Australia: $11 billion for energy infrastructure that is rarely used
$11B Spent On Electricity Infrastructure Used Only 4 Days A Year http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3400 by Energy Matters, 27 Sept 12, A survey carried out by consumer group Choice shows electricity price rises are one of the biggest concerns of Australian households.
Massive power rises have occurred throughout Australia in recent years, but in New South Wales the hikes have hit particularly hard. “Since 2007, the average NSW household’s electricity bill has more than doubled to around $2,200, and the main driver of that – over $650 a year – is the multi-billion dollar price tag of electricity poles and wires,” says Choice head of campaigns, Matt Levey.
Choice states $11 billion has been spent on energy infrastructure that is only used four days out of every year. The issue was also mentioned in August by Prime Minister Julia Gillard who raised the issue of “gold-plating” of infrastructure and said the situation “was like building a ten lane freeway – but with two lanes that are only used or needed for one long weekend.”
Choice appears to agree.
“This is clearly a broken system, and our governments need to cooperate and ensure we never see these sorts of cost increases again,” Mr Levey says.
Some of Choice’s recommendations to Government for reining in electricity price rises can be viewed here. While the revelations of inefficiencies and “gold-plating” within Australia’s electricity generation and distribution sector provides vindication for the solar industry, which was often and incorrectly used as a whipping boy in relation to electricity price rises; this is no comfort to families buckling under the strain of rapidly increasing electricity bills.
If and when the Government takes real action remains to be seen; but in the interim Australian households can empower themselves by becoming more energy efficient and turning their rooftops into their own power stations byinstalling solar panels.
According to national solar solutions provider Energy Matters, even an entry level 1.5kW system can contribute significantly to electricity bill savings and for the average household, a 5kW system can often wipe out bills altogether. Energy Matters offers an instant online solar quotes tool where people can select from a variety of systems and view information on the related financial benefits of each configuration.
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