Hospitals and households being rocked by power bill shock

Health care facilities join households as victims of power bill increases.

Hospitals and health care facilities are the latest victims of power bill shock caused by Australia’s rising electricity costs.

The cost of electricity has almost doubled for some health facilities, and they, like many Australian households, are already struggling to balance their budgets.

Many regional hospitals may have to cut costs or shut down some operations and services just to pay their power bills.

These increased costs are the result of a new 24-month electricity contract which took effect last month. According to Health Purchasing Victoria, in Victoria alone, health services are now facing an estimated $44 million rise in power bills, leaving many health services wondering how they will absorb the soaring costs.

One regional hospital reports a power bill rising from $4000 to $7000 last month, while another regional health service’s monthly electricity costs rose from $8400 to over $15,000. Nationals MP, Emma Kealy, told Parliament last week that the Wimmera Health Care Group in Horsham expected power prices to increase by $500,000 this financial year.

Hospitals are scrambling to find ways to cover these extra costs without undermining patients’ safety. These strategies include installing renewable energy facilities and improving sustainable practises.

Opinion: Electricity prices are stressful and now bad for health

The health sector joins Australian households in figuring out how to deal with sharply rising electricity costs.

Aussie households stretched thin by slow wage growth, increased cost of living and high debt levels have responded by reducing the amount of power they use. This may include switching off heating and using less lighting.

But there are only so many lights you can switch off and only so many ways one can reduce power use. The next step is to stop buying food, clothing and limit spending on health and household goods.

And, as much as these reductions may be inconvenient and, sometimes, harmful to health, our hospitals can’t respond in a similar way.

Public hospitals and health-care facilities already operate on slim budgets and when they are hit with an almost 50 per cent increase in power costs, they simply have no way to cover it, apart from asking for more government funding.

And private facilities have to pass on these costs to the consumer.

Eventually, hospitals, as with households, will have to cut spending on ‘discretionary’ items, which may include meals, linen and rehabilitation services. These services may need to come at an extra cost to patients, many of whom will be trying to cover their own power bills.

According to consumer watchdog CHOICE’s Consumer Pulse survey, over 80 per cent of Australians are concerned about household electricity prices and the cost of private health insurance.

Given the anxiety electricity prices cause in most households and the new threat to our health system, the Government needs to tackle this problem – and do it quickly.

The first step is investigating the sector, which the Government directed the ACCC to do earlier this year. The ACCC preliminary report is due by the end of September 2017, with a final report to be released at the end of June 2018.

So, what is the answer? Do the states need to ‘take the power back’?

There is an argument that de-regulating the electricity sector creates competition and forces prices down. This has not happened. But is re-regulation going to make things any better?

Re-regulation has its merits, but it may come at the cost of innovation, which is necessary if we are to rapidly embrace renewables.

Maybe a base regulated price for low to middle income earning households is the answer. Along with an option to take up a premium product. Or having one rate for poorer households and a higher rate for those that earn more.

Or is Malcolm Turnbull’s snowy hydro 2.0 pet project the answer? Sure, it will provide power to 500,000 extra households, but at what cost? Will it reduce the price of power, or merely cover population expansion in NSW and Victoria? And how long will it take to complete?

Renewable energy is surely the best answer long term, but there needs to be significant investment in the meantime, which will also have an impact on our hip pockets. But it is one that will ease the strain on power bills in the future.

The Renewable Energy Index released this week by Green Energy Markets revealed that the renewables sector will generate enough power to run 70 per cent of Australian homes once wind and solar projects currently under construction are completed. This means it will meet the Government’s 20 per cent renewable energy target by the end of 2018 – over one year earlier than predicted.

According to Green Energy Markets analyst Tristan Edis, renewables, in particular wind and solar, are a “significant source of power” and responsible for a “construction jobs and investment boom”.

Could the sceptics then lay their criticism of renewables aside and get on board with the obvious benefits? Or are they happy to rely on fossil fuels instead of investing in a cleaner, less expensive future?

Right now, it may not help the thousands of Australians who are currently on hardship programs to help pay their power bills, but at least renewables may give them, and the rest of us, something to look forward to.

What do you think is the answer to our soaring power prices? How much has your power bill increased in recent months? Have you installed solar panels and/or batteries? Are you having to cut back spending in other areas to pay your power bill?

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    COMMENTS

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    Not a Bludger
    28th Aug 2017
    10:04am
    There is no answer to ever increasing power prices unless we use more baseload coal fired stations.

    Dan Andrews does not give a toss about this problem which he caused by forcing the premature closure of Hazelwood - typical socialist leftie - just shut up and pay the money and if you cannot just shut up and go without.
    Star Trekker
    28th Aug 2017
    10:30am
    Dan also tripled the brown coal royalties to bring it even with NSW & QLD.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-23/victoria-to-raise-250m-by-increasing-brown-coal-royalties/7352526
    Placido
    28th Aug 2017
    11:02am
    how about baseload solar thermal, move your mind forward
    Tom Tank
    28th Aug 2017
    11:45am
    Hazelwood has been on the verge of shutting down for years. It was slated to close before privatisation but was sold off because it could still turn a profit despite it's age and maintenance issues.
    In the days of the SEC steps would have already been taken to replace it but anyone building a coal fired station now would demand a guarantee on price and life of that facility to recoup their investment plus profit.
    The SEC used to produce and supply electricity at the lowest cost to consumers in Australia as well as return a profit to the Government.
    Kennett fixed that up good and proper.
    A major issue now is the supply to overseas buyers on our gas and giveaway prices that now see consumers in Japan buying our gas at a lower price than we can buy here. Capitalism at it's worst that we suffer to line the pockets of big overseas owned corporations.
    jackyd
    28th Aug 2017
    12:08pm
    Placido...get your brain moving and do the cost.
    Example, the proposed solar thermal project in SA.
    650 million dollars for a 135 megawatt output at normal conditions.
    Hazelwood output 2000 megawatts.
    That equates to 8.6Billion to replace Hazelwood with new age base load technology plus change to build another 3 or 4.
    Tib
    28th Aug 2017
    12:47pm
    Privatisation is probably more responsible for the price rises rather than renewable energy.
    jackyd
    28th Aug 2017
    1:04pm
    Probably not Tib..
    Sudden price hikes are generally a result of a sudden drop in supply from the ever increasing intimmittan grid and the gouging occurs when the generators and particularly the standby generators kick in. They hit industry in particular.
    Domestic cost increases are direct result of the billions subsidized to renewables as was always the plan.
    Rae
    28th Aug 2017
    1:13pm
    Yes Tib and also responsible for the drain on State and Federal budgets. Too many rent seekers and not a big enough population to feed them. And not much money coming in anymore either now.
    Retired Knowall
    28th Aug 2017
    4:23pm
    It's interesting that the Internal Rate Of Return when you install solar on your roof is between 15 and 18 %. If managed properly you can reduce your power bill by 80%.
    Tom Tank
    28th Aug 2017
    10:07pm
    Just a small point that Hazelwood is actually 1600MW from 8 x 200MW units that are old, commissioned in 1971. It was really only viable because each unit was small and capable of reasonably quick, by coal standards, to bring on-line.
    Because of it's age it was a very "dirty" station both from CO2 and particulate emission point of view.
    Needy not Greedy
    28th Aug 2017
    10:18am
    The WA government has taken the step of increasing the Service Charge $169.00, thereby denying pensioners or low income families in WA the option of even being able to turn off heating or lights to save money, wish we could go nuclear, in the form of a bomb right on top of Government House and fry the mongrels.
    Star Trekker
    28th Aug 2017
    10:32am
    Has anyone got a plane we can use?
    Make sure parliament is in session, this goes for all states & federal govts.
    Rosret
    28th Aug 2017
    11:52am
    If you go off the grid will you still be charged the $169 like water and rubbish collection.
    HKW
    28th Aug 2017
    12:28pm
    Maybe its about time ..?? !!! If not so drastically, then something definitely has to be done! Those politicians with multiple citizenship have to be thoroughly verified and ditched !! We need patriotic politicians accountable for their action and worthy of the salaries we pay them from out taxes !!! Otherwise, with next elections cross all the major parties out and give a chance to One Nation and Independent politicians. Time for SERIOUS CHANGES IN AUSTRALIA. Those two mafia parties have been ruling for too long !!!
    TREBOR
    28th Aug 2017
    6:12pm
    It would help if someone added brains and genuine knowledge of simple realities, such as the dire cost to low income earners of their policy ideas such as privatisation.

    One reason I advocate halving their salary and curtaining their perks to what is spent within prescribed limits to run their show as politicians. They get too quickly too used to being overpaid and lose all perspective...

    We paid more peanuts and only got bigger monkeys...
    Needy not Greedy
    28th Aug 2017
    8:24pm
    Not sure Rosret, to go right off the grid is expensive with batteries etc, it will come down in time, the point is the government goes through the PRETENCE of pushing renewable energy in the form of solar to householders, but then use the reasoning of putting the $170 increase on the service charge so " Those with solar don't get an unfair advantage over people on the grid" ummmmm what about the $7000 it cost to install the solar, bigger monkeys! No we got F@@@@@ken apes!
    Retired Knowall
    29th Aug 2017
    7:55am
    I think it's time we stopped blaming the Pollies when the real culprits are the Bureaucrats that run the circus. These clowns are not elected, don't lose their positions with a change of Govt., they develop the policies, set their own exorbitant wages and make or break the sitting Govt's by leaking information, withholding information and generally being recalcitrant. Pollies are terrified of these vermin and will do and anything to pander to them.
    The biggest change Australia should make is to completely overhaul the Bureaucracy to make it accountable to the Australian people.
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    12:15pm
    If politicians can't think for themselves, why are they there at all?
    Rosret
    29th Aug 2017
    1:47pm
    Politicians, Trebor, rely on the advice of the government bureaucracies to make future planning and their government bias depends on which political party is in government.
    However, all governments need to run the country so a lot of decisions are purely moving forward on the decisions made by the previous government tenants.
    What got lost in the mix was the caliber of the bureaucracy and inept ability to stand on our own to feet instead of following some other nation's "good" idea.
    In the 1970s it was strategically advisable to keep utilities as government owned entities. The company directors were WWII survivors and they knew the importance of "Australian owned".

    In the 1990s the Howard government reiterated how important it was to regulate our gas prices and retain ownership of the gas supply.

    How did this all change? Someone is accountable? Is it that we are now too removed from war to remember?
    We are in a serious pickle.
    The only way I can see out of this mess is to ensure our new energy source is Australian owned.
    That means (heaven forbid) we will need to go nuclear or we need to get towns off the grid with solar and wind/ battery back ups or hydro thus giving foreign energy ownership the flick.
    AND DON'T SELL IT OFF once its a viable option.
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    2:01pm
    Yes, but then they 'massage' it to fit the Party line so there is leeway for variation from the public service advice. Separation of powers means that a government need not be bound to abide by the advice of the public service....

