10th Jul 2018
Under-fire energy sector accused of being ‘too complex’
Author: Janelle Ward
Energy sector ‘too complex’: ACCC

Coalition and Greens MPs are ramping up their demands for a royal commission into energy prices, as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) labels the retail electricity market too complex and opaque, and heads to court with a supplier.

The ACCC has instigated proceedings in the Federal Court, alleging that between October 2017 and March 2018, Click Energy told consumers in Victoria and Queensland that they could get discounts of between seven and 29 per cent if they paid their bills on time.

The ACCC says the claims were false or misleading because the discounts offered applied to “Click Energy’s market offer rates, which varied and were higher than Click Energy’s standing offer rates.”

“When compared with Click Energy’s standing offer rates, the discounts were much lower than advertised. In some cases, there was no discount at all,” said ACCC chair Rod Sims.

“We believe that Click Energy’s conduct is among the worst practices we see in retail electricity marketing. We allege that consumers were misled about discounts and savings, with some consumers not getting any discount or savings at all.

“The retail electricity market is too complex and opaque. Customers need to trust that discounts and savings advertised by retailers are accurate so they can make informed choices about which products are best for them.

A push for a royal commission has hit a hurdle, despite a handful of government MPs also reportedly pushing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for a full-blown inquiry, with crossbench senators Pauline Hanson and Derryn Hinch rejecting the move.

The Greens are also leading the charge for a commission of inquiry that would have similar powers to a royal commission.

Greens MP Adam Bandt says the industry is rife with profiteering and that in his home state of Victoria, up to 30 per cent of some customers' bills was the energy retailers' profit margin alone.

“There are some pricing practices that are just so opaque and we don't know exactly what the big power companies are doing," he told Sky News.

"All we know is that it costs a lot, so I think you need something that is going to be able to get in there, look at the practices, go behind closed doors, look at what the companies are actually doing to gain the evidence and build the case that we really need to go back to basics and start again from scratch."

Mr Bandt blamed the soaring energy costs on the wave of privatisation in the sector since the 1990s.

"If they're serious about wanting to tackle electricity prices, then there is one big lever that the Government can pull and that only the Government can pull, and that is re-regulation," he said.

Soaring prices in the past decade have caused hardship for a big number of retirees struggling to make ends meet, with many households struggling to heat or cool their homes. But so far, little has been done to cut through confusing energy plan offers.

Comparison sites offer some help but they, too, are often compromised.

A YourLifeChoices investigation into sites that claim to give consumers the ability to assess energy plans and policies found that many are fronts for a select group of providers. Read the small print and you will find they are not impartial and thus cannot offer consumers unbiased comparisons across all products.

Would you support a royal commission into the energy sector? Do you know if you are getting the best deals available or are the plans too complex?

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    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    10th Jul 2018
    9:19am
    You know there is plenty of money in the energy sector when players like Energy Australia and others can run prime time TV advertising offering 25% discount on electricity. A cash strapped industry could not afford to do that and the whole notion of having to put up prices is similar to the health insurance model where customers are being fleeced.
    The free market is not working in this industry. It is a cartel and a Royal Commission, like that into banking, will unmask the crooks. That needs to happen to fix the industry....but just like banking the Prime Minister is protecting the crooks and refuses to act.
    Captain
    10th Jul 2018
    10:20am
    Mick, the energy sector sales of the 1980's and ongoing today are signs that all governments in Australia over the last 30 years are lazy bludgers who always find the easy way rather than what is best for Australia and Australians.

    I rallied against the sale of Victoria's energy suppliers in the late '80's but my voice, and others were lost in the wilderness. Things have not become any better and will not whilst we have politicians who look out for themselves and not the people who they are supposed to serve.
    Adrianus
    10th Jul 2018
    10:29am
    MICK, a 25% off sale is often the Hail Mary of an insolvent trader. It proves nothing. There is no free market in this industry. That stopped when Labor/Greens government made it a political football.
    Knows-a-lot
    10th Jul 2018
    10:47am
    Labor and the Greens where correct to do so. People are far worse off now after decades of privatization and deregulation, as the electricity sector amply demonstrates. Bring on a Royal Commission or its equivalent now!
    MICK
    10th Jul 2018
    11:07am
    Of course governments have sold us out. Both sides of politics.
    25% off from the largest electricity supplier in the country has nothing to do with a fire sale because, like health care, rates have been rising exponentially. THERE IS MONEY IN RAMPING UP PRICES and the sign of what has been going on for us to arrive at the most expensive electricity on the planet is the bastards now offering a 25% discount. Energy Australia is NOT folding. Nor are any of the other big players.

    We need Alan Fels back at the ACCC to do the job correctly and we need a Royal Commission into the REAL cost of electricity versus what we are being told. The truth needs to come out....but don't expect the current government to do anything other than hide its energy bosses mates. That's what it does. Banking RC anyone?????
    Adrianus
    10th Jul 2018
    11:12am
    Mick, we don't need our time wasted by listening to another Industry Super Sales person.
    MICK
    10th Jul 2018
    11:17am
    You and the other government cronies posting your propaganda is what we do not need.
    I might have thought that the meeting of the trolls at LNP headquarters yesterday would have come up with a much better strategy than this latest piece of nonsense.
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    12:06pm
    So Labor is now responsible for a company becoming insolvent, even though Labor has and can have no impact on that company's market?

