Privatise electricity networks now

The following was published in the AFR this morning.  It compares the relative efficiency of private and public networks.  Not mentioned in the article is evidence that the private networks, as well as paying much lower wages than the government owned systems in NSW and Queensland, use about twice as much labour to perform the service.   

Thirty years ago, at the dawn of the Australian reform era, there was a lively debate about the respective merits of public versus private ownership.  At that stage, conscious of its support from featherbedded unions, Labor argued that it was competition not ownership that was the driver of efficiency. 

Since then, those carrying the flag for public ownership have seen their ranks thinning and they are now confined to the hard left and elements of the populist right.  Hardly anybody now sees a case for retaining public ownership of businesses that compete with the private sector in supplying goods and services. Indeed, it was 20 years ago when even Gough Whitlam supported Bob Hawke’s privatisation of the Commonwealth Bank and Qantas. 

This week’s decision of the Baird Government to start selling NSW’s electricity poles and wires renews the efforts Bob Carr’s Treasurer, Michael Egan, made twenty years ago. 

Locking up public funds in firms that have business rivals makes no sense, especially since the private sector will always prove superior in keeping down costs and seeking out better ways to profitably supply current and new market needs. 

Even so, state owned firms like electricity generators, in competition with private businesses, are forced to emulate their private sector competitors’ cost savings and innovatory measures.  If they don’t, they start losing money.  

These disciplines are totally absent with monopoly businesses, the most important of which are the electricity networks.   Hence,  in many ways the benefits of privatisation are even greater where there is a natural monopoly. 

The relative performances of private and public owned networks can be compared even though no two networks pose identical challenges.   This year, costs of the state-owned distribution businesses in NSW and Queensland mean network prices at around twice those of Victoria’s private distribution businesses. And the situation is deteriorating.   Over the past three years NSW and Queensland costs increased three times as fast as those of Victoria (the private South Australian network also has high costs as it serves a very peaky load and had been run-down).  The following chart illustrates this. 

Electricity distribution costs (cents per kilowatt hour)

electricity distribution costs

In the case of NSW and Queensland, costs are inflated for three main reasons. 

First the government ownership has led to more gold-plating of the systems as ministers, being risk-averse and having little incentive to save costs, have over-reacted to mishaps.  Notwithstanding this, the reliability of those states’ networks is, if anything, rather less than that of Victoria. 

Secondly, because government ownership equates to a relative indifference to costs, workforces become bloated and increasingly over-generous conditions prevail.   Private sector workers in networks earn far less than the $138,000 a year average earned by Sydney/Newcastle distribution business Ausgrid or the $127,000 average country supplier Essential Energy, most of whose workers also have use of a company car.  Private sector management also requires greater workplace flexibility. And private firms would not tolerate the use of their equipment for purposes like the erection of anti-privatisation signs on Ausgrid poles – effectively forcing consumers to finance propaganda that seeks to maintain the high costs government ownership imposes on them. 

Finally, the lack of controls in government businesses means little discipline on spending.  All electricity network businesses, as monopolies, have to obtain agreement from the regulator for a total spending cap.  This dictates the prices that can be set. Having better information about their businesses, the firms will normally persuade the regulator to approve over-generous levels of the spending (and therefore higher prices than are necessary). 

In the case of private sector firms, the owners will seek savings in the regulator-approved capital and operational spending for the benefit of shareholders.  In subsequent regulatory rounds this provides guidance to the regulator who will demand a lower spending cap and lower prices.  There is no such operational management discipline on government firms.  Executives in those firms will spend all that they are allocated and often even more, confident that they will recoup the additional costs in subsequent regulatory rounds.  

The case for privatisation of networks is therefore compelling. 

However, the NSW proposals are rather timid in exempting the scandalously inefficient Essential Energy from privatisation seeking only a 49 per cent private holding for the rest of the network.  With regard to the latter, Mr Baird is hoping that placing 51 per cent with an apolitical future fund will offer buyers sufficient assurances that they can pursue the necessary management reforms. 

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49 Responses to Privatise electricity networks now

  1. .

    The evidence is quite clear. I suspect the across the board rise in prices has something to do with MRET etc?

    I heard of a new dam near Carcoar?

    I thought that was pretty much tapped out. Will it be hydro power?

    Mys suggestion is that the NSW Government allow the Devil’s Grip and Murray Gorge Dams be built for irrigation, recreation, tourism and power generation.