    If politicians cannot think for themselves outside the squares handed to them by bureaucrats, why do we elect them at all?

    Like a judge or magistrate - they are supposed to take on board all views that have support and arrive at the optimum conclusion (not that this happens in courts very much in reality, but this is an example)...

    To this end, lobbyists must be severely contained, and donations ended so as to avoid any undue influence from special interest groups with 'insider' status.

    My - how these issues go on and intertwine...... talk about untying the Gordian knot.....
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    2:02pm
    Yes - national ownership of power is a must.... and in the short term that must include some 'unhealthy' options such as nuclear and perhaps coal with new technology in place....
    Rosret
    29th Aug 2017
    9:49pm
    Absolutely Trebor - in fact we count on the politicians ability to make logical and well thought through decisions.
    I think that's why we get so upset when decisions are made in the face of the obvious.
    Knight Templar
    28th Aug 2017
    10:32am
    South Australia mightn't be the most liveable location in the world but it is the most expensive in the world in terms of electricity charges. A dubious first ranking!
    KB
    28th Aug 2017
    1:08pm
    I agree with you. South Australians have dubious honour of being the dearest state in Australia and the world. Jay we nee to better than this.
    arbee
    28th Aug 2017
    3:15pm
    But Labor say's it is there for the people in SA, sure there to rip them off to feather their own retirement nests
    Kathleen
    28th Aug 2017
    10:44am
    We can't turn off the heating as we are both feeling the cold too much. My husband never used to but now he wears a beanie and outside coats inside and we put on our gas central heating as well. It used to be cheap but in the last two seasons it has skyrocketed.
    The rest of the year the gas is cheap so taken over the 12 months it does not seem so bad.
    One bad bill in winter!
    Old Geezer
    28th Aug 2017
    11:16am
    Haven't used a heater for years now. I'm currently sitting here in shorts and tshirt as it's quite warm here today. Looking at my bills recently and I pay a lot more for internet than I do for power each month. I have solar panels so only use my appliances when the sun shines which is not hard to do.

    Bought one of those gas webers and it takes so long to empty a gas bottle that the refill place had deleted my records and I had to give it all to them again when they last filed by gas bottle.

    I haven't worn a beanie or coat for so long that the moths have probably eaten them.

    My winter bill is less than my summer bill because I run some fans in summer.
    tiger
    28th Aug 2017
    11:28am
    My winter power has just arrived I am pleasantly surprised no shock at all. About the same as the previous bill. Double the KW hours used but I did have over $200 discounts which dropped it down from $400 to $ 238. I will not go cold in winter and have been using my Split system almost every day during this cold winter here in Adelaide. But must admit I do very well on a single age pension and always have extra cash at the end of every month.
    Rosret
    28th Aug 2017
    11:49am
    Tiger - you are on a split system and your bill was $400 - ouch.
    Tib
    28th Aug 2017
    12:45pm
    Rosret
    Depends how big your house is and how well insulated and where you live. A typical winter bill for us is $1100. If I lived in Queensland my summer bill would be higher because I would be using aircon.
    Old Geezer
    28th Aug 2017
    1:16pm
    If I paid $1100 a year for electricity I'd be very concerned.
    TREBOR
    28th Aug 2017
    6:13pm
    My ex (I'm her carer remember) has trouble with body heat control, so we need air con winter and summer...
    Anonymous
    29th Aug 2017
    1:46am
    Goodness, OG, you are a nasty egotist with no empathy at all. How can you be so insensitive as to rant about your good fortune when others are suffering so? It's vile and disgusting!
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    11:27am
    As the scorpion said after stinging the frog - it's 'is nature.... OG is ALWAYS miles ahead of everyone on EVERY issue, sitting in the box seat. That's why I call him a dreamer....

    Now - we have far better things to do than stroke his ego some more by responding.
    Old Geezer
    29th Aug 2017
    2:49pm
    Rainey I don't have any good fortune or luck it's just a matter of good management. I could see that power prices were going to rise just like petrol did so I invested in solar. Back when oil was way too cheap I bought oil shares and filled my car up with a big smile on my face.

    Now I have sold my properties and will have the same smile when I buy them back at a discount of 50% plus.

    Good management isn't that hard.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2017
    12:46am
    For someone fortunate enough to grow up in a stable family and study accounting at university, it's not hard, OG. Have some compassion, you horrid person. Not everyone had the opportunities and advantages you had. The fact that you are too arrogant and self-serving to acknowledge your good fortune doesn't change the fact that it IS good fortune. By comparison with so many who grew up the way I did, you were incredibly lucky. I installed solar also, seeing that power prices were about to rise. But not everyone can. Armed forces families, for example, are compelled to rent short term. There folk who have disabilities or illness in the family who simply can't afford the outlay.
    Decent people don't continually boast and offend the less fortunate.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    10:59am
    How can anybody not be able to afford solar panels when they cost nothing to have them installed? The first lot of panels I had install cost me nothing as the government grant at the time paid the lot.

    The only so called luck I have had is that I have made happen for myself. I haven't had any lottery wins or be given any money. The only money I have have is what I have earned which is not luck at all but dam hard work.
    Anonymous
    31st Aug 2017
    6:37am
    The government has NEVER paid the full price of solar installations, OG. That's just a monstrous lie. And the subsidies and rebates are constantly falling. Renters often can't install systems because of the terms of their lease - even if they could afford the panels.

    And you are lying about luck also. You were lucky to be born into a stable family and to be educated sufficiently to gain entry to university. You were lucky to have parents who understood the operation of small business. You just don't appreciate your good luck. It has nothing to do with lottery wins or gifts. It has everything to do with growing up with stability and guidance rather than deprivation, abuse, and family separation.
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2017
    12:17pm
    Yes the government did give grants so solar installations were free back when hardly anyone know what solar was let alone knew they could have panels on their house. Renters can install panels without the landlords permission and do leaving landlords reoccurring bills for them.

    Regarding my parents that is something I prefer to forget rather than hang out my dirty washing. All I'll say is the best thing I ever did was leave and catch a train to the city.
    Anonymous
    1st Sep 2017
    9:10am
    Your parents probably struggled to deal with a child who is a psychopath. My sympathies lie entirely with them, OG. Sad that you are so ungrateful to parents who clearly gave you far better opportunities than the majority of our generation enjoyed.

    And no, the government did NOT give grants that made solar installation free. I know many who installed solar in the very early days, and we looked at it closely back then and would have installed it if we had been planning to stay permanently in the house we were living in. It was EXPENSIVE, even after all the grants (though high rates for power fed back to the grid generally compensated over time). My partner worked in electricity distribution and was doing feasibility studies on solar power in the early 70s, OG, so don't lecture me about how it was when hardly anyone knew what solar was.
    Old Geezer
    1st Sep 2017
    10:26am
    Rainey you obviously have no idea what happened when roof top solar was first introduced under the government grant scheme. There is no way I would have taken the gamble with it if I had had to pay for it. Please get your facts right.
    Janran
    1st Sep 2017
    5:57pm
    Please tell us about the free solar panels and installation, OG. It costs approximately half the price to install a similar system now, compared to when we had them installed 3-4 years ago. It cost about $9,000 back then, though we did get the GST back. (No regrets, as we've saved the difference in power bills that had ranged from $600-$1,100 per quarter. Now they're $50-$115 per quarter.) And yes, we run a business from home so we use our appliances during the daytime.

    If you are renting in today's climate, you'd be absolutely nuts to invest in solar. Once your lease is up, you can be ousted with 60 days' notice - no questions asked. See ya bye.
    Also, I understood the law states if you build an asset on someone else's property, you have no claim to that asset.
    Anonymous
    2nd Sep 2017
    1:14am
    You are correct, Janran. A renter would be crazy to install solar. Thousands of dollars to enhance someone else's property and potentially get value for only a few months? Stupid! In the case of military personnel, they can be moved out at any time on one month's notice. They have no security of tenancy at all. Even if they are not posted to another area, DHA often tells them ''Sorry, the house sold. You have to go.'' And DHA rules DO forbid any kind of addition or modification to the property - including installing solar panels.

    And the government did not offer free solar panels and installation. Ours cost about $7000 and the price is down to around $5000 now for the same setup (but we saved thousands in the interim). A friend was among the first in Queensland to install and she paid $18,000 after all rebates, but enjoyed a very high feed-in rate guaranteed for many years, which resulted in her being paid by the power company each month. Same deal for a friend in NSW who was among the first to install and paid $17000 for his setup. I almost signed up at $12,000 but we were considering selling and relocating (which we eventually did) and I wasn't confident a buyer would pay an extra $12,000 for solar at that time because a lot of people didn't see the value in it. Ultimately, yes some systems were free because the homeowners who installed them received cheques every quarter instead of bills and the savings would have paid back more than the initial investment, but you had to own the property or have totally secured tenancy AND have the capital to pay for the initial installation.
    Old Geezer
    4th Sep 2017
    4:03pm
    Wrong Rainey our first lot of panels were free as the government gave us a grant to pay for them.

    Unfortunately some tenants are let's say not honest and we have desperate solar companies who get tenants to sign that the landlord agrees to having solar panels installed. As the tenant pays nothing up front but gets a reduction in their bill instead and the panels are the property of the installer. Tenants move out and then landlord is billed for cost of panels.
    Phil
    28th Aug 2017
    10:44am
    I won't argue that renewables are the future, I even have solar panels on the roof of my own home. Large scale renewables will have a major affect on the economy, you mention a renewables construction boom this employees only a fraction of those in the coal industry. Once construction is over there are almost no ongoing employees, certainly nothing like other power generating options. What is going to happen to all those country towns when renewables drive coal out of business, where do those people go? Maybe they can cut the grass around the wind farm, sorry no they have cows for that!

    All so a few inner city dwellers can feel good about themselves. "I got rid of coal!" You can't stop progress but it needs to be managed so everyone benefits, whole communities shouldn't be sacrificed so others can heat their homes with solar power.

    If you support those parties and groups who are pushing renewables as fast as possible then don't whinge when your prices go up or your lights go out during a storm. You go what you wanted!
    Jannie
    28th Aug 2017
    11:09am
    Phil it is getting to the stage no one political party is worth voting for. We need strong leadership and this we do not have anymore in Australia at a Federal or State level. I dread our future if we continue on the course of action our leaders are taking. Our leaders are so weak and scared to speak out for the people of this country.
    Old Geezer
    28th Aug 2017
    11:23am
    I can't remember when any political party was worth voting for and haven't voted for many years now.
    Rosret
    28th Aug 2017
    11:45am
    I would like to hear from people who are totally off the grid and who are living comfortably (not just making do).
    How much did it cost to set up - how long will the solar panels and battery storage units last etc etc.
    Old Geezer
    28th Aug 2017
    11:52am
    I may go off grid when batteries become cheaper but at present the payback period for me is 25 plus years. One would have to replace the batteries before the current ones paid back enough to make it worthwhile. The only benefit would be that instead of running the generator in blackouts one could use the solar system instead.

