Sunday, April 8, 2012

New ideas needed to combat rising power prices and drive energy efficiency

Power prices have been rising fast over the last few years and are expected to keep in rising into the future no matter what governments do about carbon pricing and clean energy. The major reason (as we have noted before) is all the extra poles and wires that are being put in to maintain and upgrade the electricity network. How much money is this you ask?

"A massive $45 billion over five years is being spent to upgrade and maintain the network, and that cost is being passed onto the consumer."
Basically our electricity network needs enough power plants, poles, transformers and wires to meet peak demand, even though this only occurs a few hours a year. As peak demand rises, more is spent expanding the capacity of the grid and our power bills rise to pay for it.

As the ABC outlines, people are now asking if this is the best way of doing things?

Currently power companies make more money from selling more power, but what if they could also make money from getting people to save energy? And what if households could also benefit financially by saving energy at times of peak demand? This way peak demand could drop, meaning less new poles and wires and lower bills for everyone.

Another benefit of such schemes would be increased energy efficiency, which is a key solution in tackling climate change. So both peoples wallets and the environment would benefit.

See the full story here, or listen to ABC radio program: Energy efficiency: Not in Australia mate!

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