Lower electricity prices?

Yesterday the Federal Government released its Energy White Paper 2012 . Intended to transformAustralia’s production and use of energy in the coming decades, the paper explores ways to provide accessible, reliable and competitively priced energy for all Australians.

But is the Minister, Martin Ferguson merely dreaming? Last night on the ABC’s 7.30 report, many so-called stakeholders in the energy sector offered their opinions on the viability of this White Paper and why, in their opinion, prices of electricity had risen so much. Matthew Warner, from the Electricity Supply Association blames the price increases on the need to replace ageing infrastructure – plants and power networks which have been in place for up to 40 years. But reporter Chris Ulhmann pointed out that there is really more to the price increases than infrastructure. He ascertains that the current electricity network has been created to meet peak demand and that those who are frugal with electricity are actually being penalised for their money-saving habits. For instance, Ulhmann states, an air conditioner worth $1500 will need about $7000 of electricity generation during its ‘life’. Says Ulhman “That means that it’s forcing up electricity costs for people who can’t afford air-conditioners.”

The Federal Government quotesVictoriaas an example of a state which has deregulated the price of power and introduced smart meters to measure and reward those using off-peak power. Other states are less than keen to followVictoria’s lead, with Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, stating, “I’m not going to be bullied by our Prime Minister into privatising electricity assets. I’m not going to do that at all.”

And the NSW Energy Minister, Chris Hartcher, asserts, “We are not prepared to deregulate households”.

YOURLifeChoices will continue to follow this topic and how it will affect older Australians on restricted incomes. We will also continue to advocate for those who are using off-peak power to receive the rewards for their frugality in the form of lower electricity prices

Full transcript from 7.30 

What is the Energy White Paper?

The Energy White Paper 2012, Australia’s energy transformation, sets out a strategic policy framework to address the challenges in our energy sector and positionAustralia for a long term transformation in the way we produce and use energy.

The policy framework is based on a clear vision of building a secure, resilient and efficient energy system that:

  • provides accessible, reliable and competitively priced energy for all Australians;
  • enhancesAustralia’s domestic and export growth potential; and

delivers clean and sustainable energy.