    A friend is off grid because the cost of installing power was a lot higher than the cost of an off grid system. They seems to do very well on their system.
    jackyd
    28th Aug 2017
    1:19pm
    Trouble is OG is that the grid will always need to be in place and maintained.
    If there is an increase in numbers going off the grid then the current arrangement will change so if available, the property would still be subjected to a charge.
    Old Geezer
    28th Aug 2017
    1:29pm
    Looks like I'll have to go off grid before it changes then.
    Old Geezer
    28th Aug 2017
    1:33pm
    They tried to give us green waste bins but we all declined to accept them as we dispose of all our green waste on site.
    Janran
    31st Aug 2017
    11:11am
    Regarding green waste bins, OG, a % of people in my town were just too lazy to separate their green waste from their garbage. They were upset that we have green waste collection every week, with garbage and recycle collection only every second week.

    I'm proud to say sometimes I have nothing to be collected in my fortnightly garbage bin, as our recycle system covers most other things.
    Old Man
    28th Aug 2017
    11:26am
    This article is long on scare tactics and short on part of the reason for electricity prices rising. "The next step is to stop buying food, clothing" is a total exaggeration suggesting electricity prices will cause people to starve to death unless they freeze first. Part of the reason is the ideology that renewable energy is the only answer. It's just a part of the answer unless a way to make the sun shine 24/7 and the wind to blow moderately 24/7 which is impossible. Electricity needs a baseload capability to support wind and solar and South Australia closed its only power station and coal mine which supplied the baseload. That decision caused Victoria to be the supplier for South Australia when the demand outstripped supply.

    Victoria has closed Hazelwood which supplied 20% of that state's power and the result was always going to mean that prices would rise. If there is a greater demand than there is a supply, prices will rise. This is economics 101. The reason for the closure of Hazelwood is pure ideology, not economics as proffered by some. Hazelwood was sold to private enterprise with an agreed price for the coal which was used to turn the turbines and then the government tripled the price of coal, making the venture unviable. The price increase had nothing to do with parity but was done to appease the Left.

    Neville Wran was the last Premier in NSW to build a power station and, at the time, was roundly criticised from all sides. A power station has a limited life and subsequent governments should have made provision for the inevitable replacements but after Wran's treatment, none of them had the guts to make such a decision. Australia desperately needs a baseload capability, one of coal fired, gas fired or nuclear powered and until this happens electricity prices will continue to rise.
    jackyd
    28th Aug 2017
    11:48am
    Totally correct. ...what's also missing in the conversation regarding the dramatic rise in energy costs is the snowballing effects on all other service providers not being absorb their cost and left with no choice but to pass those costs on to the consumer escalating the inflationary effects.
    arbee
    28th Aug 2017
    3:20pm
    Spot on Old man, it seems that every thing governments do these days is to appease the left and the minority groups and to hell with what it costs everyone.
    GeorgeM
    29th Aug 2017
    1:47pm
    What surprised me about this article was - hey, didn't everyone know prices were going up when the political patties promoted privatisation (Libs & Labor) and renewables (Labor & Greens).
    After all, we are talking of an essential utility, and no risks should ever have been taken with it.
    Rae
    29th Aug 2017
    2:20pm
    We certainly were warned George. One of the old posters warning prices would skyrocket is still up on a pole at out local netball courts.
    Rosret
    28th Aug 2017
    11:32am
    With our two stream income economy I believe the electricity companies thought they could just squeeeeze the community a little bit more and a little bit more.
    Now if you are in full time employment indexed to inflation then this pyramid methodology continues to work nicely.
    However, greed took over our employers a few decades ago. Casual, piece meal and outsourced work became the norm.
    So I will tell you what happens when for example tutor, Dan earns $50 an hour.
    Betty's parents get their electricity and so they see tutoring as an extravagance and phone to say Betty is sick this week.
    Dan needed that $50 as he is on the breadline. The $50 was for a new jumper.
    Dan doesn't buy that new jumper he needs.
    The shop keeper is down $50 because Dan didn't buy the jumper.
    Jill, the shop keeper's daughter was being tutored by Dan as well.
    Her electricity bill for the shop is astronomical and she apologizes to Dan and cancels Jill's appointment.
    Dan is now down $100.
    ...and the scenario continues. Jill and Betty are not as well educated, Dan is cold, the shop keeper is going broke and on a large scale the divide between those with and those without gets so large that those with will eventually be impacted and Australia will head for a Depression.
    Never, ever should we have privatised our utilities.
    From a military and economic perspective it was a totally flawed concept and now its coming home to roost.
    - and don't blame the current government - they both had a hand in this one.
    Old Man
    28th Aug 2017
    12:03pm
    Just a small variation Rosret, the shopkeeper is not down $50, he/she is down the profit on the sale of the jumper, not the full cost.
    Rosret
    28th Aug 2017
    12:49pm
    Except Old Man the shop keeper must pay for the jumper at cost price and is not just down on profit but owes the wholesaler - an even more serious scenario because then the wholesaler doesn't get paid and they in turn can't pay their bills - and so it goes on.
    Old Man
    28th Aug 2017
    2:16pm
    Except Rosret, the shopkeeper still has the item at cost price, it is still an asset that can be sold even if "Dan" has gone broke.
    Old Geezer
    28th Aug 2017
    4:33pm
    Sounds like the black market to me. If not where is the GST?
    Anonymous
    29th Aug 2017
    2:14am
    Trust you to only worry about the taxman's loss and not to impact on the economy and people, OG! So typical of you! Totally ignorant, arrogant and self-interested, and without a care in the world for the mess your beloved elitist conservatives are making of the nation and the hurt they are causing (and no, I'm not talking about the conservative government. Labor politicians are also elitist conservatives, as are members of minor parties. What we need is politicians who genuinely care about the nation and the little people. Maybe the only way to achieve that is to slash politicians' pay and benefits. Perhaps make it law that only folk who have never earned more than the average wage and never inherited or were gifted assets can run for Parliament. Perhaps then we'd get people who understand the real world.)
    ex PS
    29th Aug 2017
    9:47am
    Consider Old Man that capital is locked up while that item is sitting on the shelf, stock sitting on the shelf in the clothing retail industry seldom appreciates it actually depreciates as fashion changes. Therefore in this particular case, the clothing is not an asset once the fashion season is finished. If that item sits on the shelf for twelve months it will probably have to be sold at cost or less, so that the retailer can pay their bills.
    Stock sitting on a shelf not moving is not a good thing in retail. Actually when things stop moving whether it be wages or consumables it is very bad for everyone.
    GeorgeM
    29th Aug 2017
    1:49pm
    Agree, Rainey.
    Currently, only options are to (ACTION PLAN):
    a) Vote out all sitting Liberal, Labor and Greens in Federal & State seats,
    b) Build new Coal-fired power stations wherever needed urgently, else stop shutting down existing ones, (amazed how we are a major exporter of Coal & Gas but don't have enough for our own use),
    c) Take back control of all Gas ownership for local use before allowing any exports, and
    b) Re-nationalise Electricity production & supply.
    Rosret
    29th Aug 2017
    1:52pm
    Ah OG the accountant in you is showing. I thought I would attempt to simplify the example! hehe
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    2:48pm
    Rainey - you are running perilously close top the Trebor mooted idea that, as a total reverse from around 120 years ago here - ONLY people BELOW a certain net worth may stand for election...

    Back then you had to have a certain net worth to even vote, let alone stand for fat cat office etc..... unfortunately that continues into the 21st Century here in some ways, with the cost of elections and dynastic and party controlled financing, it is nigh impossible for a true independent to get up...

    Which is why I will be voting for true independents in the coming council elections.... which cuts out the bloke down the road who the neighbour works for...
    jackyd
    28th Aug 2017
    11:37am
    Unbelievable Madness.
    The green rush to renewables without any plan of transition is Political Incompetence to the highest degree. But transition to what?
    To complete Australia with an already escalation in every day costs, now more than ever needs cheap reliable 24/7 base load energy for industry and quality of living for all citizens.
    The Billions being invested in renewables is now being reflected in our energy costs and it's only just begun, all for low output of intermittent energy that somehow is going to stop the world from frying, how redicules.
    The science of significant human contributions to global climate change has been debunked by 30,000 real scientists who unanimously agree that there is no evidence to support such theories.
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    2:52pm
    Nothing wrong with the rush to renewables apart from the business plan that is driving it in competition with the existing rapacious private enterprise power suppliers... this desperate need for profit first before anything else (well you could get that from Slim Mehajer and his projects etc, check out that kind of 'business plan' that gives you millions to play with before you even turn a sod - never learned a thing since Alan Bond, have they?) means that such things are not costed over a long term plan but only so as to return immediate profit to those who are 'managing' it.

    Smash and Grab or Ram Raid business management, that is.... and this country's twelve million workforce cannot support it... not enough fluid cash in that till, I'm afraid, for that kind of rape of the nation and its resources.
    floss
    28th Aug 2017
    11:59am
    The Libs are in power the ball is in their court as to power . At present gas is a good fuel for a base load station but guess what our smart Pollies gave it all away.Cut out the middle man and buy back our power companies but this will not happen. Hazelwood was well past its use by date.Power will keep on rising under this Government as they have no answer and lack guts to fix any thing.
    Knight Templar
    28th Aug 2017
    12:38pm
    Floss, the States are essentially responsible for power generation. Look at the mess the Labor Governments in South Australia and Victoria have created.
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    11:29am
    In all fairness they had some good teachers in government before them.... this set of issues crosses all party lines, I'm afraid.
    Janran
    31st Aug 2017
    11:33am
    Knight Templar, our current Fed. Govt. forced the hands of the States by promising extra benefits (in the form of a larger GST %) IF they sold their power utilities. So Labor States were damned if they did and damned if they didn't sell them off.

    So, you'd better look at the mess the COALition Federal Government has created. Market forces are obviously NOT the solution to every problem.
    floss
    28th Aug 2017
    12:05pm
    Yea for the day Tom Tank.
    mike
    28th Aug 2017
    12:08pm
    There was a plan to harness the Clarence River Hydro Electric scheme, similiar to the Snowy Mountains Hydro. It would have supplied power to Northern NSW, Southern QLD and parts of South Australia, plus an abundance of fresh water. But just before it was due to commence, Prime Minister Bob Hawke knocked it on the head. He said it would be too expensive and we would never need it. The Snowy Mt Hydro took 20years to complet. Due to tecknology advances, the Clarence River scheme would have taken 12 years to complete. Probably less than 10 years now. It would have paid for itself within 5 years, AND BOY DO WE NEED NOW. Well done BOB HAWKE>. CAN SOMEONE IN GOV PLEASE TELL ME WHY THIS ISNT LOOKED AT NOW
    jackyd
    28th Aug 2017
    12:14pm
    Because the Greenies and pandering Pollies say it's too environmentally sensitive.
    arbee
    28th Aug 2017
    3:26pm
    Sounds a lot like a previous SA state labor government who sold off all of the land reserved for a north south transport corridor. Now the current Labor government has had to repurchase all of this land at huge expense to start building this much needed roadway. Where are the forward thinking politicians like Menzies and Thomas Playford that we used to have.
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    11:32am
    There are no forward thinking politicians with a vision for the future of this nation - only for their own future. While we're at it, do not be lured by the Syren call of "we need a longer term to make our policies work" - that will only make it worse when they have no real vision. they'll want four years, then six, then eight .. oh - why not elect them for life.... that way you have no problem with continuity in government and stability and so forth....

