“It’s time to unmask the crooks”, say irate members

Irate members have their say on all that’s wrong in the energy sector.

“It’s time to unmask the crooks”, say irate members

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has declared the electricity market broken in its long-awaited report. It made 56 recommendations that it said would save the average household between $290 and $450 per year.

In response to news that the Coalition and Greens MPs were ramping up their demands for a royal commission into energy prices, and that the ACCC was taking Click Energy to court for what it says were false or misleading discount offers, YourLifeChoices members vented their frustration. The following comments were typical of the hundreds received – and instructive.

Mick: 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 per cent discounts 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: The energy sector sales of the 1980s 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 80s but my voice, and others, were lost in the wilderness.

SunnyOz: 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 per cent increase in six years! That is obscene.

Cowboy Jim: Just had a look at my bill. My average costs are $3.04 a day, of that $1.54 is the supply charge. NSW Government rebate (pensioner) is $0.78. The supply charges are the problem.

Peter: The retail price per unit of electricity or gas is never published or when it is published it is 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.

HS: So, I go into my electricity provider’s website and notice this headline: No discounts. No tricks. Just low rates. Oh, really? So does this mean that for the past three years where I am on a supposedly 25 per cent discount for on-time payments, I was being tricked with a higher rate? Yes. Because, when I changed to the 25 per cent plan, the rate per kw/h increased by seven cents compared to the previous kw/h charge … I really wasn’t getting a 25 per cent 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.

Why not keep the conversation going with your ideas on how to fix the system?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    12th Jul 2018
    Would you want deal in WA. We have only one supplier at the moment. The WA Government decided to up the supply charge. Power coming into the property and as I have solar panels I now get a charge for supply out of my property to the grid. The rate of power dosen't go up only the fixed charges and fees.
    The solar panels saves the Government from building a new power station. They are not too bright to work that out. I am not a Greenie, however just want to have someway of controlling cost being on a pension
    12th Jul 2018
    Unfortunately, there is no way to fix this problem now. The genie is out of the bottle. The cost of re-nationalisation of energy would be horrendous, and the multi-billion dollar foreign companies that own it all now, have the power to stymie any such moves anyway.

    It has been said time and time again that we should never have allowed privatisation. It was proven in the UK not to work after Thatcher sold everything off. But we blindly went down that idealogical path.

    Don't what other states will do, but I'll tell you one thing, if and when I ever become Premier of the State of Victoria, the first thing I will do on the Monday morning following the election, is gaol Jeff Kennett for treason against Victoria and it''s citizens for the disaster he has wrought in energy, education, health and public transport. We can never recover from his reign of terror.
    12th Jul 2018
    J-I-M, agree with you that Jeff has got a lot to answer for in regards to electricity - but to blame him for everything else is a bit wide of the mark old fella. Try living in rural Victoria (or thereabouts), and work out a little system called Myki - introduced not by Jeff, but his successors. In contrast, in NSW, as a senior, I can travel everywhere - train, bus , ferries, for just $2.50 per day, on a little system called OPAL - it is brilliant! The Vics had every chance to install the same system, at one third the final cost of Myki, and in stubborn, pig headed arrogance, thumbed their nose at the opportunity - the same arrogance that saw the country with something like 5 different rail gauge systems at the turn of the last century. As for Education, I would defy any sane person to butt heads with the Education union in Victoria, and try and come up with a sane rational approach to reporting, teacher performance and curriculum - they are on another planet - not Jeff's fault!

    12th Jul 2018
    50 % of your electricity bill is to pay for government spend electricity infrastructure
    Government Inefficiency is why your bills are high
    12th Jul 2018
    I have to agree with the complaints about supply charges (meter reading etc) My age pension concession doesn't get to pay any electricity, it is all used up on supply charges.
    12th Jul 2018
    They are saying that taxpayers are paying to subsidise people who have Solar Panels on their roof but doesn't that energy go back into the grid to be used by those same taxpayers? What would happen if everyone turned their Solar Panels off, would there be enough electricity to go around, how does it work?, does anyone know?.
    12th Jul 2018
    Eh what ?
    Yes taxpayers subsidized the purchase and installation of panels
    And what’s worse these people are making money by selling back to the grid
    Stupid socialist policies brought in by labor
    12th Jul 2018
    Better get used to it Raphael, GenY want a socialist society and if that is what they want, that is what they will vote for, regardless of what you, I, or anyone else does or says for that matter.
    15th Jul 2018
    YEs Misty and now both China and Russia are starting to boom. So are the Nordic Socialist Countries.

    Back in Capitalist countries the top are taking all the profits and mismanaging everything else. Corporations are bleeding us all and using the money for share buybacks, mergers and CEO bonuses.

    The great promises of privatisation and free markets reward only the top few % of the population. Everyone else pays more and has less income and spending power year after dismal year.

    Raphael is making hay while those markets rise but will be equally shocked when they finally collapse through greed and refusal to share a bit of the wealth with workers.

