Australians are paying too much for power. Since 2006 the average household power bill has risen 85 per cent: from $890 to $1660 a year. The prices we pay are also unfair: some people are paying too much, others too little. Electricity networks transport power from generators to our homes and businesses. Like freeways, they are built at a size to keep electricity moving at times of maximum demand - peak hour, in other words. Yet, the price we pay to use networks is the same whatever the time of day or season. It provides little incentive for us to use the network efficiently or for network companies to invest efficiently, so they have to build to meet peak demand and avoid power blackouts. The result is that we all pay more than we should. Even worse, consumers who use more electricity at peak times and less at other times pay less than they should. Other consumers subsidise them by more than $100 a year.
In this Policy Pitch event, Tony Wood, the Energy Program Director from Grattan Institute, and Fran Kelly, the well-known ABC host of RN Breakfast and Insiders, will discuss the recently released Grattan report that proposes specific solutions to address this problem.
Fran Kelly is an Australian radio presenter, current affairs journalist and political correspondent who has hosted the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National programme Breakfast since March 2005.
Tony Wood is the Energy Program Director at Grattan Institute with deep experience in the energy sector. He worked at Origin Energy for 11 years, and was an adviser to the first Garnaut climate change review. Tony is also program director of Clean Energy Projects at the Clinton Foundation.
The Policy Pitch is a joint initiative of the State Library of Victoria and Grattan Institute to provide a public interest series on key policy themes. These free public seminars will offer lively, intelligent and thoughtful debate.
When & Where
Grattan Institute is based in Melbourne, Australia, and was launched in 2008 with strong support from both the private and public sectors. It aims to focus on the important rather than the urgent. The things that could make a difference to the well-being of Australians over the long run, not distracted by three year electoral cycles. Since launch, Grattan Institute has established a profile as a leader of independent analysis of Australian domestic public policy. It aims to influence both public discussion and senior decision-makers.