    Well - you learn something about fantasyland every day.
    Adrianus
    10th Jul 2018
    1:22pm
    Jeesh??!! Some people need more training to further develop their comprehension skills.
    Anonymous
    10th Jul 2018
    1:57pm
    Mick, do us all a favour and move to South Australia - with all the hot air you produce the wind will never stop howling and the windmills consequently never stop spinning! That will produce enough energy to keep us all happy on the eastern sea board - and you will be in green heaven! (And if we get real lucky, given that SA is half an hour and ten years behind the rest of Oz), we may not have to put up with your BS much longer! I'm prepared to chip in, how about the rest of you?
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    2:18pm
    " There is no free market in this industry. That stopped when Labor/Greens government made it a political football. "

    So the Opposition destroyed the 'free market' run by the power oligarchy and thus rendered companies involved so poor they need to raise prices endlessly? How so? By discussing it in public?

    I doubt it is I in need of comprehension training.

    One thing I certainly don't need is ideologectomy to remove entrenched party politics from my brain.....
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    2:19pm
    Labor did it!!! Greens did it! No power to do so but they did it anyway!!!
    Rae
    11th Jul 2018
    3:37pm
    Energy Australia is now owned by the chinese communist party and is making billions for China. The Chinese are very smart.

    Australia is very stupid and a few made lot's of money for themselves and their banks from the sales.

    These companies are not poor but are transferring billions into their foreign accounts at our expense and our Government did this and are not accepting the consequences and the responsibility to fix the mess they have made up.
    George
    11th Jul 2018
    8:12pm
    Of course, the free market is not working. Good morning, ACCC, for finally waking up!!! Govts have failed miserably.

    Time to re-regulate the entire industry, and run it under Govt control - using our extensive Coal, Gas, Solar and Uranium resources - such a small country to cater for, and our Politicians of both sides (and Greens) can't get this basic Essential Service supply right! Also, deport Vesey and all his kind who have come here to suck the people's blood - anyone here feeding his excessive salary / bonus by using AGL?
    sunnyOz
    10th Jul 2018
    10:15am
    It's not just the cost of power that needs reining in - it is the so called supply charges. My quarterly charges have increased from 21.82 in 2012 to $120.62 in 2018. That is a 452.8% increase 6 years! That is obscene.
    Adrianus
    10th Jul 2018
    10:44am
    During the Rudd/Gillard government power prices increased by 94%.
    That is a doubling of the cost of power in 6 years.
    Knows-a-lot
    10th Jul 2018
    10:49am
    Under the Lieberals in the last couple of years it's more than doubled. And the price is about to rise again!
    Cowboy Jim
    10th Jul 2018
    10:50am
    sunnyOz - just had a look at my bill. My average costs are $3.04 a day, of that $1.54 is the supply charge. NSW Govt rebate (pensioner) is $0.78. So you are right - the supply charges are the problem.
    MICK
    10th Jul 2018
    11:10am
    Adrianus: the government trolls always leave out the details to make a case which is not honest.
    The Carbon Tax increased electricity prices. That's why tax free threshholds were moved from $5000 to $18000. Funny how you forgot that.

    We need a Royal Commission into electricity prices to expose the liars who are in the cartel for who and what they are.
    Adrianus
    10th Jul 2018
    11:17am
    Wrong Mick, the tax free threshold has nothing to do with the cost of power.
    MICK
    10th Jul 2018
    11:42am
    It was adjusted up to account for the cost on carbon resulting in a slight move up in electricity prices. Do you really claim that the tax free threshhold was moved up because uncle Kevin was Santa Claus? Really.
    Adrianus
    10th Jul 2018
    1:47pm
    There was some $300 tax saving for a wage earner on $18200 but the household power bill went up $450.
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    2:21pm
    Phew - that's a relief - so the net cost was only $150? And then the prices sky-rocketed and continue to do so....
    Peter
    10th Jul 2018
    10:17am
    U bet there is lot of profiteering in the energy industry and the Government is blind to same.
    The retail price per unit of electricity or Gas is never published or when it is published it is so masked by so many other numbers it will be difficult to get the true picture.
    There must be a public investigation into these practices and it must be mandated that the retail price is published every month and without any other masking and confusing information.
    Not a Bludger
    10th Jul 2018
    10:26am
    Geez - the greens think of my taxpayers money as confetti.
    Imagine, another Royal Commission? - just another million $ picnic for lawyers and sundry other hangers on.
    Answer is simple - to reduce energy prices in big licks - simply scrap all renewable subsidies, build new coal fired and start to develop nuclear generation.
    Adrianus
    10th Jul 2018
    10:32am
    The Greens would call for a Royal Commission on their mothers. It doesn't make them innocent in our energy crisis.
    Knows-a-lot
    10th Jul 2018
    10:52am
    NaB, that is idiotic! Renewables are the future, in tandem with Gen3 or Gen4 nuclear reactors. We ought to be transitioning away from coal.

