Cheap power for all!

The Essential Services Commission draft decision on power prices wants price cuts to electricity. Am I the only one who thinks this is a bad idea? Provide more concessions to those on low incomes, sure, but across the board price cuts? How is that meant to encourage people to use less power?

Remember, the bulk of our power if coming from the filthy Hazelwood brown coal power plant. Maybe the billion dollars the ESC wants to cut from the power stations’ infrastructure budget should be put towards cutting emissions by replacing or improving Hazelwood?

In 2003, Environment Victoria said a 5-year expansion of Hazelwood would create 85 million tonnes of greenhouse pollution, the equivalent of putting an extra twenty MILLION cars on the road. A more recent assessment makes this comparison: the annual greenhouse gas savings from more energy efficient houses statewide is cancelled out by Hazelwood from just one week of operations.

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5 Replies to “Cheap power for all!”

  1. I reckon the best idea would be to force them to cut the service/access charges. The charges that are not related to how much electricity we use. There is no financial incentive to cut power use when any reduction will have a minimal effect on the bill because of the high service charges.

    It’s the same with water (and probably with gas but I don’t have mains gas).

  2. Good point Phil, and one made by the Alternative Energy Association today in a letter to the Age:

    There is a simple solution to the pricing issue. Forget about the distribution charge; surely it would be more equitable to price electricity on usage alone. That way, those tens of thousands of consumers making an effort to control their energy consumption will reap the benefits.

  3. Good point Phil and Age letter. The same should apply to gas. Not so sure about water. Rich people with large houses pay an awful lot in water rates. If it was consumption only, they would pay a lot less. Qualify that by saying it is long time since I have had a look at the water charging.

  4. Yeah, more Hazelwood and less of that yukky visual pollution from wind farms. They just spoil the landscape, which you’re not going to be able to see in the future because it will all be underwater!

  5. I’m told that when “they’ shut the precipitators on the smoke stacks down to change them, at night, you wouldn’t believe the crap that heads east. On the other hand years ago I met an engineer at the SEC who said that studies of acidity downwind of the Latrobe valley had shown no acid rain. At least! Low sulphur coal.

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