    It ought to be tendered for design and then the rights auctioned off. Privatise from the start.

  2. manalive

    Not mentioned in the article is evidence that the private networks, as well as paying much lower wages than the government owned systems in NSW and Queensland, use about twice as much labour to perform the service …

    The syntax is a bit confusing IMHO.

  3. Ant

    Does privatisation of utilities make their delivery more efficient? Yes. Does it deliver (relatively) cheaper consumer prices? Yes, of course.

    Does it reduce the size of the government and do taxes reduce? Hell, no.

    I’m not that convinced that privatisation of this sort is all that great in the long run. It might make sense for the beancounter economists, but everyone else gets shafted from the other end as the bureaucracy slobbers off in some other capacity regulating, controlling, taxing and strangling private endeavour.

    It’s just that they no longer have to focus on real and tangible service delivery where the responsibility is at the coal face and serious cock-ups are felt immediately and demands for accountability are vocal and compelling and not easy to fob off.

    Instead they’re squirreled away somewhere else with a lot more time to think up stupid stuff without the obligation to actually do anything productive.

    A study of per capita bureacrats in the Victorian state government would be interesting pre and post Kennett.

  4. Joe

    And furthermore, Power POLES/cables are a natural monopoly.
    Who or what is to stop a private owner of electricity delivery from price gouging – there are no natural competitors.

    On the other hand, power GENERATION should be deregulated and entirely in private hands so that the consumer can choose the best price for their power.

  5. Dave Wane

    However, the NSW proposals are rather timid in exempting the scandalously inefficient Essential Energy from privatisation seeking only a 49 per cent private holding for the rest of the network. With regard to the latter, Mr Baird is hoping that placing 51 per cent with an apolitical future fund will offer buyers sufficient assurances that they can pursue the necessary management reforms.

    I agree, Baird is being timid. But he is moving forward. Any serious privatisation of electricity assets would probably remained in Barry O’Farrell’s too-hard-basket indefinitely. The NT Government is also very timid in this regard, moving at slower than snails pace to bring competition to our very bloated, inefficient, state-owned electricity monopoly – known as the PowerWater Corporation.

    Of course, given that very little of the huge damage caused to the NT under the 12 years of the Martin-Henderson Labor government has been properly repaired by the Mills or Giles CLP government, the slow rate of progress on opening the electricity market is hardly surprising.

    The 10,000 extra public servants hired during the Labor years are pretty much still in place at an annual additional cost of at least $1,000,000,000.00, and whilst there has actually been some long overdue privatisation of some government businesses, electricity remains firmly state-owned and very expensive, often prohibitively so for many businesses.

  6. sdfc

    The IPA never saw a private sector monopoly it didn’t like.

  7. Rohan

    First the government ownership has led to more gold-plating of the systems as ministers, being risk-averse and having little incentive to save costs, have over-reacted to mishaps. Notwithstanding this, the reliability of those states’ networks is, if anything, rather less than that of Victoria.

    God I love that term gold-plating. Qld poles are subject to some of the harshest environmental conditions in the country. At ground line the poles in coastal regions are subject to severe fungal decay due to nutrient rich soils, and warm, damp conditions. They are also subject to severe termite activity including the awesome mastotermes darwinius anywhere north of Brisbane.

    To replace a single distribution pole without additional features like transformers, with a brand new naturally durable pressure treated pole, your up for $6-7k. Ok the pole itself is about $1.5-2k, but the cost is in the equipment and crew, as this is usually done live right up to the transfer itself. It’s therefore not done without significant hazard hence the cost. There are over 1 million poles in Qld, probably closer to 2, so we’re not talking small change for the entire distribution and transmission network.

    Life expectancy is about 30 years if it’s an H5 treated class 1 natural durability pole. If you maintain it you can easily double that. The cost of maintenance is small potatoes over the life cycle of the pole. Probably $40 every 4-5 years so roughly $1000-1500 over its life cycle.

    There’s even a national pole committee that deals with the technical aspects of poles maintenance. This committee is made up of the senior management teams of asset managers and engineers from the likes of Ausgrid, Ergon Energy, Western Power and SP Ausnet. I’ve sat on one Pole Committee meeting in Sydney in 2007.

