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Articles on Electricity

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Electricity prices have been rising rapidly during the past decade. Sir Bennikins/Flickr

The PM’s electricity plan: it’s a Band-Aid not a cure

A few days ago, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard foreshadowed a “plan to make sure that families pay $250 less per year for electricity” to be discussed at this Friday’s meeting of the Council of Australian…
History suggests privatisation of the electricity industry is not such a bright idea. Image from www.shutterstock.com

Why we should pull the plug on privatising electricity

Surging power prices are having savage consequences for household discretionary incomes. Some would blame the government’s carbon tax, but the real culprit is price gouging. Judging from the pronouncements…
Yes, Australia gets hot. But let’s investigate some other ways to cool it down. John Harvey

Air conditioning is peaking out, time to rethink cool comfort

As the recent Energy White Paper and Senate Committee report confirm, Australia’s electricity prices are going up. The Productivity Commission states that they have risen by 50% in real terms over the…
Australia could soon have millions of small electricity generators. absentmindedprof/Flickr

Energy White Paper underestimates solar

The 2012 Energy White Paper has much to commend it. In particular, the far greater acknowledgement of the need to shift to clean energy sources is a fundamental shift from previous White Papers. The emphasis…
Deregulation of the energy retail market will address the current politicisation of energy prices. Bes Z/Flickr

Deregulation is crucial for lowering Australia’s electricity costs

The issue of deregulation of the energy retail market is an important one and I think the much-anticipated Energy White Paper, released by Energy Minister Martin Ferguson yesterday, does well to emphasise…
The power we need twice a year is making us pay year-round. Andrew J Cosgriff

Explainer: What is peak power and how does it affect prices?

This is the year of electricity prices. Everyone, from the Prime Minister to your favourite barista, is talking about the recent rapid escalation in electricity prices. These increases are a complex story…
The National Electricity Market is in chronic failure mode. Sveter Sveter

Who will hold the balance of power on electricity?

The Senate Select Committee on Electricity Pricing tabled its report in Parliament on November 1. The inquiry found substantial evidence of failures in the rules and operation of the electricity market…
The role of powerlines in bushfires is raising some pressing issues of climate change adaptation. Paul Hocksenar

Hot issue - bushfires, powerlines and climate change

We have unwittingly hardwired a bushfire ignition source throughout our flammable landscapes – powerlines. Powerlines can fail under any conditions but the risk increases on days of high bushfire risk…
Australian household energy use increased by more than 30% in the past two decades. ctandjung/Flickr

Electricity and the power of choice - for whom?

Electricity prices are a hot topic. Prices have skyrocketed in recent years and politicians have finally realised that people are struggling to pay energy bills. Power of Choice, an Australian Energy Market…
If closing brown coal power plants is part of the lowest cost mix of emissions reduction opportunities, then they will close without additional payment from the government. ccdoh1/Flickr

Carbon price is about low-cost emissions reduction, not closing power plants

This week the Australian Government announced that the “payment for closure” element of the Clean Energy Future package would not proceed. The decision has saved taxpayers a multi-billion dollar outlay…
Electricity price rises can be traced to a number of factors. AAP Image

The real cause of electricity price rises in NSW

As the political debate around rising power prices and the carbon tax heats up, there is a renewed debate around the privatisation of electricity distribution in New South Wales. With power prices sure…
The Origin Smart portal provides customers with an estimate of future electricity bills. fudj

Is Origin Smart sleepwalking into a shocking personal data breach?

Early last week, Origin Energy, Australia’s pre-eminent energy retailer, launched an online energy-use monitoring portal Origin Smart to much fanfare. All good – but what about the the privacy and security…
Pretty much everyone agrees with Julia Gillard’s assessment of why power prices are up. But there are many views on how to bring them down. Tom Taker

We know why power prices are up, but what should we do?

Mr Abbott has learnt the hard way that the electricity industry is complex and that there is more to rising electricity bills than carbon pricing. Ms Gillard correctly identified rising costs of “poles…
The government should have been addressing electricity arrangements for the last four years. Laurent LaSalle

High time the PM talked power prices, but don’t expect change

The Prime Minister gave a speech on August 7 entitled Electricity prices: the facts. She explained, correctly, that the costs of transmission and distribution (network costs, otherwise referred to as “poles…
Not winning them over… some plain speaking might have helped the Gillard government explain just how the carbon tax will impact on electricity prices. AAP

Plain speaking on the carbon tax and electricity prices

Confusion continues on how the carbon tax will hit the electricity bills of Australian households. While messages from electricity retailers may be on their way, Gujji Muthuswamy from Monash University’s…
Ross Garnaut: “One can’t avoid the reality that some political leaders have said that they would like to remove carbon pricing.” AAP/Alan Porritt

Australia under a carbon price plan: Q+A with Ross Garnaut

Tomorrow Australia will place a price on carbon. The former climate change adviser to the Federal Government, Ross Garnaut…
Switching off the beer fridge in the garage when you’re not using it could save you as much as you’ll spend on the carbon tax. Keenan Brown

The carbon tax needn’t cost you: easy ways to cut energy costs

If Treasury modelling is right, about half of household carbon cost will be included in energy bills, which are now about 3% of household expenditure. That means the carbon cost on energy adds about 0.3…
Australian researchers are looking for ways to reduce the energy consumption of aluminium smelting. AAP

The trouble with aluminium

The Australian aluminium industry is in the doldrums. A high dollar, low prices and Asian competition are threatening the industry, with older plants in New South Wales and Victoria under threat of closure…
The transport sector was repsonsible for the biggest increase in emissions in the December quarter. AAP/Sergio Dionisio

Australia on track to meet Kyoto Protocol target

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 0.6% year-on-year in the December quarter, despite a drop in electricity…

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