Solar Feed in Tariff is not to blame
Can we please come clean and stop blaming the solar feed in tariffs for the increase in power bills. This report in the Townsville Bulletin blaming the solar feed in tariffs for an 8.6% increase in future power bills is really over the top (Townsville Bulletin December 14th). The real reason for power increases is to pay for all the old power poles and power lines that need to upgraded to handle peak load power from 4pm to 9pm every night.
Furthermore with the increase in energy efficient appliances, gas cooking, LED lighting, Solar Hot water, Solar Air-conditioning, and solar panels, energy retailers cannot make the money they used to and have to raise prices. Why is it that the government want to sell the Ergon Retail arm? You only have to read the CEO report of every Energy retailer in Australia. Customers are using less electricity and the only way to make profits is to raise prices. Just like what email did to Australia Post with the price of stamps 15 years ago, energy efficiency and a more energy focused customer will do to Energy retailers.
Why is it that there are no Energy retailers in North Queensland? It is because they cannot make any money. North Queenslanders have been forced to turn to Solar, gas cooking, inverter air conditioners and LED lights, because they have no choice. For example a new Inverter Air conditioner runs with almost 40 % less power, air-conditioning makes up to 70% of many power bills here. I don’t see too many stories blaming Inverter air conditioners for the increase in power bills.
Over the next 5 years you will see a major shift away from the traditional reliance on grid power. In fact the grid will be probably needed for less than 30% of a customer’s energy usage. Solar storage is coming very fast, with the huge investment in Electric Cars the price of batteries are coming down rapidly. New Zealand power company Vector are already supplying customers with Solar and battery storage instead of running power lines to new homes.
Installing solar on your roof today is like investing in the day time electricity usage for your house for the next 20 to 30 years. This is like locking your daytime power usage for under 7 cents kWH for the next 20 to 30 years. Running power from Gladstone costs the government about $700 million dollars just to subsidise the power losses. It just does not make sense to continue with this type of business model.
If the Government want to save Ergon, and really reduce the price of electricity, how about channelling this $700 million into battery storage and use the multiple megawatts of solar in North Queensland. This will enable the private sector to remove peak load power problems that are crippling electricity prices. Take advantage of the thousands of locals installing solar in fact they should be commended because not only are they helping the environment but will save the Government in having to spend billions of dollars in future power plants.