    Adrianus, a Royal Commission into the energy sector is now necessary. Their bastardry needs to be thoroughly unmasked.
    Cowboy Jim
    10th Jul 2018
    10:53am
    Yes, build coal fired power stations. Why is it OK to export our coal for power generation in other countries and we have to get green power? Only an idiot could dream that one up.
    Adrianus
    10th Jul 2018
    11:09am
    You're right Cowboy Jim, Australia is punching way above its weight in emission reduction but the holier than thou group will not be happy until our economy is a wreck.
    MICK
    10th Jul 2018
    11:11am
    The Greens are not owned or controlled by coal electoral funding so their call for a Royal Commission is right on the money.
    Tell it as you always do Adrianus. We know who your employer is.
    Adrianus
    10th Jul 2018
    11:19am
    Mick, why don't you tell us what happened to the $10b Green Fund?
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    12:09pm
    Still waiting for my $550 reduction in power cost from 'privatisation' into the hands of corporate vultures and all their mates who expect to be fed well every financial year.
    KSS
    10th Jul 2018
    12:51pm
    Agree Not a Bludger, it's disingenuous of Mr Brand to be calling for a Royal Commission when it's the policies of the Greens that is preventing more coal fired power plants and nuclear energy.

    Renewables may be the future but we are not there yet in terms of reliability and affordability of electricity prices.
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    12:59pm
    Putting the stolen $130Bn that's sitting in the Future Fund back into Consolidated Revenue, same as the Pensions Funding, might make a lot of difference.

    Let them all eat out of the same bowl and see how their decision process is arranged to suit.
    MICK
    10th Jul 2018
    1:20pm
    You tell me Adrianus. If you are insinuating that the Greens have stolen it you may want to provide PROOF....something you never do.
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    2:27pm
    The Greens and Labor stole/wasted a Green Fund?

    Who set up this green Fund and what was its purpose?

    AHHH - the Green Climate Fund - $10.3Bn ...

    "The Green Climate Fund is a critical part of the international community’s efforts to tackle climate change as the largest international climate fund helping developing counties respond to climate change. Established in 2010, it has US$10.3bn and approved 53 climate change projects in 73 countries worth US$2.64 billion in GCF resources. Priorities for this year include speeding up implementation and enhancing accessibility. Australia has committed $200m to the GCF which represents its single largest international climate change investment and played an important role in the development of the GCF. "

    INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY...

    "Australia has committed $200m to the GCF" ...

    http://climatecollege.unimelb.edu.au/seminar/has-australias-investment-green-climate-fund-been-successful

    This Green Fund looks and smells like a Red Herring... I imagine it was used for the projects outlined..... as efficiently as any other such series of projects.....
    musicveg
    10th Jul 2018
    2:31pm
    Not the answer Not a Bludger, you need to read the book The third revolution by Jeremy Rifkin, the future IS renewable energy whether you like it or not it is already happening. Coal and nuclear will see us all into an early grave. And for those who think we are not already their yet and still need coal, just wait and see what happens in the next 5 to 10 years, we certainly do not need new coal and nuclear both are too expensive to run and you will not see prices of electricity be reduced until we go fully renewable. Why have other countries already done it and are doing it?
    Not a Bludger
    10th Jul 2018
    4:46pm
    Wrong musicveg - for example, UK has just approved a huge new nuclear generating facility and the majority of French energy is nuclear and much is exported to neighbouring countries.

    As to coal some 1600 high efficiency coal fired plants are under construction or planned, around the world.

    All that little old Australia needs to do is follow along and our energy prices will drop dramatically - simple!
    musicveg
    10th Jul 2018
    8:18pm
    Can you provide a link to your information about the 1600 coal fired plants, which countries? You can keep the nuclear waste in your backyard, I do not support nuclear ever. Australia can lead the world with renewable after all the cost to set up renewable has proven to be cheaper than building any other plants. Why are you so against clean energy? Renewables are on the way to produce cheaper electricity so there is no excuse.
    Not a Bludger
    10th Jul 2018
    10:07pm
    Yeah, musicveg - and there are fairies at the bottom of my garden.
    Adrianus
    11th Jul 2018
    9:59am
    I often wondered why many MPs in the Gillard government were constantly visiting Russia. Not that there's anything wrong with that as communists around the world have some commonality. In hind sight we now know that it was the ground work to seal a deal for Australia to sell uranium to Russia, as did Hillary Clinton.
    I get confused with the politics of Marxism I guess because it wears the egalitarian great coat as a disguise? But, why is it ok for us to sell uranium and coal to other countries but not for us? Is it because there's some kind of moral virtue in self inflicted suffering?
    Rae
    11th Jul 2018
    3:40pm
    You didn't mention scrapping coal subsidies. did you forget about them?
    Rae
    11th Jul 2018
    3:46pm
    The UK and France hardly have any sun. We have heaps.