    Yes my costings are back of the envelope stuff, but it highlights the fallacy that someone who doesn’t understand the industry or the science and engineering, is thus coming to a completely ill-informed conclusion that these measures are “gold-plating” the network. They have almost zero technical knowledge on what it takes to maintain a network to prevent a Black Saturday type event.

    The Kilmore fire that day resulted from an insulator tie failing, causing the lines to come to ground causing an arc. This fire jumped the Hume Highway and resulted in the deaths of over 100 people at Kinglake and surrounding areas. But let’s hammer the distribution networks as price gouging as they’re “gold-plating” the network.

  8. .

    sdfc
    #1346032, posted on June 13, 2014 at 7:57 pm
    The IPA never saw a private sector monopoly it didn’t like.

    The evidence is that they work better than government owned ones.

  9. sdfc

    Yeah they are so good they have to be heavily regulated to limit their monopoly power.

  10. Chris M

    Are you nuts? What an absolute disaster this has been in SA. It is just a train wreak and getting worse each year, the worst form of monopoly. The state govt realizes there is no way out now, can’t afford to back out of the contract, can’t afford to carry on paying guaranteed returns retail electricity consumers increasingly bail out.

    Doe the highest electricity price in the world mean nothing to you? You actually believe this has been a triumph of privatisation?

  11. Tel

    Hence,  in many ways the benefits of privatisation are even greater where there is a natural monopoly.

    There’s absolutely nothing natural about our current monopoly in electricity distribution. It was 100% constructed from government fiat and tax money.

    Who or what is to stop a private owner of electricity delivery from price gouging – there are no natural competitors.

    There are no competitors full stop, because competition is absolutely illegal. You can’t even legally throw a cable over your back fence and power your neighbour’s house, you can’t install your own generator, and you can’t enter into collective contracts with your entire street to bulk buy. You certainly can’t cross any roads, footpaths, etc.

    There might well have been natural competitors if each local distribution network had been allowed to set itself up under private ownership from the get go, but that can’t happen now. Even a separate private owner for each city’s infrastructure would allow a little bit of competition (industry can move for example) but I doubt that’s going to happen either.

  12. Tel

    Doe the highest electricity price in the world mean nothing to you? You actually believe this has been a triumph of privatisation?

    I’m inclined to agree that private ownership only works well when there’s a competitive market. The whole idea of private ownership is to have a competitive market.

  13. candy

    Electricity bills in Australia are hideous, given our resource rich environment.
    Someone is taking advantage of consumers but I can’t figure out who.

  14. sdfc

    What natural competition, another set of poles and wires?

  15. Tel

    The evidence is that they work better than government owned ones.

    Not really, Bechtel ran a water monopoly in Bolivia for a little while, until their customers rioted. Nothing natural about that situation either, citizens needed to obtain a permit to collect rainwater, because rainwater might represent competition to the rightful water distribution network. Totally a construction of fiat, and almost certainly a corrupt government that signed up without a second thought about what this would do to people.

    Best way to drive the public towards Socialism is to point to bullshit projects like that and say, “This is free enterprise!”

  16. Tel

    The Kilmore fire that day resulted from an insulator tie failing, causing the lines to come to ground causing an arc. This fire jumped the Hume Highway and resulted in the deaths of over 100 people at Kinglake and surrounding areas.

    Gosh, it’s not like anyone lost their job over it, or get held accountable, calm down already.

    But let’s hammer the distribution networks as price gouging as they’re “gold-plating” the network.

    Dude, I pay 69c per day for what is termed “Service to Property” so multiplying that up by the 30 year lifespan of a pole (based on your own figures) and it comes to $7560 ex-GST. I’d say on average about four families connect to each pole (in my area, higher in the city) so that’s $30240 gross revenue per pole, and I think there’s room in that for a few maintenance visits. If it lasts more than 30 years those guys are doing OK.

    Now, that “Service to Property” still has not purchased any electricity. I know (from AEMO) that the price when it leaves the generator is 5c per kWh and I also know (from my bill) that I’m paying 24c per kWh at my end. That’s a pretty fat markup, and from my research about half of that goes to the government owned and government protected electricity distribution company (I’m talking NSW here). Don’t go crying poor, I can do math.

  17. Tel

    sdfc: would be too much to ask you to engage a braincell, but learning to read a few words is within your capacity.

  18. sdfc

    Who are the natural competitors Tel?