    (Jesus God)....
    Andy
    28th Aug 2017
    12:33pm
    the high cost of power is the work of greed only, I will give you an example I live Thailand at the moment my average 3-month bill is $35.00 Thailand is 99% coal fired
    Rosret
    28th Aug 2017
    12:51pm
    - and cheap labour?
    Tib
    28th Aug 2017
    12:51pm
    Privatisation of power companies is the problem. Gouging with government support.
    Anonymous
    29th Aug 2017
    1:49am
    Only a total idiot would think privatization would reduce power costs. Any politician who thought that should be sacked and stripped of all benefit and made to pay compensation to the people he/she hurt by being so inept and irresponsible. Replace one board of directors, head office, CEO and executives with dozens and let them set outrageous salaries for themselves and then wonder why costs rise? Duh!
    Old Geezer
    29th Aug 2017
    3:49pm
    Only an idiot would think that will work as well Rainey.
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    7:07pm
    I think you misread there, OG..... Rainey was saying how stupid it was to replace one set of directors etc with many sets.. all demanding a fat remuneration and perks.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2017
    10:22am
    Thanks Trebor. OG has problems with comprehension and with logic. It's not uncommon for selfish people with no empathy to struggle with such skills. Selfishness destroys brain cells.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    11:05am
    Gee one cannot even agree with something and not get told how selfish they are etc. I comprehend real good. Too much empathy is what is destroying our great country. Too many people with such stupid ideas trying to change things that only matter to them.
    KSS
    28th Aug 2017
    12:47pm
    Whilst Labor and the Greens (or the Watermelons) are hellbent on pushing their renewable agenda, bestowing the lesser-spotted-three-toed dingbat with more rights than people, forcing the consequences of their ideology onto the Australian public and at the same time allowing the ever increasing exportation of coal and gas so other countries can have more reliable and cheaper electricity with impunity, we will not see electricity prices come down anytime soon.
    Rae
    28th Aug 2017
    1:41pm
    Don't forget the LNP hell bent on selling everything to foreign owners who are happy to take our money home with them.

    This is one of the main reasons our manufacturers jumped ship before it destroyed their businesses.

    Blind Greedy saw it coming but the Labor, Greens and Liberals together couldn't figure their way out of a wet paper bag.
    KB
    28th Aug 2017
    1:05pm
    There is no real practical solution to the power crisis. People only cab take sensible actions such as only using heather when it is really cold. I put mine on early and shut the rom I want to warm and then turn it off Going green is fine I if you are not renting. Have not had electricity bill yet.
    Old Geezer
    28th Aug 2017
    1:07pm
    Didn't we have the same crisis when petrol went over a $1 a litre? Now we are used to it it doesn't seem to be a problem.
    Rae
    28th Aug 2017
    1:43pm
    The crisis will be when something hits shipping and the realisation we have no refining left hits home. All those lawyers and bankers should stick to what they know and avoid trying to run countries.
    Anonymous
    29th Aug 2017
    1:58am
    It's still a problem for many, OG. The problem didn't go away. It just ceased to be news. Rising power costs will remain a major problem for many because you may be able to cut petrol use but cutting power use is very difficult if not impossible for many. Only a cruel and insensitive person would make the comments you make here. It's vile and disgusting. You should be ashamed of yourself.
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    11:35am
    I'd like to cut petrol use - do you have any idea how much it costs to run a disabled cared-for around to endless doctors and such? I get Carer's Allowance - $62 a week - doesn't cover the fuel when all the specialists are at least 100 km each way away, and even the local doctor is 35 or so each way..... then there are my health issues as well.. same deal with specialists. This last fortnight alone will include a minimum of six doctor visits, and I'm frankly exhausted and broke.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    11:12am
    So I should be ashamed of myself for working out how the system works and then using the system for my benefit and not that of big electricity companies? I am not that bigger fool.

    I also arrange things so that I make one trip in my car not multiple trips. Yes I even arrange doctors appointments to suit. Yesterday I had a specialist appointment but it was at a convenient time so I could do lots of other chores while I was out. I even went to business that had a sign on the door that they were closed for a stocktake but I just went in anyway and got what I wanted.

    I arrange the six doctor's visits for the same day and would not be making multiple trips.
    Anonymous
    31st Aug 2017
    6:33am
    You should be ashamed of yourself for boasting and making nasty comments about those who, generally through no fault of their own, are not able to arrange their lives so beneficially. Empathy and compassion are requirements to qualify as human, OG. You do not qualify as human, but I would not insult even the most obnoxious animal by associating you with any animal species.
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2017
    12:20pm
    Rainey I can't see why others can't organise themselves as well. It's just a matter of standing up for yourself and getting what you want not what some one else wants to give you. I'd be more ashamed of myself if I didn't do that.
    Anonymous
    1st Sep 2017
    9:04am
    Arrogant egotists rarely ''see'' anything except what they want to see, OG. It's a feature of psychopaths that they lack the capacity to empathise and they can't comprehend the difficulties of others.
    Old Geezer
    1st Sep 2017
    10:29am
    Rainey anyone that can't organise themselves has only themselves to blame. It is difficult if you are not organised so no I can't understand why people have difficulties when it just laziness nothing more.
    Anonymous
    2nd Sep 2017
    1:43am
    As I said, OG, it's a feature of psychopaths that they lack the capacity to understand and empathize with the difficulty of others. Therefore, of course a psychopath would think it's nothing more than laziness when someone lacks the capacity to arrange their life optimally. All you are doing here is proving what you are.
    floss
    28th Aug 2017
    1:11pm
    K.T. the states do not control generation and distribution of power at this time.One point you have all missed is that private power companies cut out staff and cut back on maintenance and the longer this goes on the less reliable the system is.So now we will have to suffer more power outages and pay more for this privilege.
    Rae
    28th Aug 2017
    1:17pm
    Might be the time to ditch the health insurance and use the money to stay fed and warm.
    The costs will escalate now and sooner rather than later may be in order.
    johnp
    28th Aug 2017
    1:27pm
    I have said on many occasions; these days a significant proportion of the power bill comprises such as sales, marketing, call centres, CEOs etc. upper managements, administrations, plush city offices, I.T. depts and not only once of for these but many multiples of them. E.G. think there are about 100 retail companies nowadays !! The actual cost to generate, distribute and control electricity is becoming a minor component of the overall cost to the consumers. Separately although power prices are high, council rates are higher still !!
    Anonymous
    28th Aug 2017
    3:00pm
    agree re council rates.

    paying for those bumbling bureaucrats on fat salaries who do sweet f.a.
    Anonymous
    29th Aug 2017
    1:55am
    Exactly, johnp. Moron inept politicians forced this on us out of pure greed. They had to know that hundreds of CEO, admin staff, and headquarters replacing just one would force costs through the roof, but you can bet they and their buddies are lining their pockets with the profits from private power distribution - and to hell with the nation and its people.
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    11:38am
    Like to see which ones are major shareholders in these 'ventures'..... Federal ICAC anyone, and where are the State ICACs when they're not chasing Roger Rogerson... (just an example)... asleep at the helm again?

    This 'privatisation' robbery is a major scandal and nobody says a word.... been going on since the 1980's, and silence prevails.... (other than my good self who has been on about it for years).
    Ktee
    28th Aug 2017
    2:00pm
    The national electricity market is broken.
    It is a technical and marketing disaster.
    Australia is getting a world poor reputation in managing its technological infrastructure.
    What has happen with electricity has happened to other technologies.
    Our senior decision makers belong to two groups lawyers and economists.
    The decisions they are having to make are not within there trained capacity to understand.
    The laws of physics are unable to compensate for this incapacity
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    11:40am
    .. and no wonder foreign nations are happy to give their citizens low to no interest loans to buy up stuff here... they all know we're wide open and only trying to catch flies with our hanging jaws... soon we won't have a nation to call our own... Peter Allen's song will need a revamp...

    "I Still Call Australia Sold....".

    28th Aug 2017
    2:58pm
    "Many regional hospitals may have to cut costs or shut down some operations and services just to pay their power bills"

    yeah right !!!

    anyway blame the greenies and labor for their idiotic policies on renewables.

    you dont mention the billions the taxpayer has to fork out in subsidies - add that to the cost of power
    Anonymous
    29th Aug 2017
    1:53am
    No, Raphael. Blame the greedy moguls who refuse to allow more efficient and cheaper methods of power generation because it would hurt their profits from outdated methods. We could all benefit from renewable energy if the Conservatives didn't want to cling to their profits from outdated fuels.
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    11:46am
    Once past the 'start-up' phase, a long term pricing structure should kick into place .. trouble is there is no long term planning in this, since the companies involved all want their start-up costs NOW, and those costs will NOT go down once such a grid is fully operational, but will remain and will rise a percentage every year.

    On (yet) another tack - you now are seeing, in this nation, the conditions that lead to the rise of the NAZIs in Germany etc..... this 'need' for strong controlling government that at least claims to have a solid vision.

    This is what happens when a willing coalition of of tawdry business and even more tawdry self-interested 'government' is holding the reins.... the people cry out for (ye gods) STRONGER centralised government control to keep them all in line.... but the offshoot is that the same people crying out are under even MORE control and the moguls get the inside running (again).

    The only hope is the Trebor government....
    Janran
    29th Aug 2017
    7:41pm
    Raphael, are you referring to the subsidies for coal mining and burning? And aluminium smelters?
    These bludgers have been sucking Govt coffers dry since forever and worse, most of their profits go overseas.
    micreen
    28th Aug 2017
    3:48pm
    I predicted these price rises years ago as more and more people installed solar .
    Simply put, as the chargable customers reduce in number, running costs were maintained by increasing the cost to supply. A continual upward spiral which has now turned to simple greed.
    My costs have gone up ,rebates have been reduced, profit for suppliers have skyrocketed. Gutless governments have stood by and let it happen. Now we all suffer, hospitals/health services should be exempt, but no, good milking cow for the elec co's.
    This is my experience, solar is a cost I could have done without.

