Give us the full electricity story

I HAVE been listening to Radio National’s background briefing on “The price of power”, watching Four Corners “Power to the people” and reading newspaper and online reports on why our electricity bills have virtually doubled in a few years and why we aren’t investing in renewable energy.
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It seems we have all been conned.

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, blames the carbon tax and the renewable energy target for driving up energy bills.

The Coalition’s insistence the big bad carbon tax would drive electricity prices up had us thinking about ways to save on energy.

But the reason for soaring costs is the $45billion spent on poles and wires.

Predicted demand for electricity use has not materialised and, as a result, an over-investment in infrastructure has been charged to us, the consumers.

The investment was justified by the network companies which showed that energy demand was going to increase dramatically.

In 2009, just as the spending began, the demand in energy went down, thanks to solar panels and fear of carbon tax. And it has continued to fall ever since.

Australia Bureau of Statistic figures show the electricity industry’s profits rose 67per cent from 2007-08 to 2010-11.

In this same period, electricity bills rose 40per cent.

There is no rational economic reason for consumers to be paying the sort of money we are for electricity.

It is the same old story — another public-owned company setting themselves up for privatisation.

Shouldn’t voters have a say in these “short-term gain” decisions?

It is in these companies’ interests to mislead the media, to convince investors the industry’s profits are safe, even if the demand for electricity is decreasing.

The public is finding it more and more difficult to afford this basic necessity.

Let’s shine a light on the dark reality that is the nation’s electricity industry.

If we don’t, we could, literally, be left out in the cold — and the dark.

— KATE BRADEN,

Lavington

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