  19. Chris M

    SA Power Networks owned by billionaire Li Ka-Shing makes four times more profit out of us than its UK group

    SA Power Networks makes after-tax profits of $420 a year from each customer

  20. Chris M

    ^ Alan apparently thinks this is good, must own a few shares with Ka-Ching.

  21. wreckage

    can’t afford to carry on paying guaranteed returns

    So some fucking idiot completely bolloxed the privatization?

    Get it done now, and smart, so it isn’t done stupid later.

  22. Infidel Tiger

    South Australia’s power prices are nothing to do with privatisation and everything to do with this:

    http://www.renewablessa.sa.gov.au

    Anyone that thinks government ownership is better than private ownership should take a bath with a toaster.

  23. sdfc

    Well articulated argument as usual IT. Private sector monopolies never abuse their market power.

  24. Tel

    Here, I just did a quick scan around…

    http://www.vanguardngr.com/2012/06/new-electricity-tariff-takes-off-today/

    Middle income consumers would be expected to pay between N11 and N12/Kwh. The highest rate would be paid by consumers living in high brow areas of the country such as Maitama, Asokoro in Abuja, Ikoyi and Banana Island in Lagos. Consumers in these areas grouped as R3 and R4 would pay as much as N23.71/kwh with fixed meter charges of N21,256.30 and N118,830.56 respectively.

    There you go, a recent price rise in Nigeria is pushing up the cost of electricity. Looking at the currency conversion, that means the “middle income” Nigerians pay a hefty 7.8c per kWh, while those wealthy bastards (presumably successful email scammers) pay a whopping 18c per kWh. See where I’m going with this? In Sydney we have:
    * plentiful local coal deposits near the surface.
    * first world engineering, plant control systems, etc.
    * a gas pipeline to Moomba.
    * multiple redundant generation plants using coal, gas, what-have-you.
    * stable political situation.

    In Nigeria they have:
    * third world rathole.
    * much less money spent on education, science, tech, etc.
    * oil supplies.
    * Boko Haram breathing down their necks.
    * Government corrupt as they come.

    So how come Ni-freaking-geria can deliver better infrastructure at a lower cost than New South Wales? Take the highest tariff in Nigeria, add 30% and you get the standard tariff in NSW. What gives here?

    You telling me that Nigeria has no termites?

  25. Tel

    Alan apparently thinks this is good, must own a few shares with Ka-Ching.

    Get Tony Abbott to make him a promise, and see if he can cash that in.

  26. Infidel Tiger

    Well articulated argument as usual IT.

    Thanks, China.

  27. sdfc

    So middle income pay a higher portion of their income per Kwh of power than people in NSW. Good point.

  28. Infidel Tiger

    So middle income pay a higher portion of their income per Kwh of power than people in NSW. Good point.

    Yep. All due to the insane leftist pursuit of renewables. It has fucked this country’s competitive advantage good and proper.

    We could all be rich as Croesus, but instead we wallow in our own filth.

  29. sdfc

    Middle income earners in Nigeria pay the higher portion. You needed to guess what the missing words were.

  30. .

    SA is expensive because of renewables.

    Putting forward privatisation as a reason is a lie.

  31. Tel

    So middle income pay a higher portion of their income per Kwh of power than people in NSW. Good point.

    In essence you are saying that electricity suppliers charge whatever the market will bear… in other words, it has nothing whatsoever to do with costs, and that’s pretty much the problem here.

  32. Tel

    Yep. All due to the insane leftist pursuit of renewables. It has fucked this country’s competitive advantage good and proper.

    Renewables have not helped, they certainly deserve some of the blame but not all the blame. I think something like 5% to 10% of the price of electricity goes into various green schemes, depending on how you count it.

    There was also direct government subsidy of renewables, but I’m paying that through income tax, which still does not explain my large electricity bill. Anyone who can buy at 5 units, and sell at 24 units is making money, renewables just had their hand out for a share of that.

  33. .

    The cost is more than 5%.

    More needs to be spent on infrastructure to cope with the unreliability of such inefficient, counterproductive systems,

  34. Tel

    More needs to be spent on infrastructure to cope with the unreliability of such inefficient, counterproductive systems,

    Very likely true, for suitable definitions of “needs”, but challenging to quantify.

