T. etc etc. This happening multiple times by various bureaucratic office based organisations including such as about 100 retailers
johnp
10th Aug 2017
12:53pm
I agree with Old Geezer re solar.
As I mentioned before, these days, the actual generation and distribution of electricity is only a proportion of the cost to the consumer. A significant proportion goes on all the other costs from plush offices, CEOs. boards of directors, upper management, sales, marketing, call centres, admin, analysts, strategy consultants, I.T. etc etc. This happening multiple times by various bureaucratic office based organisations including such as about 100 retailers
musicveg
10th Aug 2017
1:56pm
Lookfar, well written, I did try to say the same thing with less words. We can have cheap electricity but big coal, big oil, big gas and all those invested in it are trying to stop progress into cheaper cleaner energy. No need for solar panels on roofs, big solar farms are the way to go or smaller ones for each town. Already happening in some places where people have worked together to make it happen on a local scale.
Lookfar
10th Aug 2017
7:20pm
No, old geezer, read the article I wrote, at least give me that courtesy, and you will find that the answer is not putting panels on your roof, - although nothing wrong with that, but most people use most of their electrical energy at night, and the Sun is not shining then, and the electricity networks pay f/all for selling your excess back into the grid, so unless you want to go the full expense of Solar plus batteries, (and I would suggest wait a bit as it will come down a large amount in the next year or so) the solution is as I said, - de-regulate. - Please OG, think before you post, and read what has been writen from knowledge and sincerity, don't just answer with cliches, you will invariably miss it if you do.
Old Geezer
11th Aug 2017
5:43pm
My electricity costs me very little due to the solar panels on my roof. When the sun shines I turn on my appliances but when it doesn't I turn them off. I don't turn on lights at night I use a torch and rechargeable lamps.
ex PS
12th Aug 2017
2:01pm
I am fortunate enough to be getting a 44 cent feedback price on my Solar power, this will continue until 2025. As I bank every dollar that I receive from the power companies each quarter I will probably in a position to go off grid at little expense in 2025, this is the only way to beat the power cartels.
We need to think about five years ahead if we want to really take charge of our power expenses. Pity the government doesn't do the same instead of making policy determined by news polls.
musicveg
22nd Sep 2017
8:24pm
https://www.change.org/p/alan-jones-take-back-public-ownership-of-the-electricity-grid

Check out this petition and read the updates, seems the real problem is we are paying too much for 'network and poles'. They can charge what they like, no regulation.
Lookfar
24th Sep 2017
12:13pm
Hi Musicveg, that is a great petition, and puts the issues succinctly and clearly, I have happily signed it, despite having made comments about the American de-regulated system getting rid of Coal and Nuclear, Australia is not America, (although one may not be blamed for thinking our politicians want it to be) - Australia has the legal system to support Govt. owned public services such as electricity supply, and indeed that will be necessary for the development of Australia's future electricity network.
For example the coal lobby argue that their power is necessary because renewables are subject to weather, (although not all of them are, eg Solar Thermal, tidal, Bio Generation, Geothermal, etc but they ignore that) so if adequate storage is available, Coal's case is gone, finished, - out the window.
For many years, Pumped Hydro has been developing as a cheap form of Battery Storage, and the much greater efficiency of pumps and generators has made it now quite Fine, - I quote from a recent article from my old sparring partner Andrew Blakely of ANU university,
Hi Musicveg, that is a great petition, and puts the issues succinctly and clearly, I have happily signed it, despite having made comments about the American de-regulated system getting rid of Coal and Nuclear, Australia is not America, (although one may not be blamed for thinking our politicians want it to be) - Australia has the legal system to support Govt. owned public services such as electricity supply, and indeed that will be necessary for the development of Australia's future electricity network.
For example the coal lobby argue that their power is necessary because renewables are subject to weather, (although not all of them are, eg Solar Thermal, tidal, Bio Generation, Geothermal, etc but they ignore that) so if adequate storage is available, Coal's case is gone, finished, - out the window.
For many years, Pumped Hydro has been developing as a cheap form of Battery Storage, and the much greater efficiency of pumps and generators has made it now quite Fine, - I quote from a recent article from my old sparring partner Andrew Blakely of Australian National university,

"Pumped Hydro. Part of the future?

September 22, 2017 1:59 pm Category: Hydropower, Latest News A+ / A-

Pumped Hydro. A bit like same sex marriage: popular in Europe but not, yet, in Australia
Pumped hydro has the potential to be part of a 100 percent renewable energy mix in the next 20 years, according to researchers at the Australian National University.

The ANU report pinpoints 22,000 suitable sites for pumped hydro across Australia which, if linked with storage at only small number, would generate enough power for the nation along with other renewable technologies.

ANU enginnering professor Andrew Blakers said even focussing only on pumped hydro, Australia could be 100 percent powered by renewables in two decades, using solely pumped hydro as a source.

“No matter where you are in Australia, you will find a good pumped hydro site not very far away from where you or your wind or solar farm is located,” Blackers said.

“We ony need to build about one or two dozen to support a 100 percent renewable energy grid.

“Pumped hydro, high voltage DC interconnectors between the states, solar photovoltaics, wind, batteries and demand management can do the whole job.”

NSW was the state with the most potential for pumped hydro, with the opportunity to build 29,000 gigawatt hours of storage across 8600 sites, while Victoria has 4400 sites and Tasmania 2050.

Pumped hydro involves pumping water uphill between connected reservoirs, (or from the sea) - when there is excess power, with power then despatched to the grid, by allowing the water to flow back again, generating electricity with very small losses, and responding very quickly, when demand is high."

I hope, musicveg, the intelligent amongst us read this material, yours and mine, and realise that the game has changed, - we now have the technology to do it, - Cheaply, and only require the political will.
Cheers, Geoff.
musicveg
24th Sep 2017
1:38pm
Thanks for that awesome explanation, I don't have the knowledge to put in such words but I have been trying to say we can be 100% renewable and pumped hydro is so feasible. I would think the only thing stopping us going to renewable is the greed from those invested in coal, oil and gas. Why don't they shift their investments and we are on our way.


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