01.Energy demand and prices need to be addressed
The situation we have now
With Australians being hit with higher energy costs, CHOICE is calling on the Federal Government to create a national energy savings initiative, designed to ensure it results in savings for households.
In NSW alone, consumers have experienced a 17.3% increase in the regulated tariff from 1 July 2011. Consumers in regional Australia have also experienced sharp rises in energy costs. A large proportion of these increases have been due to increasing network costs, namely the poles and wires that get the electricity to your home.
‘With energy being an essential service, we need to address the trend towards increasing energy costs. Networks are being built to meet high levels of demand for only a few days of the year, with the costs of building these networks needing to be met through increased electricity costs” says CHOICE’s Head of Campaigns, Matt Levey.
CHOICE believes that it is not currently in the best interests of energy companies to see consumers use less energy. The solution lies in making lower energy demand something that energy providers and consumers will find beneficial.
What CHOICE is doing
CHOICE is partnering with the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) to host a one day conference in Canberra on Monday 13 September. Energy at Home: Current Issues for Consumers will address energy issues affecting residential customers.
“The conference is about solutions. We’ll hear from people with expertise in the energy sector about the forces affecting retail energy bills, other developments in the market and what can be done about higher energy consumption and bills,” says Mr Levey.
Speakers at the Energy at Home conference include:
• Paul Simshauser, Chief Economist and Group Head of Corporate Affairs, AGL Energy
• Matt Levey, Head of Campaigns, CHOICE
• Clare Petre, Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW
• Tony Westmore, Senior Policy Advisor, ACOSS
• Lauren Solomon, Policy Manager, Clean Energy Council
• Tony Wood, Program Director Energy, Grattan Institute
• Rod Sims, Chairman, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
• Chris Dunstan, Research Director, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney
• Iain MacGill, Joint Director, Centre for Environment & Energy Markets, University of New South Wales
• John Pierce, Chairman, Australian Energy Market Commission
CHOICE will have more information about the outcomes of the conference but you can also register to attend if you’re going to be in Canberra on Tuesday 13 September. CHOICE members and non-members can attend at the 'not-for-profit rate'. To register, visit https://register.eventarc.com/event/view/4953/tickets/energy-at-home-current-issues-for-consumers
How CHOICE can help you with your energy use and bills
You can find out more from CHOICE about useful tips for lowering your energy use and costs.