  35. johanna

    SA has drunk the glowbull warming kool-aid more than any other State (except possibly Tasmania), with bad consequences for electricity consumers. They are proud of their wasteful policies:

    South Australia holds nearly half the nation’s wind power capacity (41% at July 2012). The state has approximately 7% of Australia’s population.
    There are 15 wind farms operating across the state with an installed capacity of 1203 Megawatts (MW) of power (as at July 2012).

    And more wind “farms” have come on stream since then – all subsidised by consumers and taxpayers.

    As the linked page shows, they are also mustard for solar panels (also subsidised by consumers), and geothermal and wave projects, courtesy of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money. Because the SA government’s budget is going gangbusters and they can afford to throw it around.

  36. brennan

    I work in the power industry. I know what the awards rates of pay are and what sort of money people actually earn (I look at my payslip every week) and the reports of $127k a year are quite frankly, utter bullshit. I would love to be earning that, but I’m nowhere near it. This part at least is a propaganda campaign designed to soften up the public to selling us off. Personally I am ambivalent to whether they do sell us or not as I’m not sure whether it will be a benefit to me or not, let alone the other people in the state.

    However, one must consider that much of the recent increase in network costs since 2008 or so, is due to a massive increase in infrastructure in new plant and redevelopment of old and unreliable equipment, especially in the northwest and southwest of Sydney to cope with the increases in population in these areas. If it hadn’t been done, we’d be facing a lot of unreliability if supply in these areas now. These improvements should have been done gradually over a long period of time, but they were not. Previous governments have seen the distributors as a cash cow and minimised redevelopment, expansion and maintenance in the network to increase the dividends we paid them.

    Finally, many of us do have vehicles we use to do our jobs, but just like any other tradesman, we need them to ferry ourselves and tools and equipment to job sites to allow us to complete our work. Mine is based at my depot, and has a zero, repeat zero private use component. Some have the ability to take their vehicles home, but there is no private use there either. This happens to allow crews to start directly on site rather than the depot to increase the actual work hours on site. There is little possibility of them being used for private use as they have GPS tracking in them that can’t be turned off, and management has a very strict policy, and sacking would be likely for a breach. Those few that do have take home private use vehicles are managers (not field staff like myself) and are part of an employment contract.

  37. alan moran

    If SA power is getting excessive profits, this is eventually recognised and will be cut back in the next regulator review. Similar evidence of excessive charges is less easy to detect with a government entity gouging the customer as the excessive costs disappear in excessive employment, capital expenditure and so on.

    This is the point about private versus public monopolies: with the former the shareholders are in control and will demand the rents for themselves thus revealing their existence.

  38. Chris M

    The exorbitant distribution charges due to the privatized network in SA are common knowledge and have been for some time – very little can be done about it by the regulator. The situation is getting worse, not better. Clearly if it was a government monopoly the voters (customers) have some say, with private ownership (foreign in this case) and a signed long term contract the customer can do nothing. The latter is the case now, the excessive charges are very much revealed to the customers, I’m not sure what you think they can do about it, buy a diesel generator perhaps?

    Privatization is clearly good, privatization of a monopoly is a proven disaster – and the latter is what the average voter understands.

  39. johanna

    Chris, the “how” of privatisation is just as important as the “what.” Exhibit A – Sydney Airport, one of the worst things the Howard government ever did. But look at Exhibit B – Telstra, which had one competitor worth mentioning, and it was a minnow – Optus. Today, While the big T is still big, it has lost about a quarter of the market, and there are dozens of other players. No reason why that trend won’t continue.

    The US electricity market has always been mostly private, and their juice is much cheaper than ours. There have been some regulatory failures here and there, but given its size and complexity, it works pretty well. So, it is possible.

    Whether it is within the capability of our local brains trust of politicians to deliver it remains to be seen.

  40. Tel

    The US electricity market has always been mostly private, and their juice is much cheaper than ours. There have been some regulatory failures here and there, but given its size and complexity, it works pretty well. So, it is possible.

    Indeed the US system grew up completely differently. First there were many private utilities, then in an organic fashion they amalgamated or made agreements to interconnect their systems. Take for example the “Electric Reliability Council of Texas” which is a not for profit corporation, created by the utilities who are members — it is a coordinating body only, not a profit center. Note that there is no “natural monopoly” at all in the USA, no monopoly at all actually (Enron tried to create one and failed). If Australia had not been so heavily based around government utilities there would similarly be no monopoly here either.

  41. .

