Electricity prices

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South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago is the third since the bank adopted a more transparent way of operating. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Clearing up the mystique of central banking

The South African Reserve Bank is a fine example of clear communication of the decision whether to hold, increase, or decrease interest rates. It also gives clear signals of future decisions.
Electricity privatisation has delivered big nest eggs for various state governments – but the NSW government’s $A13 billion privatisation price tag risks being undermined by an election pledge and the recent UBS controversy. Dmitry Melnikov from www.shutterstock.com

Electricity privatisation: has the NSW golden goose been plucked?

Electricity privatisations have been like golden geese, providing A$37 billion to Australian state governments since 1992. But the price for NSW's privatisation risks being undercut by two key events.
There are many misleading claims about what happens after electricity privatisation – including the impact on prices and on jobs. Paul Miller/AAP

Myths, not facts, muddy the electricity privatisation debate

Both sides of the electricity privatisation debate are guilty of cherry-picking so-called "facts" to suit their campaigns, rather than presenting the real story to voters.
Rising gas prices, driven by the development of Queensland’s exports, could end up driving domestic customers away. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

A crash in gas use is more likely than the forecast ‘shortage’

Gas developers have been ominously warning of impending gas shortages in New South Wales, with official forecasts from planning authorities pointing to steady or rising demand. Yet our analysis suggests…
Motorists in the United States and elsewhere have been treated to low prices. Whether they will bounce back is another question. EPA/CJ Gunther/AAP

Energy firms are waging a price war they might be unable to win

Late in 2014, we saw iron ore and coal prices fall. Now we are seeing oil prices tumble, dipping to less than US$50 a barrel, half the price of a year ago. In all cases, these price collapses reflect the…
Falling demand and prices are leaving no incentive to invest in Australia’s electricity sector.  Indigo Skies Photography /Flickr

Why Australia’s entire power sector should support the RET

There’s been much talk about how uncertainty over the future of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) is affecting the renewable energy industry. Investment in renewable energy is at its lowest level since…
Should you be paying for big energy users? Bill image from www.shutterstock.com

RET changes may leave households to foot the bill

The federal government has now achieved passage of its Direct Action plan through the Senate. Some wheeling and dealing with the cross-benches was required of course – but while the government may oppose…
While Australians love Michael Leunig’s whimsical ducks, there’s another ‘duck’ pushing your power bills higher. Used with permission from Michael Leunig

Slash Australians’ power bills by beheading a duck at night

Rooftop solar power has slashed Australians' demand for electricity during the day, but left evening peak power demand largely unchanged. That’s why, as strange as it may sound, we now need to behead a…
Cooling towers at Yallourn, one of Victoria’s major brown coal power generators. Flickr/ccdoh1

Is $15 a year really too much to pay for renewable energy?

Australia’s Renewable Energy Target looks likely to be weakened or even axed, with the Prime Minister saying the scheme needs to be reviewed because it is causing “pretty significant price pressure”. But…
From Australia to the world. Rising LNG exports threaten domestic industry and climate action. Flickr/kenhodge13

Australia needs gas reservation to protect industries and climate

What is the future of Australia’s gas reserves? While it might be good news for the gas industry, increasing international demand could see gas prices in Australia rise, driving up the cost of electricity…
Workers assemble air conditioners at a factory in China earlier this year. EPA/SHEPHERD ZHOU CHINA OUT

Australia’s rising air con use makes us hot and bothered

With temperatures starting to climb, it’s time to think about how we will stay cool this summer. The stakes are getting higher when it comes to hot weather. As the Australian Medical Association has warned…
Restructuring the market is harder than it looks. David Cheskin/PA

Ofgem faces select committee, but market reform still lags

With high energy prices all anyone can talk about this winter, Ofgem’s interim chief Andrew Wright appeared before MPs today to defend the regulator’s performance. Predictably, he was met with some hostile…
Would you buy a used energy market from these people? PA

Three visions for reforming the electricity market

The impending third reading of the Energy Bill in the UK’s House of Lords marks the final stage of a long and intensive review process for legislation designed to overhaul the UK’s energy market. The question…
Community activists in Boulder, Colorado rally outside Xcel Energy’s Valmont coal plant. Flickr: 350.org

What Australia could learn from a US energy uprising

Around the world, people concerned about global warming and wary of higher energy costs are turning away from big power distributors in favour of local and “distributed” energy technologies and services…
How much will getting rid of the carbon price save households? AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Axing the carbon tax: saving households, costing climate

With the government introducing legislation to repeal the carbon price today, people might be wondering how much they will benefit from reduced cost of living. The government has continued to claim that…
Who’ll switch on to time-of-use tariffs now we have the choice? 55Laney69/Flickr

Choosing the power price you pay: voluntary time-of-use tariffs

In Victoria, households now have the option to take up time of use tariffs - if they do, they’ll pay more for electricity during peak times, and less off-peak. Taking up the tariffs will be voluntary and…

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