    We could also store easily using hydro plants. In fact it would save two thirds of the current water usage to produce coal powered energy to use solar, wind and hydro storage.
    Adrianus
    10th Jul 2018
    10:42am
    Spare a thought for Doctors operating in the dark with no emergency backup last week at Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital.
    I'm worried that the Labor/Greens ideology is going to cause fatalities, just like it did with the boat people.
    Knows-a-lot
    10th Jul 2018
    10:54am
    COALition shills are out in force today. It'll be your Lieberal mates' ideology that will cause fatalities, not Labor's or the Greens'.
    MICK
    10th Jul 2018
    11:15am
    Yeah Knows-a-lot. If you don't have an argument then change the subject or have a non related attack on Labor. The normal ploy from the cash for comment LNP stooges.
    We need a Royal Commission to expose the next set of rats. Banking well under way and proving my point. Electricity needs to be next followed by health care premiums. Of this governemnt will be gone by the time this is all done but still being exposed for the dishonest lot they are having sold out the country on so many occasions.
    Anonymous
    10th Jul 2018
    11:23am
    If there’s one thing I hate , it’s wasting taxpayer money fighting windmills
    Labor is good at wasting money that’s for sure
    MICK
    10th Jul 2018
    11:43am
    Labor debt $147 billion.
    LNP debt $600 billion.

    Now who is wasting money? Your lies are what the public has come to expect from the current government. Go tell it to party HQ.
    Anonymous
    10th Jul 2018
    12:10pm
    LNP dent ZERO before labor took over
    Raised it to $150 billion when they left office and tied LNP’s hands with annual commitments of $100 billion

    Takes time to wind back labor mess
    We’ll achieve that in the coming years with surplus budgets in the pipeline
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    12:10pm
    Forget the windmills - arm the populace again? Let them go straight to the point....

    Your idea could have some merit, Rafe.
    MICK
    10th Jul 2018
    1:13pm
    NO RAPHAEL. You are dodging the issue.

    Your employer has a track record which includes two politically motivated Royal Commissions, money handouts, tax cuts for the wealthy who have no need of any tax cut and wasted billions on supporting the electoral donations machine known as the coal industry.

    You can run but you can't hide. The LNP has run up another $340 billion on the ticker funded by foreigners. That is FACT. Keep your propaganda to yourself mate.
    Adrianus
    10th Jul 2018
    1:55pm
    There were 2 surgeries in process at the time. Fortunately the patients were not adversely effected this time.

    If there are deaths will we again see Labor and Greens hand wringing and crying in Parliament like they did when 1500 boat people died??

    And these people and their supporters are the caring ones???
    Give us a break!!
    Anonymous
    10th Jul 2018
    2:15pm
    Mick, tell me, is your last name Goebels, by any chance? You are the greatest revisionist of (recent) history I have ever come across! For the record, the Dudd/Dullard/Dudd government announced a couple of little sleepers prior to being turfed out of office called Gonski and NDIS. Neither were funded and cost an absolute fortune - picked up by the incoming Libs. Abbott and Hockey did everything in their power to reduce spending in other areas, and the Left combined on every expenditure reduction proposal in the Senate to thwart their every move - they are the facts - not the Left BS you continually regurgitate. Thank heaven the lunatics have now lost control of the asylum, and the adults are back in charge - result - the country is headed towards surplus again. Just look at some of the little 'gems' Juliar left us with. An office for Climate Change with a commissioner - now thoroughly discredited, on who's advice the Victorian state government commissioned a desal plant - initial estimate $1.6 billion, and after the unions took control, final cost $3.2 billion! End result - not one litre of water has been produced, and it is costing the Vic taxpayers $600milion p.a in ongoing maintenance. This is the sort of incompetence that you champion, and is the reason why this country got into such an economic messs. And morons like you want more - give me (and all other sane) taxpayers a break - please!
    Anonymous
    10th Jul 2018
    2:19pm
    Haha Big Al - spot on !

    Most thinking folks see through labor Mick's lies
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    2:32pm
    Anyone got a link to show what was the cause of these power shortages in SA last weekend? Generalising is of no help... especially in the light of history that said previous ones were due to a couple of hurricane events and some fallen power lines......
    Anonymous
    10th Jul 2018
    2:47pm
    I know Raph, but Mick works very much on the Goebels principle that if you repeat and disseminate lies for long enough, the plebs of this world might start to believe some of it. Very effective in Germany in the 1930's but needs to be called out in this country in these more enlightened times. This continual lying and propaganda is very unhealthy, and this country just cant afford a repeat of the disastrous economics of the period 2007 - 13. The incompetence, waste, and blind ideology that have now been exposed as catastrophic cannot be allowed to be repeated, and Short-on ideas would go even further! I don't want my grand kids futures to be wrecked by these economic vandals - and I am sure most thinking readers would feel the same!
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    3:47pm
    Ah yes - the old Embedded Ongoing Budget Commitment - the kind that can never be changed by changing the regulations or the approach to it...

    Is that like a Victorian government tying in a contract for a road through Malbun to the tune of $4.3Bn -and then being voted out of office so the succeeding government, in seeking to get rid of that wasteful contract - had to pay out a few lazy billions of taxpayers money to the contractors - for doing nothing?

    Is that like selling off a road or rail or power or gas network into 'private hands' which are guaranteed to be more efficient (LMAO), and then ensuring that in the event those 'private hands' go belly-up through mis-management or malfeasance - the taxpayer will bail them out to the tune of a few more lazy billions...??

    'Buying into' and then wrecking a 'business venture' such as this sounds like an easy way to access billions to me.... and like an easy way for any government to transfer a few billions of taxpayers money into the hands of a few old mates.