    Privatization is clearly good, privatization of a monopoly is a proven disaster – and the latter is what the average voter understands.

    No, the evidence is that government monopolies are worse and SA has expensive power because of renewables.

  42. Tel

    But look at Exhibit B – Telstra, which had one competitor worth mentioning, and it was a minnow – Optus.

    Actually, the original government entity was Telecom Australia (if you remember that far back) which was under the Post Master General. There was no way the government could have just sold off Telecom, it wouldn’t have even made sense because Telecom was deeply part of government. At the time no one at all was allowed to compete with Telecom, and that had been the case since forever in Australia. Today, all communication users have at least a few competing options, and some have many (if you live in a high density area).

    The first thing that had to be done was convert Telecom into Telstra, and then undo all the legal protection that Telecom had enjoyed all those years.

  43. johanna

    Tel, I devoted some of the best years of my life to the privatisation of Telstra, so I certainly do remember. But the electricity utilities in most States (perhaps all) were corporatised years ago. So that is not the impediment.

    You are right in saying that history is our biggest problem. Going from a statutory monopoly – as the telephone service in the Postmaster-General’s Department was – to where we are now was a long and difficult road. But it can be done.

    Unfortunately, botched privatisations like Sydney Airport poison the well. OTOH, the privatisation of Canberra Airport has been very successful indeed. That’s what I mean about the “how” being absolutely critical – and looking at the current crop of State governments, I am not very optimistic about the electricity industry’s chances at present.

  44. Chris M

    Chris, the “how” of privatisation is just as important as the “what.” Exhibit A – Sydney Airport… But look at Exhibit B – Telstra

    Thanks Johanna, that agrees with what I am saying – privatization is wonderful but only in situations where there are competing entities. Having numerous utility providers is essential, what I am talking about is the distribution network which is a monopoly and is the primary (but not sole) driver of the worlds highest electricity prices being found in SA despite what full stop believes.

    OTOH, the privatisation of Canberra Airport has been very successful indeed.

    I’m not sure what criteria you are using – all flying schools have now shut down, all recreational aviation has left and only a small amount of General Aviation remains at Canberra Airport, the locals in these fields have to travel to Goulburn or further. To them this is not a good outcome.

  45. johanna

    I don’t know about the arrangements under which flying schools, recreational flyers etc operated previously. But it is not the function of an airport to provide those services just because it is there. How many of those are that at any other major city airport? Presumably they were not paying their way.

    Canberra airport has been redeveloped from a shack into something we can be proud of – plus, we don’t have to wait on the street in -4C temperatures for a taxi since they built an inside taxi rank. A small thing, but something that the Sydney Airport owners couldn’t care less about. Try waiting for a cab there when it is cold and wet.

    I don’t understand your point about SA. The transmission network has to cope with ever increasing amounts of fluctuating input from wind and solar, something which is already causing headaches in Europe. So, not only are the punters paying subsidies to these stupid projects, they are also paying for the grid to be upgraded to manage them. A brilliant strategy, and one which is starting to make politicians in the UK soften up voters with stuff about the possibility of emergency generators becoming a fact of life.

    Call me suspicious by nature, but I am starting to wonder about your “concerns.”

  46. Chris M

    No need to be suspicious, you forget that I am on your side – I want to privatize as much as possible where it is viable.

    But you need to understand that the power network privatization in SA has been a disaster and this has a good deal to do with why the Liberals have been in the wilderness for more than a decade. When average folk have to pay up to 40c per Kw/hr they don’t reason through the economic rationale behind it like you might, they just know the prices started to rise after privatization thus the outcome is bad and they blame the party that did this.

  47. johanna

    I want to privatize as much as possible where it is viable.

    So why were you whining about flying schools and recreational flyers at Canberra Airport? Are you a local? Somehow, I doubt it.

    The SA government has a track record of stuffing things up. Not just this lot – it has been going on for a long time. And slugging consumers and taxpayers while proudly claiming that they are saving the planet is one of the reasons the joint is permanently broke.

  48. .

    But you need to understand that the power network privatization in SA has been a disaster and this has a good deal to do with why the Liberals have been in the wilderness for more than a decade. When average folk have to pay up to 40c per Kw/hr they don’t reason through the economic rationale behind it like you might, they just know the prices started to rise after privatization thus the outcome is bad and they blame the party that did this.

    Stop lying. The renewables are the sole reason it has gone up so much.

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