    28th Aug 2017
    4:43pm
    Very easy to fix stop immigration for a few years

    28th Aug 2017
    4:51pm
    Renewable Energy Target put up our power by 75% and then carbonn tax - we got that back but still - Tasmania has green power as driven by water free from God - but that too is high in price now over 1.03 for a KL - and like power co - owned by taxpayrs but the Stategov uses them as a cash cow. RET though is for global warming rip off so they can send supposedly billions - Julia promosed 7 of these - to the UN for re-distribution to 'poor countries' which likely ends up in private bank accounts anyway after UN slices its cut. And for what? To stop global warming. Tassie has just had coldest winter and of course the Bureau reporting weather has to answer for telling porkies so those who were duped that it is warming go on believing. Now we hear seas are not rising due to global warming either but actually sinking. Good if yu live on the coast eh! Meanwhile they are playing who will be next on the Gravy Train or fiddling while we all shiver, too costly to have heat for many. We need new blood in Canberra - current lot far too untrustworthy to govern proven by last 2 versions of the majorparties. And stop taking those donations - these were the start of corruption which has led us here - Labor of course got done in by Hawke taking first lot - cant serve working folk and big business which pay more in donations that the 20% of Union fees - lost members like the Labor Party has. Liberals - well Malcolm Thad to put in 1 million of his own money - so maybe their donations slowed due to not being impressed with his leadership. Whatever, we need a change. Take a look at Australian Conservative policies - they have listened to our many complaints and look like if got into power - fixing much of the mess up and getting us back on even keel. Cory Bernadi is one honest politician from his performance and way he has set up this new party. He listens folks - wow to us - after years of only being important to pollies just prior to election day.
    jackyd
    28th Aug 2017
    5:22pm
    Correct BigVal...who do you trust, certainly not the majors any more.
    Cory, One Nation and the odd independent are the hope for the future generations.
    Net Fed Gov Dept is the focus that all others have lost sight.
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    11:06am
    In any new venture, the start-up costs are high, due to installation of the operating infrastructure.... what is wrong with the picture at the moment is that the 'authority' (government or 'private' or whatever - most likely a coalition of the damned) doing the start-up on renewables is trying to get its costs back in the short term, rather than applying costing structures over the long term.

    Take the example of the Snowy Scheme - the cost was enormous, but the costing to the consumer was calculated over many, many..... many years.... so the actual cost to that consumer was relatively small.

    Under the 'smash and grab' business model currently in play, all costs MUST be recovered in the short term to ensure profit.

    There, my lord (and lady) - THERE is your enemy!
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    11:13am
    Oh - on another tack... this kind of 'operating infrastructure' is not genuine Infrastructure for the nation, since its only dedication is to profit (that's where Tony is so terribly wrong on 'investment'), snce what I term this 'smash and grab' or 'ram raid' style of 'management' is ONLY designed for quick profit for those on the inside.

    I've also stated before that with a workforce of twelve million, some 12-16% of whom are not 'gainfully employed' in the meaning of that term - this nation simply is not suited to that style of Mad Man US rape business...... it cannot be sustained here without massive social cost in many ways, much of which is becoming evident every day with rising poverty etc for the many.

    ALL 'privatisation' policy is wrong for this nation of 23 million spread over a vast area.
    GoldenOldie
    28th Aug 2017
    5:30pm
    Yes we have installed solar panels, at considerable expense. We now watch electricity supply charges and usage rates sky rocket while those same energy providers refuse to increase their solar feed in tariff. So they buy the solar generated power from us really cheaply and then sell it back to us at nighttime at an ever increasing and exorbitant rate - that is a real rort! Roll on the time when better battery storage technology releases us from their clutches!!
    Needy not Greedy
    28th Aug 2017
    10:59pm
    Some solar companies in WA are canvassing clients who have installed panels with the idea of doing a bulk purchase of batteries, I believe that an order of 3000 systems will bring the cost of a battery upgrade to around 60% of current price, the downside I see will be that the poor buggers that are not on solar or not in a position to buy a battery system will be left holding the baby and be burdened with more increases in electricity prices, you can bet your balls that the fat cat electricity companies are not going to contemplate a drop in revenue.
    Anonymous
    29th Aug 2017
    2:08am
    Yes GoldenOldie, it's a disgraceful rort. But I'm glad we installed the panels as it does keep our total costs down because power we use during the day is free. We try to do as many power-consuming tasks as possible during the daylight hours. Roll on battery technology! In our caravan, we use only solar and a little gas. Never even connected the van to the car. It runs 24/7 on solar. But we don't have a microwave and can't use an iron or hairdryer. And if we had an oven it would have to be gas. There are still quite a few limitations to going totally solar unless you have powerful generators.
    ex PS
    29th Aug 2017
    10:03am
    A 3KVA system plus gas for cooking seems to do us OK, we have not had a bill since we connected, granted we do get .44 cents back for what we send back to the grid, but every cent we make goes into an account which will eventually pay for a battery pack.
    These days you can purchase a 5KWA system for about $5,000, this is affordable considering the average power bill you should pay for this in under 5 years. Remember you are only paying for the system, most people will not be paying much for power. If you can afford t pay cash for the system it would be even more attractive.
    I would prefer to pay a predictable set amount each month to a Solar company than ever increasing amounts to power companies.
    My estimate is based on two people living in a four bedroom house using gas to cook and a split induction system for heating and cooling, I am working on the assumption that the average bill for electricity is about $1,000.00 a year.
    I can not see why people don't make their houses power generating facilities and get rid of expensive facilities all together, once battery storage is perfected and made more affordable we can forget about building and maintaining huge expensive power plants.
    TREBOR
    28th Aug 2017
    6:00pm
    Privatisation as a policy is a failure and has not yielded the dividends to the populace that it promised.. not in any way... although it has yielded nice dividends to those who now 'own' the privatised utilities.

    I've stated elsewhere and here that Australia does not possess sufficient infrastructure of a workforce earning to support everything being run for profit by private companies.

    View this as a pole scaffold holding up the weight of duplicated service providers with the poles being the individual working payers - as time goes by and the weight at the top gets heavier with duplicated extra and rising costs across a range of organisations instead of a single one, the individual poles in the scaffold are being steadily replaced by thinner and thinner ones (less real earnings). It is inevitable that the structure will collapse.
    Anonymous
    29th Aug 2017
    1:50am
    Only a fool would have thought privatisation would benefit anyone other than the greedy moguls who run the private companies and set obscene salaries for themselves.
    ex PS
    29th Aug 2017
    10:07am
    Big Business does not buy government infrastructure and think great we can lower prices for the customer. It is there to make as much money as it can as fast as it can. Privatization is a con, used by the government to shift responsibility and make short term profits.
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    11:20am
    Precisely why government should never have been allowed to consider itself a 'business' - it is a service, not a business.

    Now I wonder which illustrious 'elder statesman' came up with THAT idea... while getting himself a nice little earner for life from 'privatisation' of roads on top of his lovely 'pension', and now riding the top of the Liberal party....

    Talk about the Banana Republic.... that's what we are and have been for a long time, complete with the despotic Il Presidente etc who runs everything for the 'family', including the Coca Cola franchise...

    No wonder the peasants are revolting.
    GeorgeM
    29th Aug 2017
    1:59pm
    Agree, privatisation is a complete failure and was always a moronic idea given the population size of our country & states. They should seriously consider nationalisation of such Utilities as well as Resources production & sale.
    The Arabs sell the Oil for their own benefit and thus the people don't pay taxes, but our politicians have sold us (and handed over our resources) out to private blood-suckers!
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    2:54pm
    Got it in one, George....
    Old Geezer
    29th Aug 2017
    2:56pm
    Rainey I doubt if privatisation is benefiting anyone. One has only to look at the telecommunications industry to see where the power industry is going. There will be no winners.

    29th Aug 2017
    8:06am
    Remember the old SEC State Electricity Commission government owned and government run. Liberals sold it to private enterprise and they sell power to the middle men who always make the money.
    I vote Labor,burn wood for heating and have solar panels. Suffer you Libs
    Knight Templar
    29th Aug 2017
    10:48am
    Herb

    Name a Labor government that has NOT sold government run enterprises, including electricity, to private enterprise?
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    11:21am
    Unfortunately both the major parties (long past their use by date) are in this up to their necks....
    Captain
    29th Aug 2017
    2:58pm
    KC, the Vic Liberal Party (Kennet Govt), started the rot in the late 80's and you are correct, in that Lib and Labor Govt's have then sold then sold the people's assets out from under their feet. Those (including me), who campaigned against the privatization from day 1 a
    have been vindicated, however it is no comfort to any of us.
    Old Geezer
    29th Aug 2017
    3:48pm
    Many places have now banned burning wood so you are lucky to be able to still burn it.
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    7:12pm
    Stoopid is as stoopid does, OG - I was amazed when the Guv wanted to fine people for too much chimney smoke, and then every Spring and Autumn would fill our valley with smoke that damned near killed us people with heart problems - from 'controlled' burn-offs.

    I had to hide indoors with the air con on for days until a southerly came up and blew it away or it rained heavily to clear the air...

    Now they're trying to force people to use costly power and not use wood fires? At that rate of steady impoverishment we'll all soon be using wood fires around a tin humpy....
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2017
    11:06am
    the government ban many things O G but fail to enforce it.
    I live in the bush and collect most of my wood too.

    BTW read on how solar works because you are wasting your time using appliances in sunlight. It is metered and knocked off your normal bill.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    12:22pm
    The solar power I use doesn't go through my meter as the only solar power that goes through it is what I don't use. I might generate 20 units a day but only 10 will go through my meter as I use the other 10. So I use 10 and get paid for the 10 I don't use.

    I used to get paid 60c for everything I generated but that scheme ended and I now have the meter wired differently so that only what I don't use gets metered.

    I used to get refunds with every bill but now I only pay the service charge on my bills.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    12:23pm
    Now I have to work out how I can pay less for internet as that is my biggest bill now.
    Anonymous
    31st Aug 2017
    6:39am
    Herb, it might depend on the way your system is set up, but my system certainly doesn't get metered and knocked off my bill. What I use during the day is free because I generate it. I pay for what I use at night and any unused power generated during the day is credited - at a very low rate - against my night time use. I invested in an inverter that can send power either to the grid or to batteries, so that I can install batteries to reduce my night-time use without disconnecting from the grid.
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2017
    10:45am
    Rainey battery systems use a different inverter to those that come with solar panels. You can still use the solar panel inverters together with the battery inverter or you can have it changed so that the battery inverter controls everything. It all depends on the cost and efficiency on how you hook up batteries. I worked it out that it would take me over 25 years to save enough to pay back the cost of installing batteries. So power will have to get a lot more expensive and batteries a cheaper for me to get batteries installed. It is actually cheaper for me to run my generator than have battery storage now.
    Anonymous
    1st Sep 2017
    12:34am
    Wrong again, OG. You pretend to know everything but you really haven't a clue about so many things. There are 2 or 3 inverter brands that support BOTH feeding to battery and feeding to the grid SIMULTANEOUSLY. They cost more, and at least one brand is poor quality and unreliable, but we have a high quality inverter with dual feed capacity. It can be programmed to feed to the grid at certain times of day and to battery at other times, or to feed a specified volume to the batteries and any excess to the grid. We did months of research to locate the inverter we wanted and it wasn't easy to find a solar company willing to include it in their offering, but eventually we did and since then several companies have started to offer it. I find it amusing that the same people who told us we were ''nuts'' when we told them what we wanted are now promoting our system as the ''best way to ensure you are set up for the future''.

