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Up, up, up go the power prices

By johnboy 20 June 2011 33

electricity

The Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission has not yet bestirred itself to update its website, but the ABC informs us they’ve approved a 6.4% rise in the price of electricity for the coming financial year.

Acting senior commissioner Malcolm Gray says the main reason for the rise is the Federal Government’s increased renewable energy target (RET).

He says that accounts for 5 per cent of the 6.4 per cent increase.

Enjoy.

UPDATE: Simon Corbell has announced his pleasure that things aren’t as bad as in NSW.

“The decision by the ICRC to only increase electricity prices by 6.4% is very modest compared to a 17% increase in NSW and leaves ACT energy prices well below those across the border in Queanbeyan where consumers pay up to $1000 more per year for electricity,” Mr Corbell said.

The price increase will mean approximately a $1.65 increase to the average electricity bill per week, or $85 per year.

“The ACT Government is working hard to protect low income Canberra households from the rising cost of utilities.”

“The Government has recently announced increases to the energy rebate for low income households in Canberra which would see an extra concession payment of $131 dollars per year, taking the total utilities concession to $346.20 per annum,” Mr Corbell said.

FURTHER UPDATE: Here’s the ICRC media release:

The primary driver for the increase in electricity prices in the ACT is the enhanced Federal Government Renewable Energy Target (RET) which accounts for 5% out of the 6.4% increase. Network costs have risen as well, but the wholesale cost of electricity has fallen under the Commission’s methodology for determining the wholesale price of electricity,’ Mr Gray said.

According to the Acting Senior Commissioner, the Commission estimates that under the new tariffs, electricity costs for a typical residential customer will rise from $1,332 to $1,418 a year, or around $1.65 a week.

UPDATE 3: The full report is now online.

What’s Your opinion?


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Up, up, up go the power prices
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qbngeek 4:46 pm 21 Jun 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Mysteryman said :

Interesting. When I asked the question originally I wasn’t really concerned about the environmental impact.

There’s a surprise.

Nothing wrong with that. I awas initially also not hugely concerned about how good it is for the environment and it is more to allow us to become self sufficient and so that in 15 years time I can look at the people with massive power bills and laugh.

On the idea of the damage done by the batteries and solar panels, it is debatable whether this is worse than coal power generation. Let’s just say it is much cleaner than the manufacturing of a Toyota Prius and all the greenies love those. They do a lot more damage than an economical diesel of the equivalent size and the Prius’ fuel consumption in the real world is pretty average (I had one for work and it was slow, felt badly built and used more fuel than expected)

Mysteryman said :

Interesting. When I asked the question originally I wasn’t really concerned about the environmental impact.

There’s a surprise.

Mysteryman 3:03 pm 21 Jun 11

Gungahlin Al said :

qbngeek said :

And on the cost of batteries. We will have a 5000amp/hr battery bank which is going to be $6k of the cost of the system. We went that big because we run gaming consoles and desktops however we switch everything off at the wall if it is not in use. The batteries have a 10 year warranty as long as we get them serviced once a year. The price of a service is locked in for the 10 years at $190 a service.

If you went with GEL or AGM batteries (which I have in the camper trailer) the battery costs start to skyrocket. However they are sealed batteries and are spill proof. They can even be mounted sideways or upside down which is why we used them in the camper.

There really is little point is going off the grid in a suburban situation – some could argue that it is actually increasing your environmental impact.

If you have PV or other generation capability, there is the disjunct between when you need power and when you are generating it. so you need batteries. Batteries have a large embedded impact. Then there is around 30% loss of generation getting energy stored in them and another 30% loss getting the energy back out. With or without a FIT, you are doing a better thing environmentally by pumping it into the grid.

Interesting. When I asked the question originally I wasn’t really concerned about the environmental impact.

54-11 2:49 pm 21 Jun 11

Erg0 said :

If a typical household customer was paying $1332 a year, then apparently I need to examine my energy usage – I’m paying more than that in a two-person household with gas hot water and no air conditioning. I can only imagine what it’s going to cost once I get the meth lab hooked up!

I think you need to separate out the actual cost of electricity from the total power bill. Our bills of around $1300pa for usage has about 35% additional “supply charges”, which makes a very big difference.

Thoroughly Smashed 11:48 am 21 Jun 11

Erg0 said :

If a typical household customer was paying $1332 a year, then apparently I need to examine my energy usage – I’m paying more than that in a two-person household with gas hot water and no air conditioning. I can only imagine what it’s going to cost once I get the meth lab hooked up!

I suppose you should be thankful that you didn’t decide to start growing hydro.

Mysteryman 10:28 am 21 Jun 11

arescarti42 said :

Mysteryman said :

How feasible would it be to install a load of solar panels and just have yourself disconnected from the grid? I supposed you’d need a method of storing electricity for days when the panels don’t generate as much electricity…. ?

It can be done, but you need an awful lot of batteries, which are generally very expensive and need to be replaced probably every 10 years or so.

