Our State’s power utilities rely on selling as much power as possible to stay financially viable and be attractive to buyers should the State Government decide to privatise. In terms of reducing CO2 emissions this, unfortunately, is a disaster. I suggest they take their lead from the Water Corporation, who has managed to maintain a constant demand for their product over the last decade despite 25% population growth, by convincing consumers to save water and reduce wastage, whilst the power utilities thrive on growth resulting from excess usage and wastage. In the face of this push to increase energy demand and consequently CO2 emissions, mums and dads bought and installed PV cells to reduce their personal carbon footprint. Has the Government thanked them for assisting the State to reduce our emissions? No, quite the contrary. Today the ABC reports Minister Mike Nahan has announced power charge structure changes to enable Western Power to maintain income as energy demand reduces. This is to be achieved through introduction of an additional supply fee, offset by reduced consumption charges. If introduced this will continue to reward high consumers and penalise frugal ones. I suggest such a scheme is only workable if it includes a tiered pricing scheme so those who squander the global commons with CO2 from power and fossil fuel, pay the price.
I’d like to give some advice to Minister Nahan. “Free up the monopoly the State utilities have on our grids. Thus allowing independent renewable suppliers to sell their product to committed customers, with an appropriate fee for access to the networks.” Then hopes for a Fremantle Wind-farm, Carnegie Wave power and a South Fremantle Solar-farm could become realities. Future plans could include conversion to a smart grid with price triggers to address issues of peak-demand versus base-load.
I will be interested to see what dollar values the Minister chooses when introducing any changes. Until then I hope the State Government can discover the need to reduce our carbon emissions.