Insight: Aug 2

This week Insight looks at the rise in electricity prices – what’s behind it, and is there anything we can do about it?

This week Insight looks at the rise in electricity prices – what’s behind it, and is there anything we can do about it?

It sounds like the subject of our 6:30 shows, but Jennie Brockie examines higher demand, inefficiency and ageing infrastructure and the upcoming carbon tax .

What we can do – both individually and nationally – to save energy and lower costs?

Guests include:

Andrew Reeves, the Australian Energy Regulator. He’s recently announced a review of the rules because he says problems in the system are leading to unnecessary price increases.

George Maltabarow, the Managing Director of Ausgrid – one of the largest electricity networks in Australia. He says one of the main reasons that prices are rising is because consumers are pursuing energy intensive lifestyles. This means networks have to spend large amounts on infrastructure to meet rising demand.

Muriel Watt, Chair of the Australian Photovoltaic Association. She says simple changes to energy regulation, such as the right to a fair price for power which is supplied back to the grid, would make it economic for most households to install solar panels and bring down their bills.

Barry Brook, an environmental scientist based at the University of Adelaide. He says renewable energy will be too expensive and that nuclear energy is the cleanest, cheapest way of meeting Australia’s energy needs whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Matthew Wright, Executive Director of Beyond Zero Emissions, an energy think tank which proposes that Australia convert to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020, and focuses on concentrated solar thermal plants with storage.

Phyllis Batumbil, a traditional owner from Arhhem Land. Mata Mata is one of 120 remote indigenous communities where diesel generators have been replaced with solar panels. Phyllis tells how the Bushlight solar system has incorporated energy efficiency and demand management into their lives, saving money and providing a more reliable power supply.

Chris Dunstan, a research director at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney. Chris says the best way to stop energy price hikes is to invest in energy efficiency and manage demand.

Insight airs on SBS ONE Tuesday at 7.30pm.

3 Responses

  1. @ Mike Retter. Whilst i dislike ads on commercial or any tv for that matter i do realise in SBS’s case they have little to no choice. If they want money to keep the ship afloat then they need to put ads on, simple as that.

  2. I will and try and tune in to this. This episode is going to appeal to a whole nation, especially with the stupid carbon tax. The only way for lower electricity prices is solar power, and other forms of renuable. Electricity prices have been going up since the mid 90s. Anyone who suggests that they have been going up since the new Labour Govt came in to power is an idiot. Its just that now the oposition has actually been able to make it new worthy, where as when labour was in oposition they some how could not. I know people will not want to hear this but we might have to change theway we use electricity and by we i mean everyone poor and rich business and residential and govt buildings, it seems to me like the whole nation has been using electricity like their is no tomorow, i am not saying lets go back to the stone ages (so all you alarmists keep your hats on, that includes you Andrew Bolt) all i am saying is that we have to be smarter about when and how we use electricity, i would think that is common sense, oh wait its not as common as i thought.

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