I’m not sure why you’d want to do that if you have a grid connection, that sort of system is generally only used where a grid connection is not an option (i.e. due to isolation).

I’d want to be off the grid so that I don’t have to pay companies to provide me with something that I can get myself.

Gungahlin Al 10:20 am 21 Jun 11

qbngeek said :

And on the cost of batteries. We will have a 5000amp/hr battery bank which is going to be $6k of the cost of the system. We went that big because we run gaming consoles and desktops however we switch everything off at the wall if it is not in use. The batteries have a 10 year warranty as long as we get them serviced once a year. The price of a service is locked in for the 10 years at $190 a service.

If you went with GEL or AGM batteries (which I have in the camper trailer) the battery costs start to skyrocket. However they are sealed batteries and are spill proof. They can even be mounted sideways or upside down which is why we used them in the camper.

There really is little point is going off the grid in a suburban situation – some could argue that it is actually increasing your environmental impact.

If you have PV or other generation capability, there is the disjunct between when you need power and when you are generating it. so you need batteries. Batteries have a large embedded impact. Then there is around 30% loss of generation getting energy stored in them and another 30% loss getting the energy back out. With or without a FIT, you are doing a better thing environmentally by pumping it into the grid.

dungfungus 9:21 am 21 Jun 11

The cost of the “renewables subsidy” is yet to be applied. Also, I am sure ActewAGL will find some other lost cause to waste our money on like TransACT II or sponsoring an A League soccer team.

qbngeek 8:58 am 21 Jun 11

eily said :

Holden Caulfield said :

qbngeek said :

…In addition to this we will have 3 water tanks, two slimline ones beside the house and one under the front part of the house. These will be used for bathrooms, laundry and outside. The mains water will run to the kitchen and there will be an over-ride to use mains water for the whole house should the tanks run dry.

If people want to actually do something for the environment, they would consider these options instead of just going for the ones that give them a subsidy.

IIRC you can only use rainwater for toilets and washing machines (ie. you can’t plumb it to your showers or use it as drinking water).

However, if you do connect your tank to flush your dunnies you can get a subsidy.

But there is a catch. If you connect a tank to a toilet you still have to connect to the mains water in case the tank runs dry. And because you’re connected to mains you have to follow water restrictions (when in force) even with the water out of the tank. So you can’t use that water to water the garden.
Rather defeats the main reason many people get a tank.

I will have to check on this one. We were given advice that we could do it, we are also in NSW so it might be different. I don’t see why you would need to, my dad lives on a farm with just tank water and they manage. Why should we be different?

And on the cost of batteries. We will have a 5000amp/hr battery bank which is going to be $6k of the cost of the system. We went that big because we run gaming consoles and desktops however we switch everything off at the wall if it is not in use. The batteries have a 10 year warranty as long as we get them serviced once a year. The price of a service is locked in for the 10 years at $190 a service.

If you went with GEL or AGM batteries (which I have in the camper trailer) the battery costs start to skyrocket. However they are sealed batteries and are spill proof. They can even be mounted sideways or upside down which is why we used them in the camper.

Chop71 9:56 pm 20 Jun 11

I actually think this is ACTEWs way of softening us up for the massive increase in water prices that are coming. Go easy on electricity (for now) and wham

Gungahlin Al 9:27 pm 20 Jun 11

Interesting complaint by the regulator about energy companies in other states “gold plating” their charges:
http://www.petermartin.com.au/2011/06/you-rigged-da-what-why-electricity.html

Gungahlin Al 9:24 pm 20 Jun 11

eily said :

Holden Caulfield said :

qbngeek said :

…In addition to this we will have 3 water tanks, two slimline ones beside the house and one under the front part of the house. These will be used for bathrooms, laundry and outside. The mains water will run to the kitchen and there will be an over-ride to use mains water for the whole house should the tanks run dry.

If people want to actually do something for the environment, they would consider these options instead of just going for the ones that give them a subsidy.

IIRC you can only use rainwater for toilets and washing machines (ie. you can’t plumb it to your showers or use it as drinking water).

However, if you do connect your tank to flush your dunnies you can get a subsidy.

But there is a catch. If you connect a tank to a toilet you still have to connect to the mains water in case the tank runs dry. And because you’re connected to mains you have to follow water restrictions (when in force) even with the water out of the tank. So you can’t use that water to water the garden.
Rather defeats the main reason many people get a tank.

Yeah I don’t think you are right there. You are required to have a water switch to kick over to town water if the tank runs out but it is not correct to say water restrictions apply to your tank water. The switch alerts you when it charges and at that point you modify your usage to fit the restrictions.

I had an ACTEW staffer reported me for watering in new plants when establishing the garden. They came took a sample of the water out of the taps and found it wasnt town water. End of complaint.

astrojax 9:10 pm 20 Jun 11

what we need to do is harvest the excess mice in the plague-hit northern nsw region and have them run in wheels hooked up to the actew grid and sit back and sip mojitos…

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