    Not surprising the young look at the situation, think I don't buy shares and I'm being done over by those who do, I want Communism/socialism because I see it is working in China and Russia.

    They think Australia was far better when we had properly paid jobs, fairer taxes and fairer redistribution than in this win/lose policy dream created by neo-liberals. I agree with them.

    My spending power was much better decades ago before all this corporate carpetbagging got under way.

    No way will Get Y pick up the global 240 trillion debt. I don't blame them.
    12th Jul 2018
    "...ideas on how to fix the system". All very well and thus far I'm convinced that most everyone does in fact 'have an idea'. Whether they might THINK their idea original is pure conjecture mostly fed from snippets of info gleaned on TV, read in a rag or Google 'researched'.
    If gubbermint and the many multifarious entities (not to mention the extortionate salaries of everyone involved) - 'specialists' all - can't come up with something of substance then, hot air aside, I seriously doubt there's much in the way of a light bulb moment any of us has to offer that is likely to brighten societys' darkest hour.

    I've seen various academic papers and reports on an idea being parleyed about concerning "Participatory Inclusion' and 'Community Involvement' - an extension of democratic process.
    A couple of European countries have trialled projects with varying degrees of acceptance: itself determinate of varying success. For those folk that express little confidence in the powers that be then maybe this idea might be an opportunity to 'put their money up: or shutup'. I believe an Australian local council area is inviting interested parties to participate in considering local power generation - although I'm not adequately informed to elaborate. Maybe it's along the lines of 'crowd funding' but I dread to think of the legalities and ownership minefield.

    The little subject knowledge I possess leads me to think renewables; and currently in vogue, are indeed worthy of further development however, in a stand alone capacity each one of them is akin running a one legged race across an ice rink. To build and manufacture equipment for an adequate system of renewables requires a substantial baseload in the interim just to keep the lights on.
    Forget the morons that lambast 'dirty coal': that which has served them bloody well their entire lifetime - of course it has to go the way of the dinosaurs... but in a timely and organized manner. All the silly old gits that suggest "stop mining, stop selling, stop polluting" (coal) seem to conveniently overlook the fact a good deal of their pension 'entitlement' is paid from the dirty dealings of coal.

    Mark my words humbugs - the Nuclear Industry is developing technologies that surpasses anything the mere mention of the name brings to the mind of naysayers. Once the real power generators come online, ie big capital movers and shakers then you wont hear as much as a squeak from the wimpy pollies.
    15th Jul 2018
    Great comment although I'm not holding my breath waiting for big capital movers to get their hands out of our pockets and build anything. Why would they when for 40 years public money has been building everything and all they have to do is borrow a bit and rake in the profits.
    12th Jul 2018
    There definitely needs to be a royal commisssion into power as it is becoming known certain facts that show corruption in the industry. The selling of the poles, running down power stations, deliberately causing blackouts all to manipulate people into paying more.
    Solar on every roof would have several benefits by providing power for the householder and blocking some of the corruption that has been allowed to flourish. Batteries to store the excess power being collected is also a necessity.
    13th Jul 2018
    I wonder WHY the poles were sold, perhaps you could enlighten us. ALL Power stations have a limited serviceable life, thus the older units are run down due to reliability. "Deliberately causing blackouts..." suggests to me you're privy to insider information. That we'll pay more is a given - some call it 'progress'.

    "Solar on every roof " - humph, yeh of course, as long as gubbermint subsidizes the project...right ? When the excess (battery) power is exhausted THEN we're in the dark and community is in the shit: remember the poles have been sold, stations run down and blackouts assured cos people were manipulated !

    I'm so (con) 'fused' - maybe my gotta brain's 'short circuited'. Time to plug in, power up and push off...ta-ta.
    13th Jul 2018
    Yes we need to be able to store the excess, that is really important!
    The information I sprouted is available online. My husband was shocked as he discovered one shocking thing after another.
    Read the full report from ACCC. Some have been outed for practices. Think of how they could be manipulating the market etc and it is happening! Try typing in a few key words as well.
    15th Jul 2018
    Take a look at Hydro battery storage Kathleen. Research appears to show it quite doable.
    Life experience
    15th Jul 2018
    And stop electricity company’s charging for underground power. I’ve paid last year and this year over 4000 dollars and still no power. Electricity company should pay. Not me. I pay enough for electricity. Refunds should be given. Every way we look they are ripping us off.
    21st Aug 2018
    Reading these comments makes the prospect of Coal fired boilers turning the generators for electricity generation more of the great alternative. It has always been cheaper, safer and more reliable than most other methods.
    China currently has 220 coal fired stations under construction mostly Australian coal will be used in these stations. We may have to buy from them later.
    Why is it so difficult for our politicians to realise we are going to be the big losers in this power debacle ? Beyond me !!!
    21st Aug 2018
    Almost guarantee not one recommendation will be implemented !!

    Tags: energy, money, opinion, accc,

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