Monday, April 23, 2012

When is a freeze is not a freeze?

Here in my home state of Queensland, there have big electricity price rises in recent times - mainly due to the building new network to coping with our increasing consumption.

This year the pricing authority came up with a new low price (for small users) but with higher prices for higher levels of consumption. The idea is that richer high end users (who are the reason for the network and price increases) would have to pay their fair share, whilst small users felt less of the pain. In other words 'cost-reflective pricing'.

But today the premier blocked that plan.

So instead of fixing the problem by encouraging the power-guzzlers to be more energy efficient (or even go solar) we are stuck with the old system where big users are subsidised by the general public. (At least the premier was honest enough to admit that our taxes were paying for this publicity stunt).

Fast forward one year (when this promise expires) and prices will be even higher, as we'll have to build even more network, because nothing was done to encourage efficiency. So the premier's claim that this was done to 'reduce living expenses' is only true in the most short-sighted perspective.

The end result of this action (or rather inaction) is less energy efficiency, more waste, less solar energy, and higher prices next year. But for the general public (without the full background information) it looks like a good idea.
PS. (For long-distance readers, yes this is the same premier i mentioned before. Obviously tackling climate change wasn't as important as helping rich people heat their swimming pools all year round. ;)
PPS. On further investigation, the money to fund this promise comes out of hospital funding.

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