Renewable energy targets to hit electricity bills hard

Price going up

The shocking reality of the government’s ill-conceived renewable energy targets is about to hit home, and that’s before we take a carbon [dioxide] price into consideration:

HOUSEHOLD electricity bills are set to skyrocket up to 30 per cent by mid-2013, with the Gillard government’s renewable energy scheme responsible for 11 per cent of that increase, a report by the government’s chief energy adviser has found.

The costs of the Renewable Energy Target – which provides generous subsidies for rooftop solar schemes and large-scale projects such as wind farms – will explode by 360 per cent over the three years to June 30, 2013, as power companies try to meet the target of sourcing 20 per cent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The report comes as Australia’s biggest carbon emitters press for states that refuse to wind back costly rooftop solar and other programs to be penalised in the GST carve-up or be denied funds under the Commonwealth Grants Commission.

The Australian Industry Greenhouse Network, whose members include BlueScope Steel, said the case for reform was only growing and demanded the immediate withdrawal of commonwealth and state renewable energy programs that the Productivity Commission found were costing billions of dollars but achieving little. (source)

Just the same old story, green gimmicks that achieve nothing for the environment and cost ordinary people dear.

"The days of cheap energy are over"

Shocking price rises

And that’s BEFORE the carbon tax. Just imagine what is going to happen if that pointless tax ever makes it to the statute book:

Household electricity bills in NSW are set to rise by up to 18.1 per cent, or $316 a year following price rises outlined today by the pricing regulator.

“The days of cheap energy are over,” Stephen Cartwright, CEO of the NSW Business Chamber, said in a statement.

“This is a crippling blow for every energy-reliant business in NSW and a savage blow to local exporters who have yet to come to terms with the impacts of a very high Australian dollar.”

He said the impact of the federal government’s planned carbon tax would send bills even higher in future.

A year ago, IPART approved rises of up to 13 per cent to be implemented from the middle of this year, with another round of rises of up to 11 per cent approved from the middle of next year.

At that time, it anticipated the average power bill for residents in rural NSW would reach $1900 a year, compared with between $1500 and $1600 for those living in Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle.

Electricity prices are being forced higher as electricity companies boost their networks to avoid further blackouts, and are set to rise much faster if the federal government succeeds in introducing a carbon tax, which will force up prices.

Read it here.

NSW climate fund raided to ease electricity prices

Raiders of the Lost Climate Fund

Thanks to pointless green policies, electricity prices were set to soar [even further – Ed] in New South Wales, so what better way to avoid such increases than by taking money from other pointless green policies? Makes sense really! As the worst Labor government in living memory stumbles to its inevitable election defeat in March, the Premier is trying to do something, anything, to please the long-suffering electorate:

KRISTINA Keneally is promising to axe electricity bill rises of $100 in a $1.5 billion bid to calm voter anger over power prices.

The Premier also flagged she would soon announce an electricity rebate for households earning less than $150,000 a year.

The moves come after months of revelations and campaigning by The Daily Telegraph to ease the pain on working families around the state.

“I can’t make bananas any cheaper, I can’t make the cost of petrol any cheaper but I can do something as the Premier of this state about electricity prices and that’s what I’m doing,” she said yesterday.

Ms Keneally said the Government would pay the entire cost of its $1.5 billion solar bonus scheme, until 2016, rather than all electricity users being charged.

To pay for the promise, the Government will strip its Climate Change Fund almost entirely of money for green projects until 2020, including scrapping its long-running rainwater tank rebate. (source)

Feel good story of the day.

Electricity prices "set to soar"

Freaking useless, and expensive

Thanks to feel-good Green policies, such as the renewable energy targets, which mean that electricity will have to be generated by useless wind turbines rather than plain-old efficient coal. Power bills are already creeping up, and it will only get worse, good people of Australia:

THE chief executive of one of the country’s biggest energy retailers has warned that power prices are set to increase dramatically.

Origin Energy boss Grant King said that complying with the mandatory renewable energy target (RET) and network spending would put upward pressure on energy prices.

“That’s not of our making, or anybody other than policymakers,” Mr King told The Australian.

“That’s just the inevitable and logical consequences of the policies” that governments are implementing.

His comments follow both federal Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson and his opposition counterpart Ian Macfarlane warning in separate interviews with this newspaper that power prices were likely to double in the next five to seven years.

Mr King said that estimate was “possibly conservative” and added that many consumers of utilities faced “a real come to Jesus moment” as suppliers were forced to re-price energy, water and other essential services.

The RET seeks to ensure that 20 per cent of Australia’s energy consumption by 2020 is derived from renewable sources.

Wind farms would cost between $100 and $125 per megawatt hour, compared with $30 to $40 per MWh for coal.

Moreover, the intermittent nature of wind means that it would need to be backed up with big-ticket investment in gas turbine power plants.

Mr King said he suspected that policymakers “didn’t truly know the cost” of policies that had been introduced.

Really? You don’t say.

Read it here.

NSW electricity bills to rise 60% in 3 years

Shocking price rises

And well over a third of that increase will be thanks to the government’s pointless ETS (if it ever gets through):

NSW residents will be slapped with a 60 per cent electricity price hike over three years, to be announced today, more than a third of which will be to pay for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme.

The power price rise will add at least $100 to the average annual bill for households in Sydney. [If you live in a box with a single 60w lightbulb perhaps, but for average homes, a 60% increase is going to be way more than this – it’s so wrong I wonder if this is a typo? – Ed]

Country residents will be hit even harder, with the annual power bill for homes expected to increase by $170-$200 a year. [Again, this seems ridiculously small – Ed]

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal will release its final determination into NSW power pricing this morning.

It has told the State Government that to pay for the anticipated climate change policy of the Federal Government, charges need to be increased in NSW by significantly more than they otherwise would have been.

And in a surprise move by the independent regulator, the price rises are due to come into effect as early as July 1 this year.

The report, details of which have been provided to The Daily Telegraph, states that a third of the increase was directly attributable to CPRS.

“It is to pay for the fact that the country is so heavily reliant on coal,” a source in the energy industry said.

Yet again, we find the effect of the Rudd ETS is completely at variance with the spin and misrepresentations coming from the government.

Read it here.

NSW electricity prices could rise 62% by 2013

Shocking price rises

Shocking price rises

And much of that increase would be due to the ETS (if it were implemented). Even the Energy Minister is shocked. Let’s hope it stays dead, then:

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) said in a draft determination released in Sydney today the unprecedented fee increases would be needed to cope with higher network costs and a federal scheme to reduce carbon emissions.

IPART CEO Jim Cox said he had never seen price rises like the ones he now proposed.

“I think this is the biggest increase we have seen,” he said. “I don’t think this (price increases) is something that we particularly like.”

Under the proposal, consumers could be paying between $554 and $893 a year more for electricity by July 2013.

“The important point to note here is almost 90 per cent of the increases are due (to an) increase in network charges to pay for higher reliability standards, and also … the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), if indeed it is implemented,” he said.

If the CPRS is not introduced, consumers could still expect their annual power bills to jump by between $242 and $594 by 2013, IPART said.

But $594 is a damn sight less than $893, and the difference ($300) is thanks to the CPRS.

Read it here.

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