    We haven't yet installed batteries because we are waiting to see how the technology evolves, but we calculated that older type batteries would be marginally economical if charging was carefully managed to ensure maximum battery life. Because the benefit is not huge, we have chosen to take the ''wait and see'' approach. Battery technology is progressing quickly. I note, though, that several solar companies in our area are now supplying inverter we chose and installing batteries as part of the initial installation, though with grid connection to supplement battery power.
    Old Geezer
    1st Sep 2017
    10:32am
    Unfortunately Rainey I do know quite a bit about inverters and disagree with everything you have said.
    Anonymous
    2nd Sep 2017
    1:04am
    Clearly you only THINK you know, OG - like so many others who told us we were nuts when we told them what we wanted to achieve. But we achieved it, and now many companies in our area are selling the solution we ended up with.
    Old Geezer
    4th Sep 2017
    3:40pm
    Interesting Rainey since different battery installations use different inverters so your inverter is likely to be useless or you will be very limited in what batteries system you can use. Under current legislation it is easier to install batteries by keeping your current inverters but you will need another inverter on your battery system as well.

    I had to look into this as I can't update the software on one of my inverters and as such cannot change the settings as I would like to be able to do using my laptop.

    The inverter is part of the free system I got when I put on the first lot of solar panels so I've had more than my money's worth out of it.
    Adrianus
    29th Aug 2017
    9:49am
    I feel for those in business these days. Usually when power prices increase (through government stupidity) the business can increase its prices to cover this cost. However, times are different now. Survival has become the norm in a more competitive environment.
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    11:24am
    Small business, in reality, is not much better than being on wages... and they pay higher tariffs for power etc, whle, in the current environment, as you say, they simply cannot just raise their prices etc, so many are reduced in earning power (just like wages) and often go to the wall, adding to the problems for this nation right now.

    All this has surely to come to a head some time.... and I lay the blame squarely at the feet of 'privatisation'.

    We need a totally new government to kick out all the privateers and restore sanity.
    floss
    29th Aug 2017
    10:00am
    Good one Herb you sound like a fair dinkum Aussie a dying race me thinks.
    Adrianus
    29th Aug 2017
    10:19am
    Agree flossy, not many of the true believers left. Solidarity foreverrrrr!!
    maxchugg
    29th Aug 2017
    10:50am
    Stop complaining, it's all in a good cause by preventing global warming, even if there are minor faults with this argument:

    1. To quote Dr. Matt Ridley, "Climate change is doing more good than harm, climate change policy is doing more harm than good."

    2. Our Chief Scientist told the Senate that if we eliminated all of our carbon dioxide emissions the impact on the climate would be effectively zero.
    Lookfar
    29th Aug 2017
    1:39pm
    Max, 1. is silly, needs explaining, 2. is correct, as carbon dioxide emissions are what is increasing the proportion of carbon dioxide in the air, causing the Greenhouse effect, stopping the emissions is what we need to do, otherwise the climate will continue to deteriorate.
    Old Geezer
    29th Aug 2017
    3:46pm
    Ha ha climate will change as if it didn't we would not be here. Climate is not deteriorating but just changing like it has always done.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2017
    12:52am
    It sure has always changed, and wiped out civilization multiple times. And scientists predict it will wipe out civilization again very soon. In the next few years, the heat and cold extremes will become intolerable, until finally the earth freezes. Oh, it will recover. It's a cycle that repeats over and over. But not many humans will survive.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    12:31pm
    Good thing I have built an underground bunker then.
    maxchugg
    30th Aug 2017
    1:25pm
    Lookfar, since the atmospheric Carbon Dioxide level has increased, plants have reacted by growing faster with massive increases in food crops of all kinds. Trees are growing faster causing increased greening which is visible from space.
    Until very recently the surface of the earth was contributing to atmospheric CO2, the greening of the planet has caused this trend to reverse.
    Methane has a much greater effect upon the atmosphere and global warming, so the sensible approach would be to forget any concerns about harmless carbon dioxide and worry about dealing with methane. A logical first step would be to become total vegetarians and dispose of all of the farm animals.
    You discredit Dr. Ridley's statement as silly, the facts demonstrate that the silliness is blaming the wrong villain when it comes to global warming.
    maxchugg
    1st Sep 2017
    10:16am
    Rainey, you are kidding, aren't you?
    Please identify a couple of the civilizations that have been wiped out multiple times .
    As for scientists predicting - they predicted in 1990 that the Maldives would be under water by 2000, one in particular made an ass of himself by predicting that the Arctic ice would be gone within 24 months.
    The scientists told us to expect extensive droughts, we have seen nothing but floods ever since. Crops were going to fail, leading to mass starvation, we have had record crops ever since.
    The sea level was going to rise and drown us. It hasn't.
    And while we waste billions on desalination plants that will never be used but cost a fortune to maintain, the high priest of the Church of Climate Change and Global Warming laughs all the way to the bank, going from a millionaire to a billionaire.
    Janran
    1st Sep 2017
    6:30pm
    maxchugg, I heard there's a crew planning to sail over the Arctic, with the idea of finding a new sea route for commercial vessels (saving $billions because of the shortcut).

    And, Larcen C Iceshelf just cracked off Antarctica IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER!!!

    I suggest you contact the people of Kiribati in the Pacific - ask them how they're liking the salt water inundation, since you think ocean levels aren't rising. That sneering mug of Dutton was caught with his microphone on, joking about the salt water lapping into their gardens. Morrison looked like a ventriloquist, trying to tell Dutton out the side of his mouth "Your mic's still on".

    Climate scientists predicted more intense droughts and more intense storms/flooding/landslides, which will definitely cause more topsoil loss and reduce the capacity to farm. I can give you 4 examples in the last week - in Houston, Bangladesh, Europe and China.

    I know you'd rather live in denial, shove your head in the sand and ignore the truth - it's happening while we speak and it's only going to get worse while denialists ignore the facts in front of them. Your stalling tactics are quite similar to Tony Abbott's marriage equality denial - just plain unhelpful and very harmful to those to whom it really affects. On both issues, there'll be no joy when we tell you "we told you so".
    Anonymous
    2nd Sep 2017
    1:38am
    maxchugg: ''During the last 2.6 million years or so in the Quaternary period, ice ages, also called glacial ages, were times of extreme cooling of the Earth's climate where ice sheets and other types of glacier expanded to cover large areas of land. Between ice ages there were warmer interglacial periods and we are now living during such a time.
    There have been many ice ages during the last 2.6 million years but when people talk about the Ice Age, they are often referring to the most recent glacial period, which peaked about 21,000 years ago and ended about 11,500 years ago.''

    Perhaps I shouldn't have used the term ''civilizations'' to refer to the earth's population- which MAY have been only animal- when previous ice ages wiped out populations. But the reality is that we don't really know what was on the earth prior to previous ice ages.

    We had a mini ''ice age'' between 1650 and 1850 that resulted in a lot of deaths, but not total destruction. It did cause the end of human settlements in arctic regions like Greenland. Scientists are saying we could face another mini-ice age in as little as 15 years.
    Some say the cold will be extreme enough by 2080 to wipe out most of our population. Others say it we will have another mini-ice age, which might wipe out only some areas and cause a lot of discomfort. Predicted start dates range from 2014 to ''2055 plus or minus 14 years''.

    It's not easy to know who to believe, but we can't deny the huge ice shelf cracking or the extraordinary and fearfully destructive weather events in Houston, Bangladesh, etc. And it's absurd to suggest we can keep milking the earth of its natural resources and pumping out carbon and poisons without ever causing harm.
    maxchugg
    2nd Sep 2017
    10:02am
    Janran, Ice sheets regularly break away from Antarctica, the one to which you refer was not the largest to do so, but the fourth largest. Refer to the NSDIC pictures of the Antarctic ice and discover that even after Larsen C has broken away the amount of ice remaining is still within normal parameters.
    The story of Kiribati is identical to that of the Maldives where the president was eagerly feeding the idea that the islands would be under water by 2000, yet 17 years after the Maldives were supposed to be submerged they are still there, still accepting tourists.
    In Tasmania the peninsula at Eagle Hawk Neck is wider now than it was when the convict station at Port Arthur, the one on Bruny Island, which sits just above sea level is still high and dry. If the sea level has risen this would not be possible.
    You are correct when you say that climate scientists predicted more droughts, floods, etc. Yet all they really predicted was that climate change, which has always existed, will continue to exist.
    maxchugg
    2nd Sep 2017
    10:13am
    Rainey, I will add to your comments by commenting that ice fairs were regularly held on the Thames up until almost the end of the nineteenth century.
    Climate change is real, has always been present and always will be, the predictions of climate scientists have been consistently wrong, so why do we listen to them?
    As for atmospheric pollution, I can only repeat that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has done no harm and much good. Yet the climate scientists continue to badger us about this so-called problem we are creating, yet continue to use dairy products, wear leather shoes, etc, and contribute to the far greater problem of atmospheric pollution by methane production.
    Let's stop kidding ourselves, we can't control the climate, and killing the cows to save the atmosphere is not a solution.
    Janran
    2nd Sep 2017
    12:30pm
    mazchugg, you have misquoted me and ignored the crux of my argument, so I'll repeat it here again IN CAPITALS this time, so you don't ignore it again.
    I said "Climate scientists predicted MORE INTENSE droughts and MORE INTENSE storms/flooding/landslides, which will definitely cause more topsoil loss and reduce the capacity to farm. I can give you 4 examples in the last week..."
    Of course there has and always will be climate change.

    Regarding ocean levels, are you denying that salt water is inundating peoples' gardens in Kiribati, destroying the soil for their food production?

    In regard to the cold waters around Tasmania (although kelp forests are disappearing rapidly because of either changed ocean currents or warming waters, or both), you would expect the water warming the fastest, and therefore expanding causing the sea level to rise, will be in the tropic zones around the Equator in the Pacific.
    That's simply Physics, as opposed to your Tasmanian red herring.
    The warm Equatorial current that hits the Coral Sea and runs down the eastern seaboard of Australia, heads back out east across the Tasman Sea off Gabo Island near the NSW/Vic border, missing Tasmanian waters altogether.

    Once the ocean warms up, it's very difficult to turn it back. It's like turning an ocean freighter around - you have to plan/steer and take evasive action long before you reach the spot where you want to turn.
    Janran
    2nd Sep 2017
    12:55pm
    And maxchugg, regarding the Larcen C Iceshelf which just cracked off Antarctica IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER, you again ignore the significance of this happening in the season (winter) that it has occurred. Of course ice sheets come and go, but it usually happens in late summer, not in the middle of winter.
    I didn't make any claim about how big Larcen C is, so why make out I'm exaggerating or something? You say it is only the 4th biggest to crack off - shit! I didn't realise it was THAT big, and IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER!!!