    Talk about Central American Third World.... El Grande Republica da San Austrador (EGRASA) in action.... brought to you by Eurasian peasant mores and values running our politics.
    Adrianus
    10th Jul 2018
    4:15pm
    Big Al, I share that view. We can only be grateful in the knowledge as explained by Bill Shorten that they have run out of messiahs.
    It appears that Kevin 007 was the last messiah.
    We are not safe. Any preacher in a baggy suit could come through the ranks of the unions any day. It wouldn't take much effort to rally the walking dead into the direction of a polling booth with the promise of reward. LOL
    Anonymous
    10th Jul 2018
    4:55pm
    Trebor, not sure wot u have been smoking, but I think desperate Dan is about to make it legal in Vic. If u move down there, be aware of the used syringes dropped by the junkies on the steps of his safe injecting facility - the junkies wont use it because they reckon it is not safe! In relation to that road contract, every independent report into the transport needs of Melbourne has said it is essential for the movement of traffic in and around Melbourne in the 21st Century. The only people not listening are the Greens (on ideological grounds), and Labor, on short term political grounds. You are so smart Trebor, but I bet u have never spoken to a motorist from Melbourne who daily has to try and commute around the city!
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    5:58pm
    Bulldoze Malbun CBD and start again... parkland all along the Yarra...

    I wouldn't live in a major city centre these days if you paid me.... and bought me the over-priced house to do so...

    10th Jul 2018
    11:21am
    There will always be one or 2 unscrupulous players in any industry
    By far and large the energy companies do a good job and pricing is fair to provide decent returns to investors

    Offering non existent discounts is an old trick and I’m surprised anyone falls for it
    Mark down sales , stock take sales , Boxing Day sales are all examples of the same
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    12:11pm
    Good God .....
    MICK
    10th Jul 2018
    1:14pm
    Look up the word CARTEL before running the party propaganda.
    Anonymous
    10th Jul 2018
    2:15pm
    Disgusting Unions are now sending out "volunteers" to campaign for labor in the by-elections

    these people should be sacked - highest form of corruption
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    2:34pm
    Labor was a party founded by Unions.... they have every right to go out and campaign if they so desire... same as liberal and other party members have the same right if they so choose...

    This is a democracy, not yet a dictatorship... and people have a right to freedom of association..... and the same right to negotiate as a group rather than as individuals if they so choose.
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    7:07pm
    It always amazes and amuses me when people say the 'left' is totalitarian - yet the same people advocate that there should be no freedom of association or of assembly or right to spend your own time doing what you want, when what you want is perfectly legal and Lawful (careful choice of words again - read up on it).

    All such anti-social elements should be removed from jobs, kept out of them, and even gulaged - so goes the official line of the 'right wing moderates' who so abhor the 'totatliarianism' of the 'left'.... particularly these punishments must apply to those who work for Unions or are members of them...

    Shades of NAZI Germany..... Stalinist Russia ....
    fearlessfly
    10th Jul 2018
    11:29am
    I can maybe understand that dipstick Hanson opposing such a highly desirable initiative, but Derryn Hinch opposing it ??? Find that hard to understand so have written to him asking why he is against this move.
    floss
    10th Jul 2018
    11:32am
    would the Federal Liberal have the guts to bring on a royal commission .Due to the fact they caused the problem I think not.After what came out of the banking royal commission I very much doubt any party will.
    Anonymous
    10th Jul 2018
    12:06pm
    Hahah
    Too funny blaming the LNP for labor screw ups
    MICK
    10th Jul 2018
    1:17pm
    Raphael: so now the banking frauds are Labor's fault? You have no credibility.
    You are on the money floss. The current government did everything in its power to avoid any sort of banking inquiry. Now that it is progressing the frauds which was well understood by the Turnbull government are coming out.
    So why did the government refuse to act? Rather who is it serving, the people or the crooks in big business? Don't answer that!
    Adrianus
    10th Jul 2018
    1:28pm
    Oh not this nonsense again?? If anyone is in anyway involved with big business then they are crooks are they??
    MICK, seems you're not happy unless there's some sort of conspiracy going on somewhere against you. Try getting out of your harbourside mansion once in a while. That's where the real world is and us battlers know what's going on. And another thing, we're not easily fooled by paid trolls.
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    12:03pm
    Not the only 'false and misleading advertisement' - South /American Flathead springs to mind.. try once - never again.... and 'Product of Australia' is desperately over-inflated.

    The relative lack of GENUINE regulation requiring TRUTH is the problem - and this cannot be other than deliberate on the part of government intent on 'encouraging business' - even when that business is so close to a Mafia it makes no difference.

    What is 'good for business' is demonstrably not always good for the economy, the nation and the people, and now a ridiculous outworn self-serving position adopted often for personal gain.

    Time for a change of government here away from the Government of Two Parties that has lead us so far astray.

