Time for an Australian Power Users Association?

Why would we want to have another organisation involved in the power game, there are already four well staffed agencies and one of them, Energy Consumers Australia is committed to promoting the long-term interests of Australian residential and small business energy consumers. It says so on the website so it must be true.

Has anyone seen or heard anything from this organization in recent times while power prices doubled? That is just for ordinary people, what about the plight of the baker who Judith Sloan met in Queensland.

He was looking at his latest ­financial statement. His annual power bill last financial year was $114,000. It had been a tad over $30,000 two years before.

He employs 30 people, some on a part-time basis. Business seemed to be brisk but it’s hard to put up the price of pies and buns too much without demand dropping.

It’s easy to concentrate on the impact of rising electricity prices on households. In real terms, the ­average retail price of electricity over the 10 years ending in 2017-18 rose by 51 per cent and the average retail bill rose by 35 per cent (people have used less electricity, in part because of the higher prices).

But for many small and med­ium-sized businesses, the increase in their electricity bills has been higher again. Many are exposed to the full variations in wholesale ­prices, which have risen from less than $40 a megawatt hour to more than $100/MWh before settling around the $70 to $80/MWh mark. This threatens the viability of a number of businesses.

You don’t need a Harvard MBA to see that increasing an essential input to a bakery by a factor of four is not a sustainable trend but what is going to stop it? What does Energy Consumers Australia think about this?

The CEO was on ABC Q&A on sustainable energy a year or so ago and it was an RE love-in. I don’t recall any concerns about the root cause of the price problem but there was a suggestion to improve the energy efficiency of public housing.

Under the circumstances there seems to be a gap in the market for an organisation that is concerned about the root cause and makes a case for something more than bandaids for consumers who are metaphorically bleeding to death.

I was about to declare myself the founding member of this association but prudently did a search to be sure that someone else has not got there first. And they have, the rotters! They are not only well established, they have been very effective. It says so on their very professional website.

The Energy Users’ Association of Australia plays a critical role in helping companies navigate uncertainty in energy markets, participate in driving changes in market rules and the way the network is managed, to ensure better outcomes and reduced costs for energy users.

Through our efforts, we have contributed to saving our members millions of dollars on their energy bills.

Millions of dollars in savings! I wonder what they are doing to help Judith’s baker?

Who are the stalwart citizens who comprise the membership of this public spirited and philanthropic organisation? Check them out. Not a good look to find AEMO among them. Others can offer opinions on the others.

And there is more. The more you look, the more you find! The Energy Council of Australia is certainly not on board with our program!

Maybe there is still room for some competition in that market!

And in case the price of power is not scary enough be warned about the impending plague of rats and other horrors flagged by Jo Nova.

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9 Responses to Time for an Australian Power Users Association?

  1. Craig Mc

    How do you prevent the usual virtue-signalling twats infiltrating and taking it over like every other peak industry association?

  2. Hay Stockard

    Stop the subsidies to the Green lie. Job jobbed.

  3. Rafe Champion

    It will have to be an organisation that exists in Spirit without formal membership.

    Wherever two or more who care about power prices are gathered, the Spirit will be present.

  4. RobK

    Wherever two or more who care about power prices are gathered, the Spirit will be present.
    Hemmed in only by the CO2 conjecture.

  5. Crossie

    The CEO was on ABC Q&A on sustainable energy a year or so ago and it was an RE love-in. I don’t recall any concerns about the root cause of the price problem but there was a suggestion to improve the energy efficiency of public housing.

    Improve energy efficiency of public housing? Always someone else to suffer the consequences and usually the poor people. In the end all that efficiency would force the residents to buy fan heaters which totally defeats the purpose.

    Why don’t bright people take the lead and get rid of their own heaters and air conditioners, wash their own dishes and clothes by hand?

  6. Ben

    You could try this facebook group, beware the rules…!

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/NEMWatch/about/

    Guidance and Rules:
    – Please stick to the objectives of the group, to discuss the NEM and transition of the NEM to renewables
    – Please introduce links/articles by why you think it is interesting and why the group may think it is interesting
    – We don’t want to get dragged down into debates about Climate Change denial. This is not what the purpose of the group is. You will be warned then banned for challenging climate science
    We don’t want this to be a Nuclear Energy discussion group. We will allow 1 post per week, others will be deleted. You can always post a new article or thought in the comment of previous posts.
    – Personal abuse will not be tolerated and comments deleted and arbitrators banned

  7. How are we so useless at messaging? The left spew their lies and propaganda globally for decades and we’re still rubbing our chins about how to tell a story about a Queensland baker and his power bill, which appeals to absolutely nobody except those that buy his bread and his employees. People CANNOT relate to that, they are not bakers and are more concerned with how they will pay their bill.

    In 2008 a Big Mac cost $3.45, 10 years later it’s $5.85, an increase of 70%, about 4 times inflation.
    Similar stories about coffee, beer, cigs, bottle of coke and then you will have people’s attention and then they will understand why they can’t afford their bills and why their teenage son lost his job at the bakery or Maccas and why this whole thing is a hell of a lot bigger than just their quarterly power bills.

    Fucking hell we are SO HOPELESS AT THIS.

  8. Dr Fred Lenin

    Down to voting thats the solution. Vote against every sitting member no matter what party ,and subsequent elections do the same thing destroy politics as a career ,you might lose the politician who is genuine but its cheap at that price . They will say we will lose able people ,name one ? ,that the country will decay. Whats happening now ? Tgat the majority are not fit to rule themselves and they are ?
    ,the parliaments will be full of inexperienced people ,when was it full of capable people ?
    Its a win win situation. Also introduce uncertainty of employment to the public service bring them to equality with the real workers ,watch things improve dramatically .