    Back on sea levels, just look at the data of how La Nina and El Nino events affect the sea levels on both sides of the Pacific. Even within one ocean, the sea levels vary due to all sorts of influences. To presume that because the sea hasn't appeared to have risen in Tasmania as proof it hasn't risen anywhere else is very poor science. Who knows, maybe the continental shelf under Tasmania is rising, making the sea level appear to be stable?
    Climate denialists are very prone to cherry-pick so-called "evidence" to support their denial, which is why such a tiny proportion (3%) of climate scientists deny that global warming is increasing because of human activity.
    maxchugg
    3rd Sep 2017
    1:41am
    Rainey, I am well aware that scientists have predicted more intense droughts, storms and other variations in the weather system, and I give these predictions the same credibility as those which in 1990 said that the Maldives would be submerged within 10 years. Also, after they predicted endless droughts and insisted that a proposed dam was a waste of money because it would never fill, it overflowed and flooded Brisbane. The dam was clearly not a waste of money, unlike the desalination plants built in response to these predictions, constructed at a cost of billions of dollars before being mothballed, requiring endless, expensive maintenance while producing nothing.
    We were told that climate change would be devastating to food crops, there have been bumper crops ever since.
    They told us that we would have severe crop losses, we have had bumper crops ever since.
    Professor Ian Wadhams repeatedly predicted that the Arctic ice would be gone by 2015 or 2016, now, it seems he is predicting 2020. When that date has come and gone, one wonders what his next prediction will be.
    David Suzuki is another example of a promoter of the global warming/climate change religion. "Three times in Q&A he admitted he didn’t know — he didn’t know there was a pause in warming for the last 15 years, he didn’t know how global temperatures are measured, and he didn’t know that cyclones were not increasing over the Great Barrier Reef. He wants politicians jailed for “denying the science”. “You bet!” he exclaims, but then admits he hasn’t thought that through either by stating that he had never even heard of the four main temperature data bases UAH, GISS, HADcrut and RSS which indicated that there had been no global warming for 18 years."
    You say that it is poor science to argue that because the sea level hasn't risen around Tasmania it hasn't risen anywhere else. It is generally conceded that water always finds its own level, if sea level increases, the increase will be uniform across the earth. To argue that maybe the continental shelf in Tasmania is rising is resorting to desperation.
    As for the importance you place on the Larcen C ice shelf breaking away in winter, you appear to have not realised that A68 broke away in July, B9, the same month as Larcen C. A38 B broke away in October, and B31 in November. The fact that Larcen C broke away in early winter clearly has no significance.
    I am surprised that you say that only 3% of climate scientists deny that global warming is increasing because of human activity. I would have thought that the figure would have been 100% agreement because disagreement is instant disqualification from membership of this club. Pity abut the data sets that show no warming for 18 years.
    And if you wish to use the tired old accusation of cherry picking, please be more specific, with examples in support of the statement.
    Janran
    4th Sep 2017
    5:21pm
    maxchugg, I'm not Rainey but I'll reply anyway.

    The four main temperature data bases you mentioned, "UAH, GISS, HADcrut and RSS which indicated that there had been no global warming for 18 years." are commissioned and run by whom? They obviously don't take into account variations on the norm, just average temperatures, IGNORING THE EXTREMES. It is these extremes that are destroying farmland and infrastructure, and it is predicted these extremes will increasingly cause even more havok. Perhaps vested interests corrupt the "findings" of these data collectors, giving legitimacy to deniers like yourself?

    Half-truths, omitted data, damned lies and statistics - all members of the same vested interest Club.

    Your silly (poor science) comment "It is generally conceded that water always finds its own level, if sea level increases, the increase will be uniform across the earth." In a bath perhaps, but not on the scale of a planet like Earth. So how do you explain the different sea levels in the east and west Pacific Ocean? Sea levels are in permanent flux, unless you believe the Earth is flat. It is simple physics - warm water takes up more space (sea levels rise) and cold water takes up less space. Variables such as time, celestial bodies' proximity, tides, the Earth's rotation and ocean currents also play big roles.

    I ask you again, maxchugg, are you denying that salt water is inundating peoples' gardens in Kiribati, destroying their soil for food production?
    maxchugg
    4th Sep 2017
    7:45pm
    Janran, Due to a mistake I addressed my comments to Rainey instead of to you.

    You obviously know nothing of the data bases I mentioned yet still run an argument based upon your assumptions of how they operate. Anyway, the four sites are:

    HadCRUT is the dataset of monthly instrumental temperature records formed by combining the sea surface temperature records compiled by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the land surface air temperature records compiled by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia.

    The University of Alabama in Huntsville (also known as UAHuntsville or UAH) is a state-supported, public, coeducational research university in Huntsville, Alabama, United States

    The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) is a laboratory in the Earth Sciences Division of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and a unit of the Columbia University Earth Institute

    Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) is a private research company founded in 1974 by Frank Wentz. It processes microwave data from a variety of NASA satellites. Most of their research is supported by the Earth Science Enterprise program.

    As for bias, GISS is convincingly accused of massaging its data to support claims that global temperatures are rising.

    Finally, I am not denying that Kiribati is being affected by the action of the sea and ask how I explain this and I do so by referring to your own comment that sea levels are in a state of flux. Why this is so is still open to debate, and the consequences are nowhere as clear cut as you appear to be suggesting, and while the islands are being eroded in some areas, they are growing in other places. As I know you will want to dispute this, please refer to the following site:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-06-03/pacific-islands-growing-not-sinking/851738
    Radish
    29th Aug 2017
    2:06pm
    No surprise to me at all that costs are going up and up...what did people expect...wind and solar alone do not provide a reliable power source...you need battery back up and that is still a work in progress and Labor did not ensure that the gas companies provided enough for home consumption. The current goverment is having to do that.

    Methinks we embarked on this new journey too soon.

    to my way of thinking they should have had everything in place " before" they got ride of what we had.
    Old Geezer
    29th Aug 2017
    2:58pm
    Too many vested interests and too many do gooders trying to save the planet.
    Lookfar
    29th Aug 2017
    3:06pm
    Her is an article I wrote yesterday for another discussion, but I think is relevant.

    In Australia, approximately 14% of it’s electrical energy was provided by renewables, in 2015, 13.44% in the USA.
    The argument that Renewables are intermittent is exposed in it’s specious one sidedness by it’s focus on e.g. the sun not shining or the wind not blowing, - never do you see from the fossil fuel industry the argument in the true sense of ‘when neither the sun is shining nor the wind blowing’, and note that the majority of Hydro production is used for ‘peak lopping’ instead of providing it’s energy when the other renewables aren’t available, this hides the real potential of renewables right now, let alone the potential of other renewable sources which are only just beginning to be utilised, a good example being tidal, - actually far more energy dense than wind, and totally predictable for thousands of years ahead, to the minute.
    These distortions to cover up the real situation are being forcibly exposed in the USA,  where Nuclear stations are being unfinished or non-starting, plus every month or so another one closes down, and coal fired power stations are being closed down or significantly powered down several/week, despite desperate attempts of the Trump presidency to keep them going. Browse www.power-eng.com/ particularly the archives.
    At the same time the installation of Solar and particularly wind is going ahead in leaps and bounds, e.g. As of January 2017, the U.S. nameplate generating capacity for wind power was 82,183 megawatts (MW). - why is this so? Simply put, the price ratio is 60 for Nuclear, 40 for Coal, 20 for Wind, if you were selling electricity and had a choice which to buy, which one would you choose? - Wind of course, - not really a choice if you want to stay in business and then the retailer has to put enough aside to fill in any gaps, which they do.
    As things progress, it becomes the situation that at various times there is more than the required renewable energy available so then Pumped Hydro comes in, and many current Hydro situations could be much more cheaply retrofitted for pumped hydro than having to construct entirely new.
    It is simply a matter of attitude changing, forget about satisfying the greed of the shareholders in the fossil fuel industry, the cost of installing new wind in the USA has fallen 34% in the last three years and a further 20% is filtering through, the current new wave of wind is 8 mega watt turbines, on 120 metre towers etc, they produce over 20% more than the smaller earlier ones at the same nameplate rating per wind farm.
    The technology is developed, the capacity exists world wide, we just have to get on with it, greedy fossil fuel shareholders, sorry you bet on a loser, and that loser is now destroying our planet.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
    Old Geezer
    29th Aug 2017
    3:43pm
    When the in shines and wind blows energy is cheap. But if the sun doesn't shine and no wind then energy becomes very expensive. That's when coal becomes cheap compared to the price of energy.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2017
    12:49am
    Showing your ignorance, OG. Solar panels don't need sun. They need light. On the dullest days, solar systems still generate power. And there are other sources of power that make coal obsolete if only the powers-that-be weren't so heavily invested in it and too greedy to allow progress. Inventors of free energy generation systems seem to die or disappear mysteriously - like inventors of cars that run without petrol. Greed rules.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    11:15am
    I guess then Rainey your solar panels run on moonlight as well.

    Yes I checked that one out and no mine don't run on moonlight even with a full moon.

    Coal is a long way off being obsolete just as petrol is.
    ex PS
    30th Aug 2017
    4:00pm
    Maybe someone should invent a storage system so that Solar Power can be captured and used at night, they could call them batteries.
    Janran
    30th Aug 2017
    7:32pm
    That's just irresponsible, according to the COALition. That's what that lefty, green Labor SA Govt is proposing, instead of submitting to it's fossil fuel Masters.
    So irresponsible! Don't they know the rules?
    Anonymous
    31st Aug 2017
    6:29am
    Both coal and petrol would be obsolete if inventors of alternate energy systems were not murdered and their inventions buried. The problem is nothing more than pure unadulterated greed.
    Janran
    31st Aug 2017
    10:00am
    You are right, Rainey. Corporation greed rules and unfortunately, our economic and political systems are geared for business as usual.

    Whenever we suggest to interfere with the status quo in any way, we are howled down as being Commies and soon Marxist dogma will flourish throughout the land. Fear is a powerful tool. The status quo is the real dictator today.
    Radish
    31st Aug 2017
    11:04am
    The cost of saving the planet is not going to cheap...so everyone just suck it up...we have to pay more for our powe ....no point in complaining. Just put on more clothes in winter and take 'em off in summer. Learn to eat foods that need little or no cooking. Go to bed early to keep warm and save on power.

    This is our new reality.
    maxchugg
    4th Sep 2017
    12:19pm
    Rainey, you accuse OG of showing his ignorance and telling him that solar panels don't need sun, they need light. And what, do you think, is the source of the light that makes solar panels work?
    I have a 3 Kw system on my roof. In Summer daily output is around 21 Kw, in Winter, when the sky is overcast, readings are as low as 0.4 Kw per day.
    As for inventors being murdered and their inventions buried, this is fanciful, to say the least. Any inventor who discovered a way of providing an adequate supply of low cost energy would certainly patent his idea, and, if he died, eventually the patent would expire and the patented system would be available for anyone to use.
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    5:29pm
    Now here's a radical thought... free power to hospitals..... I mean how stupid is it for the 'government' to fund hospitals, then force them to pay for power through their network of power suppliers in which the Guv is a major shareholder?