    Considering changing LNP for Labor has always been the best of the poorest choices - but given Labor's international sisterhood of women stance these days has never been worse.
    MICK
    10th Jul 2018
    1:18pm
    Spot on TREBOR. Its a choice between totally corrupt and bad. I pick bad. The trolls posting on this website pick corrupt.
    arbee
    10th Jul 2018
    1:46pm
    Rabid Mick and his cohorts are out in full force today. Stop and have a good look at the whole situation, Mick. Power prices started to increase rapidly when labour went blindly down the renewables path. and committed us to a program that could never be achieved. Turnbull hasn't been any better either with his wild schemes and ridiculous promises to go to 30% renewables, but Shorten is even worse promising 50%. All of this, and Australia only adds about 1% of the worlds emissions, but we think we have to be a world leader in renewables, to the point where our power prices have made us uncompetitive with the rest of the world. We should have gone down the nuclear path when Howard was in government and we wouldn't have been going through these crap times now, because if it was started then, it would be up and running now. We need more low emission coal fired power stations, like the rest of the world are building, 1500 under construction now. If the power companies persist in shutting down existing coal fired stations, then the government must move in and take them over. This would probably cost a lot less than Snowy 2 that Turnbull proposes.
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    2:42pm
    Mick stands alone... as do I and all the other independent thinkers here.....

    Agree that our stance as a nation (by government decree) on emissions is a nonsense given our true contribution and our nation's wide spaces etc. Ridiculous to carry on about this nation when certain of our trading partners are the current main culprits.....

    Hardly the mouse that roared, are we?

    You are correct that infrastructure, power in this case, needs to be more controlled and organised, and that government has a part to play in that.

    Again - any investment in solid infrastructure such as power needs to be viewed over the long term - so that as in the case of renewables, the false criticism is not applied that it is too costly and is thus raising the costs of power.

    Building new 'low emissions' coal stations would be more costly according to some figures, and would have precisely the same effect on prices under this 'privatised' regime.

    Same with nuclear - ANY changes cost in the short term - but those costs must be viewed over the long term for any business to be pursuing a solid business plan and not smash and grab profiteering as the privateers are doing.

    They want overnight billions instead of steady accumulation of funds, and like any get rich quick scheme - there are dangers in it..... such as market collapses... so there is a sound reason why government, as a shareholder, is obliged to maintain and support these 'private ventures' = socialism for business.
    Anonymous
    10th Jul 2018
    3:21pm
    The Snowy infrastructure (Snowy hydro ltd) should be privatised. - sold to the likes of Origin
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    6:00pm
    Good God - and hand it over to over-priced CEOs.,board members, and shareholders that do not exist at this moment?

    You would exacerbate the current disaster of power supply?
    Anonymous
    10th Jul 2018
    7:23pm
    re tremors above comments, " mick stands alone... as do i " must be the result of many sleepless nights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    HS
    10th Jul 2018
    2:15pm
    So, I go into my electricity provider’s website the other day and notice this headline.
    “No discounts. No tricks. Just low rates”
    Oh…really? So does this mean that for past 3 years where I am on a supposedly 25% discount for on time payments…I was being tricked…with a higher rate?
    Yes.
    Because, when I changed to the 25% plan, the rate per kw/h increased by 7 cents compared to the previous KW/h charge…I really wasn’t getting a 25% discount …I was getting less discount. But, that aside, I was curious what the low rate was and I clicked on the link for Low Rates and Plans. Plans in plural? Rates in plural? Hmm, guess what? Not a single numerical dollar value per KW/h was declared.
    No tricks ey?
    I believe that all energy providers should be forced to advertise their kW/h rates with GST inclusive and inclusive of all other service fees out in the open…just like the new car dealerships were forced to advertise a price of a new car with all the on-road costs including GST without an array of confusing usage plans. One rate for all private domestic consumers and one rate for all commercial business consumers. So why doesn’t the government enforce this?
    Anonymous
    10th Jul 2018
    2:17pm
    There's a 50% buy 1 get 1 free sale this Christmas across at all major department stores HS.

    You will save thousands
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    2:45pm
    Bought some new glasses from California (Cliffornia after The Big One drops half into the sea) .. $49.95 delivered and that's for two pairs on a 2for1 deal.... and top quality. Got some from them before and they were great.
    Anonymous
    10th Jul 2018
    3:19pm
    Hope the new glasses help you see through labor's bulldust. Do they come with automatic wipers ?
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    6:05pm
    If you read my posts, I stick it to Labor as much as LNP - and will do so more when Labor are in power in the house (careful choice of words there - control of the house does not imply control over the entire nation)..

    Once that second batch of fools on the 'other side' of The Tag Team get in, I'll lay into them for the same failings.... if they stuff power supply costs - they'll cop their just deserts... the moment they enforce their ridiculous 50% sheilas - I'll be into them about reducing the number of female public servants, teachers, nurses and other soft seat jobs, replacing the disparate percentage now of the incumbents, replacing them with men on a 50% basis, and forcing women onto the road gangs to lean on a shovel in the sun and wind and rain and cold......

