Time to make the cost of Energy an election issue.

South Australians pay the most for Electricity in Australia and is amongst the dearest in the world.  This does not have to be and we can do something about it. We have a state election coming up here in South Australia, and this should be the major election issue.

Brief History

1946.  ETSA established by premier Tom Playford by nationalising the Adelaide Electric Supply Company (AESC) in 1946. AES was a private company based in London. See Wikipedia

Energy prices continue a steady decline post war to mid 1990’s and among the cheapest in the world at that time.

Electricity history S.A. collage

1993. Sagasco sold to Boral. The State Bank collapse ensured many government owned institutions would go.

1994.  Australian Federal Government recommends deregulation and privatisation of the energy market.

elictricity prices history excerpt

1998. South Australia joins the National Electricity Market (NEM)

1999. ETSA sold to Hong Kong Electric Holdings.

2000. Torrens Island Power station sold to Texas Utilities (TXU). Electranet lease sold to consortium of Qld, Hong Kong and other businesses.

2001. Renewable target (20%) agreed to by Federal and State governments.

2003. Wind farms start being built in S.A. Do they do any good? Read this if you think so.

2004. Australian governments signed the Australian Energy Market Agreement,  which set out the reform agenda for national governance arrangements, electricity transmission, user participation and gas market developments.

2005. The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is established and eventually takes over the responsibilities of the state based energy regulators.

2007. AGL buys Torrens Island power station

 2008. Solar feed in tariffs introduced in S.A.

2009. AEMO commenced operations.  Revenue comes from generators, retailers, and others  in the energy sector. AEMO’s budgeted net revenue for 2011–12 is $161.9M. Costs  are ultimately passed onto consumers, of course.

2011. Wind Farms now produce more than 20% of S.A.’s electricity and a report on household electricity shows how prices have sky-rocketed. Almost the dearest in the developed world.

electricity price rises Aus 81 to 2011

2012. Electricity prices in other countries.

electricity prices around the world 2012

Which sectors get what from your bill:

AER electricity $ breakdown

Sample of who gets your hard earned cash:

S.A. Power Networks profit 2011/12 = $306 million.

AGL Profit 2012/2013 = $598.3 million (national)

Origin Profit 2012/13 = $760 million (national)

Tru Energy Profit 2011 = 1031.3 million (EBITDAF)

Some of the impacts of high energy costs:

More people dying. A new study by the Adelaide University showed more cold related deaths in South Australia than in Sweden. Sweden?  Really!  Probably nothing to do with people cutting back on expensive energy, would it.

Over 10,000 businesses closed in 12 months. 12% higher than during the GFC with more to come. (Eg. Holdens) due to their lack of viability (costs versus income). Electricity being one of the major cost factors.

25,000 jobs lost in S.A. in the last 12 months.

Electricity defaults increased to 10,000 homes in South Australia in the 2012/13 financial year.

Homelessness increases 8% in 5 years in Australia. As of 2011 there are over 100,000 homeless people in Australia.

How about just the fact that we  have less money to spend in our local economy.

Add to the list in comments. Love to see more.

Ultimately I would rather see electricity re-nationalised and remain so, as a basic human need.  As water should be also for that matter. (It is currently being considered for sale as well). But even if this is un-realistic at this stage, our governments can help to reduce the cost. They have got the power to change the status quo if they choose too. Please help them make that decision. Write your local member now.