The price of power
THE national boss of Coles said this week that some customers were forgoing fresh food and meat in order to be able to their bills, especially the skyrocketing cost of electricity. the politicians, he said, “still had some way to go” before they understand the extent and depth of this problem.
He warned that it could feed into a rising tide of populism in this country as there has been elsewhere in much of the developed world.
High power prices are boosting poverty in this country, and helping to send some of the business class broke.
Also having a bit to say about politicians and power prices this week was Rod Sims, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. He urged the break-up of Queensland’s state-owned power generators, which would benefit consumers.
Sims said the power generators had been “gaming” the system by various means.
The Premier rejected Sims’ claims and said the government had moved to control the generators and achieve a much lower wholesale price of electricity.
The finger pointing in the power game is endless.
The states who still own the grids and generators blame the lack of policy certainty over renewable energy at the federal level.
Sims and others have pointed to the “gold plated” poles and wires networks owned by the likes of Queensland, which underpin higher prices and therefore the returns to “revenue addicted” governments. Of course, fat treasuries enable governments to look good come election time.
The thought that political parties have been expoiting power prices to inflate government revenue, when it suits them, is maddening. A cynical use of power.