    Cut out the middle man - reserve power for essential services, and Bob's Yer Uncle!! Fire and police stations free power... what sort of nonsense is it that a 'government' gives with one hand and then takes with the other?
    Captain
    29th Aug 2017
    6:01pm
    Why would you give free power to essential services?

    After all the only thing they do is save lives and help people.

    Free power indeed!!!
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    6:38pm
    Aye, Skipper... I like your sense of humour...
    Anonymous
    29th Aug 2017
    6:42pm
    What a dumb idea - typical leftie thinking
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    7:14pm
    Why is that, Rafe? Be precise now...
    Anonymous
    29th Aug 2017
    7:28pm
    you need the price mechanism in order to determine optimal resource allocation

    give ot for free, and you will see huge wastage, and those already badly run government departments will find other ways to waste money

    you also remove the incentive to innovate.

    next thing you will say, why not remove duty on all imports for hospitals.
    how about remove tax for hospital employees ?

    Oh wait - I get it, why dont we just nationalize everything
    BHP RIO all the banks - the LOT
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    8:35pm
    How does that impact preservation of power for essential services? they serve all equally and thus thereare no social differences o=r difference in need to the community. How precisely would a police station go about wasting electricity?

    Maybe we should privatise the police, ambulance and fire services.. and all the hospitals.... make that playing field a real beauty.
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    8:37pm
    One bank is fine to keep the others honest.. businesses can continue as they are but come under a tighter unbrella for their tax regime - they are already de facto partially nationalised in the sense that they have a duty to pay taxes etc - i.e the government has some level of call upon the - though that is very loose at the moment.
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    9:20pm
    The re-nationalisation of essential services will be phased in so as to not cause 'hardship' for anyone who backed he wrong horses..... we have no desire to create a next generation of impoverished retirees who staked their souls on some mythical artificially created market....

    As for resource extractors - they will gradually be brought under the umbrella of local investment first, minimum tax payable if you are an offshorer, and eventually all will be brought under one roof and those companies may invest in that roof.... where they can be controlled.

    Not much leftie about that - Adolph would have been proud of the way that a society eventually works out that it needs to control not only its people but those who are raping that society...
    Janran
    29th Aug 2017
    6:55pm
    Why don't they put solar panels on ALL Govt-owned buildings?
    It would save tax-payers heaps in the long term. But I suppose the 3-year electoral cycle prevents any Govt from doing anything beneficial for the long term.
    The pollies are short-sighted dinosaurs who only care about their own careers and their ridiculously generous pensions and perks, not the people and country they are meant to be serving.
    Anonymous
    29th Aug 2017
    7:04pm
    Next labor government will do that


    We've done pink batts, so why not Solar Panels and Wind turbines in every home and government building next

    Bring back Dudd
    Janran
    29th Aug 2017
    7:09pm
    Why not say something useful or thought-provoking, Raphael?
    Or even something non-cryptic? What on Earth do you mean?
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    7:16pm
    Plenty of large roof space building around that could have solar panels on them... there are a few near Cambra airport.... HUGE buildings...

    The problem with Batts was the implementation by private contractors... the idea was good....
    Janran
    29th Aug 2017
    7:19pm
    Yes, TREBOR. And all those industrial sheds around every airport - so much wasted north-facing roof space.
    Anonymous
    29th Aug 2017
    7:57pm
    it will create more global warming and cause skin cancer by reflecting the suns rays to be absorbed by surrounding plants animals and structures
    Janran
    29th Aug 2017
    8:03pm
    I hadn't appreciated just how lacking in intelligence you are.
    TREBOR
    29th Aug 2017
    8:39pm
    The essence of solar power is the absorption of radiation to convert to power or heat.... not its reflection....
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    10:39am
    One can have too much of a good thing even with solar.
    Janran
    30th Aug 2017
    12:14pm
    How so, Old Geezer? The only problem with solar is that corporations (that includes our Govts) can't make much money from a power source that's free. If this COALition doesn't wake up soon and invest in renewables, they'll die off like the dinosaurs they are proving to be.
    The future is renewables, no matter how much deniers scream and howl.
    I'm looking forward to the day when the "Dirty 3" - Origin, Energy Australia and AGL, are forced to abandon their foul, toxic energy sources.
    It seems I'll need the patience of Job, what with Tony Abbott's tribe running our Fed. Govt and corporations allowed to run amok.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    12:29pm
    If too much solar is generated in your area your system will go into overload and not put it into the grid. So having solar panels on everyone's roof will not work unless you have batteries to take the excess solar power. That's why you can get knocked back when you ask if you can install solar panels.

    Didn't AGL announce recently that it's power was to come form renewables.
    Old Geezer
    30th Aug 2017
    12:29pm
    If too much solar is generated in your area your system will go into overload and not put it into the grid. So having solar panels on everyone's roof will not work unless you have batteries to take the excess solar power. That's why you can get knocked back when you ask if you can install solar panels.

    Didn't AGL announce recently that it's power was to come form renewables?
    Janran
    30th Aug 2017
    1:08pm
    What AGL does and what AGL says can be two entirely different things. AGL is one of the biggest gas frackers in the country, poisoning farmers and farmland and destroying precious fresh water aquifers.

    Up until recently, they have counted their portion of renewable "investment" from private households' solar feed-in. Their only investment is in paying customers a pittance per feed-in kilowatt and charging back many, many times that amount for all their customers, which includes the cost for the wires and poles. We the people were the ones who made a real investment. They are being forced to change their renewable policy because they know that people will soon get off their blood-sucking feed-in grid.

    In regard to excess solar power generation, of course batteries have to be part of that equation, including battery powered electric cars and hopefully business premises.
    Anonymous
    31st Aug 2017
    8:47pm
    Janran - buy org shares
    Janran
    1st Sep 2017
    6:47pm
    I don't have spare money to gamble on the sharemarket. What is "org", anyway?
    In Outer Orbit
    29th Aug 2017
    11:05pm
    What value do we place on a clean, sustainable, environment, without which none of us can survive? That value seems to be missing from many of the calculations and deliberations. What benefit it a man that he should inherit the earth and lose his own soul? What benefit it a man that he should inherit the earth and find he cannot survive on it?
    TREBOR
    30th Aug 2017
    8:17am
    So what are our options? Massive wind/solar, nuclear or fossil fuel burning....

    Now it needs to be implemented....
    Adrianus
    30th Aug 2017
    8:31am
    What benefit a politician if he cannot look good on the back of humanity's vexation and misery?
    Captain
    30th Aug 2017
    10:43am
    Frank, is that a non-aligned Party statement??
    Adrianus
    31st Aug 2017
    8:44am
    Do I have control over what you think??
    JoJozep
    31st Aug 2017
    11:12am
    Energy is relatively easy to capture. All "free" energy comes from the sun (even wind). The problem is the earth rotates once a day, so we get less than half the full exposure to the sun in any one day. Therefore what we need is to store this energy for use when the earth is in darkness. How? here are some options.

    Transfer of energy. Radiation from the sun heats absorbing surfaces and these surfaces re-radiate heat when the surrounding temperature drop at night. When the earth radiates heat at night, it is "lost" to outer space. (It is not really lost, as energy cannot be lost, it merely travels outwards to the outer limits of space as we know it). Energy can only be transferred from one form to another.

    So how do we change thermal energy to more useable forms like electrical energy.

    That's easy using solar cells, but at a small cost. Solar cells are only about 25-30% efficient, but it doesn't matter, because the wasted radiation is lost to space. Furthermore, the energy is available for billions of years to come. The beauty of solar cells is that the electrical energy produced is 100% pure electrical energy, the cells are not destroyed in the process and are relatively cheap to set up and maintain compared to coal fired stations. Also, no dangerous gases are produced. So what's the problem? in one word; STORAGE.

    We now have electrical energy being produced. While there is demand and the energy is used during the day by houses and industry, the energy is being used (or rather transferred to other forms like heaters, coolers, electric motors, lighting etc.,) the system works to our advantage. What can we do to store any excess electrical energy to use at night?

    1. Transfer thermal energy to potential energy. This can be done by powering electric motors to pump water to a height, then releasing the water to turn turbines and produce electricity at any time independent of day or night conditions.

    2. Charge batteries that change electrical energy to chemical energy and reverse the process when electricity is needed.

    3. Use the moon's gravitational forces to create tides that then turn turbines to produce electricity.

    4. Use wind power to turn turbines to produce electricity.

    5. Use the earth's own thermal power to heat steam turn turbines and produce electricity.

    Re Hazelwood, you can't blame Dan for what Kenneth did. He sold our family jewels to big business remember for a pittance. When big business determines they need to make upgrades to hazelwood and the price is too much, they just dump it. They couldn't careless if pensioners are slugged high prices as a consequence. That's the suck up Liberals for you.

    1st Sep 2017
    12:00am
    Well, it appears Mal TurnBULL has solved the problem for us. He's going to have the power companies bill monthly so the bills are smaller!!!! Well, of course that will drive costs UP by creating more administrative work, but he hopes you are too stupid to notice that while the bill in front of you is smaller, the annual cost of power is higher. And this, folks, is what we pay these inflated-ego greedy, self-serving IDIOTS a king's ransom to come up with!

    ''Pay peanuts and get monkeys.'' Pay generously and get huge corrupt self-serving APES. Please can we pay peanuts? Monkeys would do better than the mob of greedy, self-interested morons in power right now.
    Anonymous
    1st Sep 2017
    7:11am
    We have computers in our homes and smart meters that read themselves and transmit the info to HQ,
    A monthly billing need not involve a human being.
    Anonymous
    2nd Sep 2017
    1:00am
    And of course the power company can send the bill and you can read it and pay it and they can receive and receipt the payment without any human intervention and without creating any need for increased computers or system maintenance and oversight? Monthly billing makes more work, Herb. I don't care how much automation is used. The costs are always going to be higher because there is more work involved - either for men or for machines (which also have a per hour of use cost associated with them).
    Old Geezer
    4th Sep 2017
    3:33pm
    No smart meters for me.

    2nd Sep 2017
    6:40am
    TREBOR
    Take your fuel cost problem to Centrelink.
    There are taxis available plus shuttle cars driven by unpaid ladies.

    3rd Sep 2017
    8:55am
    Rising power costs are a result of privatisation, and now TurnBULL wants to privatise the national rail system, Medicare and our Welfare system. God help us all if he succeeds in this!
    Old Geezer
    4th Sep 2017
    3:31pm
    Don't believe for one minute that Labor won't do the same.
    Adrianus
    4th Sep 2017
    4:01pm
    Old Geezer you are 100% correct!!
    This is why Electricity Bill is falling behind.
    musicveg
    22nd Sep 2017
    8:27pm
    https://www.change.org/p/alan-jones-take-back-public-ownership-of-the-electricity-grid

    Check out this petition, seems that the cost to 'network and poles' is chewing up 55% of bills and they can charge what they like without regulation.


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