    Labor's 50% has shades of Pol Pot's 'send 'em into the rice paddies to learn the virtue of labour'..... except they don't want that for their own 'chosen ones', any more than the LNP do.....
    Anonymous
    10th Jul 2018
    8:08pm
    H.S I have asked that same question many a times, never received an answer, should be made law to advertise their rates and then give their discounts when paying the bill on time, you and I will never see this happening until this becomes LAW and this site becomes an independent site and comments such as " the second bag of fools on the other side or forcing women onto road gangs or pol pot's send them into the rice paddies etc are given the the finger it reserves, we all can write b.s. very few can come up with a solution worthy of mentioning however your's is the one which stands out on how to give people a change of getting better electricity and gas rates
    trood
    10th Jul 2018
    2:37pm
    Essential services like gas & elec should never have been privatised, even if the govt has to run at a loss and subside it would be money better spent than what they waste money on anyway. The current situation is disgusting; bring on a Royal commission, see what we have learnt about the banks, absolute amazing the skulduggery. Better still bugger the "free trade" ideology, send the army in the take back all these power companies in the interest of the nation which is fast going down the plughole.
    musicveg
    10th Jul 2018
    2:40pm
    Some of these comments are all about Labour verses Liberal, or Greens, it says clearly that Turnbull and the Greens want to support a royal commission. I don't think we need it and I think Turnbull is saying that to divert from the real truth. I also think it is a waste of money to have a royal commission. Simply vote with your pocket, keep changing your supplier until you are satisfied that you are getting the best deal. I just moved to Red because they do not have discounts rather they just have a lower rate. But I agree with many that it is the supply charge that is the main problem. I attended a forum recently on energy run by a network provider and they are looking into the supply charge, things are going to change but we need our Government to step up and support renewable energy and stop living in the dark ages. Coal is dead, nuclear will make us dead, gas is going overseas, we can all go renewable very easily and it is and will happen. For those interested read Jeremy Rifkins book The Third revolution.
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    2:46pm
    Yes - no need for a royal commission - just a good look and some regulation.
    Anonymous
    10th Jul 2018
    8:29pm
    all we need is for the sun to shine 24 hours and the wind to blow the same
    Lookfar
    10th Jul 2018
    2:40pm
    The AEMO has clearly stated that electricity produced by new coal fired generators will be twice as expensive as electricity generated by the geriatic fleet of current coal fired generators, and that was a conservative estimate, the wholesale/retail rorts wil more than double the price..
    In America, the home of Free Enterptise, Nuclear power costs 60, per megawatt hour, Coal fired electricity 40, and wind powered electricity 20.
    Guess which electricity the electricity retail sector is buying?
    Hence the collapse of any revival of the Nuclear industry and the huge numbers of coal fired generators closing down, - almost 3 per week..
    So even despite the American President Trump, the coal industry is dying, all that huge machinery just 'stranded assets', - Renewable is just so much cheaper.
    To look at Hazelbrook, closed last year, a 1.7 gig - ie 1,700 Megawatt brown coal fired station, owned by private industry, at the time of all the right wing protests, was only capable of 1 gig, a few months later had gone down to .75; gig, it was dying of old age, - more recently, Lydell a 2 gig station, bought by AGL, lambasted by Turnbull to keep it open, was only capable of 1 gig!!
    These old coal fired power stations, mostly now owned by private enterprise that does not believe in spending millions on maintenance, (bought for a song, trying to justify keeping them alive to the shareholders) will be lucky to last 5 to 15 years.
    The Government of the day, held hostage to these ruthless capitalists, must cave in, and who will pay the price? YOU and ME.

    With Renewables, Australia is a big country, almost always the wind is blowing some where, the sun is shinging 16 hours/day on Australia, there are enormous tidal flows in NT, - by putting a high voltage DC (with Superconductors under the ground for long stretches) line up to the Cape and across to Darwin, encompassing the trade winds and the Tidal, and Solar in the deserts, and also from South Australia over to Perth (encompassing the Roaring Forties and the Winter Solar) (good to join them in Perth so as to get the west Oz winds as well) That is all the Govt needs to do, - just build the connections, - private industry will build everything else and compete with each other to sell to us, and we will truly need cheap renewable energy in the future as our country dries out, - to desalinate sea water, to pump monsoon water, to run air-conditioners to keep us old folk alive in 40+ heat, to provide cheap electricity to smelt Aluminium etc. etc, and with the new Pumped Hydro, - so much cheaper than Batteries, Power available 24/7.
    Australia is not America, - Australian Corruption needs to be severely reigned in, imho.
    Let's follow the vision, cheap renewables all over Australia, brought together, Lotsa jobs setting it up, lotsa employment manufacturing enabled by cheap power, no greenhouse gases from power generation - Ozzies Win Win.

    Cheers,
    Geoff.
    musicveg
    10th Jul 2018
    8:49pm
    Excellent comments Lookfar, I was trying to explain about the cheapness of renewables to some others here but they seem to be convinced the new 'low emission' coal fired power stations and nuclear is the way to go. Investors are taking there money into renewables so coal energy will get a natural death.
    80 plus
    10th Jul 2018
    2:43pm
    Raphael wrote; Disgusting Unions are now sending out "volunteers" to campaign for labor in the by-elections these people should be sacked - highest form of corruption, Is he not aware that the union movement is the political voice of the ALP. Just as the Liberals are the voice of Capitalism, what is corrupt is huge amounts of money funded by the transport, property development, resources industries and foreign investors which is funneled to the LIB/NAT STATE AND FEDERAL M.P.s.
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    2:48pm
    Unfortunately ideological beliefs are hard to move from some...

