Electricity prices

Ed, The high and rising cost of electricity is of concern to us all. I believe the sole cause of this impost lies in the hands of our Liberal/National State Government. Yet despite the continued indications of concern, talk fests and advice to shop around no real action has been taken by them to address the situation. Some of us may remember when there were no “Retailers” in the industry; the electricity charges were reasonable and affordable. It was a Government decision to disband County Councils and engage private enterprises to “Retail” electricity to consumers. These companies must operate at a profit to pay their costs and also pay hundreds of shareholders. Remember when private enterprise takes over two things happen:- 1. The cost goes up and 2. The services go down There is little doubt that most significant cost incurred to consumers is the “supply charge” which is very carefully itemised in our accounts. I recently spend some time to tally up the total of supply charges on a recent account. To my dismay I found this charge was 25% of the bill. I would also indicate to you that any discount you may have negotiated does not apply to the supply charge component of your account. The supply charges collected are not held by your retailer but forwarded back to the State Government to pay Essential Energy to service breakdowns in the network. That is 25% of all bills collected in NSW is raised for this service. Could you possibly imagine that this enormous sum of money is used for this purpose only? You would no doubt recall that Essential Energy recently retrenched 1200 staff, again reducing their costs significantly. Our Government often indicates its interest in reducing greenhouse gases by promoting the production of green energy. It is of interest to know that the rate being paid to consumers who produce and return power to the grid is 6 cents per Kwh. This is of course being on sold to you at the rate of 24.20 cents per Kwh. There is no encouragement for any person to install solar for this petty return. The bottom line is that we are being ripped off by our State Government at every turn. That is unacceptable and bad enough, but we should not also put up with our politicians pretending that they are concerned with the situation they have created for consumers. Norm Ratjens, Yamba