  9. RobK

    I stumbled upon this paper in a comment at wattclarity.
    The paper is written by engineers and published by Elsevier.
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/315745952_Burden_of_proof_A_comprehensive_review_of_the_feasibility_of_100_renewable-electricity_systems#pfb
    The abstract and conclusion of the pdf is as follows:

    Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems B.P. Hearda,⁎, B.W. Brookb, T.M.L. Wigleya,c, C.J.A. Bradshawd a University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia b University of Tasmania, Private Bag 55, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia c National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80301, USA d Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, South Australia 5001, Australia
    ABSTRACT Keywords: Renewables Wind power Solar power Transmission Ancillary services Reliability
    An effective response to climate change demands rapid replacement of fossil carbon energy sources. This must occur concurrently with an ongoing rise in total global energy consumption. While many modelled scenarios have been published claiming to show that a 100% renewable electricity system is achievable, there is no empirical or historical evidence that demonstrates that such systems are in fact feasible. Of the studies published to date, 24 have forecast regional, national or global energy requirements at sufficient detail to be considered potentially credible. We critically review these studies using four novel feasibility criteria for reliable electricity systems needed to meet electricity demand this century. These criteria are: (1) consistency with mainstream energy-demand forecasts; (2) simulating supply to meet demand reliably at hourly, half-hourly, and f ive-minute timescales, with resilience to extreme climate events; (3) identifying necessary transmission and distribution requirements; and (4) maintaining the provision of essential ancillary services. Evaluated against these objective criteria, none of the 24 studies provides convincing evidence that these basic feasibility criteria can be met. Of a maximum possible unweighted feasibility score of seven, the highest score for any one study was four. Eight of 24 scenarios (33%) provided no form of system simulation. Twelve (50%) relied on unrealistic forecasts of energy demand. While four studies (17%; all regional) articulated transmission requirements, only two scenarios—drawn from the same study—addressed ancillary-service requirements. In addition to feasibility issues, the heavy reliance on exploitation of hydroelectricity and biomass raises concerns regarding environmental sustainability and social justice. Strong empirical evidence of feasibility must be demonstrated for any study that attempts to construct or model a low-carbon energy future based on any combination of low-carbon technology. On the basis of this review, efforts to date seem to have substantially underestimated the challenge and delayed the identification and implementation of effective and comprehensive decarbonization pathways.
    6. Conclusions Our assessment of studies proposing 100% renewable-electricity systems reveals that in all individual cases and across the aggregated evidence, the case for feasibility is inadequate for the formation of responsible policy directed at responding to climate change. Addressing the identified gaps will likely yield improved technologies and market structures that facilitate greater uptake of renewable energy, but they might also show even more strongly that a broader mix of non-fossil energy technologies is necessary. To date, efforts to assess the viability of 100% renewable systems, taking into account aspects such as financial cost, social acceptance, pace of roll-out, land use, and materials consumption, have substantially underestimated the challenge of excising fossil fuels from our energy supplies. This desire to push the 100%-renewable ideal without critical evaluation has
    ironically delayed the identification and implementation of effective and comprehensive decarbonization pathways. We argue that the early exclusion of other forms of technology from plans to decarbonize the global electricity supply is unsupportable, and arguably reckless. For the developing world, important progress in human development would be threatened under scenarios applying unrealistic assumptions regarding the scale of energy demand, assumptions that lack historical precedent and fall outside all mainstream forecasts. Other outcomes in sustainability, social justice and social cohesion will also be threatened by pursuing maximal exploitation of high-impact sources like hydro-electricity and biomass, plus expanded transmission networks. The unsubstantiated premise that renewable energy systems alone can solve challenge of climate change risks a repeat of the failure of decades past. The climate change problem is so severe that we cannot afford to eliminate a priori any carbon-free technologies. Our sobering results show that a 100% renewable electricity supply would, at the very least, demand a reinvention of the entire electricity supply-and-demand system to enable renewable supplies to approach the reliability of current systems. This would move humanity away from known, understood and operationally successful systems into uncertain futures with many dependencies for success and unanswered challenges in basic feasibility. Uniting the alleviation of poverty with a successful climate-change response in our energy and electricity systems should be an international goal. This is likely to require revolutionary changes in the way we grow food, manage land, occupy homes and buildings, demand electricity, and otherwise live our lives. Such changes will require more, not less energy. It would be irresponsible to restrict our options to renewable energy technologies alone. The reality is that 100% renewable electricity systems do not satisfy many of the characteristics of an urgent response to climate change: highest certainty and lowest risk-of-failure pathways, safeguarding human development outcomes, having the potential for high consensus and low resistance, and giving the most benefit at the lowest cost. A change in approach by both researchers and policy makers is therefore required. It behooves all governments and institutions to seek optimized blends of all available low-carbon technologies, with each technology rationally exploited for its respective strengths to pursue clean, low-carbon electricity-generation systems that are scalable to the demands of 10 billion people or more. Only by doing so can we hope to break the energy paradox of the last twenty years and permit human development to continue apace while rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation and other demands for energy. Anything less is an abrogation of our responsibilities to both the present and the future.

    I have similar views on 100% RE but dont give AGW as much credit. In anycase the experiment is going much too fast.

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