    Agree on donations - needs to be curbed across the board.
    Lookfar
    10th Jul 2018
    3:49pm
    Raphael your reply is totally and unjustifiably ignorant, you have no idea about the subject, and I have carefully crafted my statement to include the uninformed, - who also deserve to be informed.
    Your stupid and arrogant reply deserves no reply, what an ignorant twit, justify your ravings or f/o.
    floss
    10th Jul 2018
    4:08pm
    Guess what kids the feed in tariff is to be halved and guess what it was caused by the fall in power prices next year , you work it out I can't.
    TREBOR
    10th Jul 2018
    6:07pm
    Bet the prices will never drop in proportion - the board and executives need to justify their annual bonuses and remuneration...
    Adrianus
    10th Jul 2018
    4:21pm
    Did the SA government get conned by spending $100m on the world's biggest battery? I thought the idea of the battery storage was to provide back up for when the sun doesn't shine? OK, the Hospital was only blacked out for 30 minutes but a person could die in that time.
    Anonymous
    10th Jul 2018
    4:26pm
    Adrianus - I'm surprised that youre surprised by anything a labor government does.

    It was an idiotic decision done with no proper research into the merits of Tesla battery proposal. They were conned or more likely it was an expensive vote buying stunt to con the masses

    Like the labor pollies , its a dud
    Adrianus
    11th Jul 2018
    1:16pm
    I am surprised that it took such a short time frame to expose the stupidity. Of course Musk didn't shy away from installing the worlds biggest battery and he'll be there when it needs replacing.
    floss
    10th Jul 2018
    4:28pm
    Lookfar as a ex Power Worker you are right on the money ,what a bunch of fools any one that opposes a royal commission into power prices.Over the last three years the Libs have ripped the guts out of Australia what they haven't sold they have given away.R.I.P Australia.
    Anonymous
    10th Jul 2018
    8:24pm
    as usual always talking about the past why as an ex power worker you won't, apart from a royal commission which only feeds the lawyers and hanger-ons and in the end it does not improve our lot, come up with some possitive comments
    Captain
    11th Jul 2018
    10:34am
    Learn from the past Hemmi and apply lessons learnt to the future.
    Anonymous
    11th Jul 2018
    6:57pm
    I did and fear for my childrens future and so should you!!!
    MD
    10th Jul 2018
    9:46pm
    Rabbits.....lots of em remember, plague proportions ? Wasn't that long ago either when Oz was full of em. What've we got now - bunnies - lots of them too and the present mob seem to think they're smarter than the former. Maybe we need to ask ourselves whether we're simply being herded by the big power players up against a rabbit proof fence where they'll then have us at their mercy.
    "No coal, no nukes, no gas" and sure as hell the sun'll come up tomorrow and failing that then we can rely on the wind, most of which is blowin outa your arses - everyone's got the answer, or at least you've got someone else's answer down parrot fashion. (Likely haven't a clue)

    Nobody, but nobody - apart from dumb arsed commentators - is likely to commercially invest in baseload generation, the returns flick the switch on that. So we're gonna get all warm and fuzzy by cuddling up to the feel good greens and embrace their 'renewables' eh ? The smart arses meanwhile are falling over each other to get their solar panels installed so's to cop both their gov't subsidy PLUS kick back feed in tariff. Yet somewhere down the track, say 15-20 years time you'll need to start replacing bits and pieces, oh but you've already covered the cost of replacement, haven't you, compliments of the feed in tariff... right ? Ever wondered who foots the bill for both your little bonuses ? And when the sun don't shine (probably from the very same source as the the earlier wind) what then....oh that's right, batteries - we'll getta helluva kick outa them.

    Well fellow bunnies, once the big gen men have y'all herded against the fence THEN you'll be able to loudly declaim - 'I did it my way' (apologies to Frank).

    Private consortiums invest/build your wind farms and contrary to whether anyone fancies 'tilting at windmills' we'll ultimately all find ourselves at their mercy. It maybe just another case of 'same horse different jockey' but I'm inclined to think more along the lines of ....skinned rabbits. Power to the people!
    Peter
    11th Jul 2018
    1:24pm
    The only sensible way to get the government to act is if there is ground swell of support to BAN thee export of coal and uranium. If we are to suffer because we must aim for clean energy to reduce our mere 1.5% of emission let’s help the world to reduce it by more than 40%. Rise up people be united and fight for the banning of coal and uranium export.
    Anonymous
    11th Jul 2018
    6:54pm
    typical comment of a person brainwashed by the unwashed
    Peter
    11th Jul 2018
    8:26pm
    Heemskerk99 this is the problem with interpretation. My view is by agitating for a total ban on export of coal and uranium we can force the government to rethink its position on coal fired power stations which we need as a matter of urgency. Sticking to stupid clean energy will lead the country into disaster as we will not be able to compete with the world market, keep our homes heated or cooled as need be rather than paying exorbitant cost which we can ill afford. We have the resources and let’s use it first rather than starving ourselves for the sake of ideology.
    musicveg
    20th Jul 2018
    7:52pm
    New report just in:
    http://econews.com.au/58250/lib-nat-governments-neg-predicted-to-drive-up-power-prices/


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