Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Power costs can be curbed

Summaries - Australian Financial Review
27 April 2011, Page: 54

The New South Wales Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) recently announced that electricity costs in the state will rise 18% this year, adding further pressure to households already struggling with power price rises. The regulator expects a carbon price to add 20% more to those bills. The Reserve Bank of Australia points out that Australian electricity prices are still moderate compared with most other countries, and household income is rising at twice the rate of inflation.

Although rebates for energy saving initiatives are worthy, the poorly planned renewable energy rebates have added to electricity bills and will be most felt by the less well off. Ross Garnaut has advised that demand controls be implemented. John Howard's national energy market has been ignored by Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson and Climate Change Minister Greg Combet should overhaul the renewable energy strategies that have added to power bills. Giving rebates for solar panels discriminates against the poor and more funding should be offered to wind farm projects.