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Electricity Price Increases

Absolutely disgraceful. And the article stated that they were part of the Victorian to SA interconnector so one would think that they would be relatively new.

No mention of wind speeds but obviously way below the Category 5 Cyclone wind speeds which destoyed 132KV towers in FNQ during Cyclone Larry, and we now have a new and much stronger 275KV line all the way up the coast in FNQ.

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Electricity prices are tumbling for generators, why not for consumers?

Some more information on the relationship between wholesale power prices and consumers’ power bills.

Also an interesting graph of the price of gas and electricity. I wonder if the east coast gas price bottleneck will be slowly stabilised as export contract prices drop in response to the new global supplies coming on line. If so this will shift the short term economics more in favour of the gas as transition fuel idea - it will of course do nothing about the environmental consequences of burning more gas.

Part of the problem is that these export contracts are fairly long and often have price variations built in related to the price of oil. The result is the price of gas is influenced by geopolitical events not just its level of supply and demand and so the price does strange dances.


OT but related - Just received notice our gas prices are going up about 8% next month. It seems like the price structure is more akin to what the market will bear before the pollies need to step in for their own survival.

While shopping around after receiving the notice I discovered the Victoria government comparison site seems hopelessly inaccurate on current plans as well as filtering.

It estimation of my annual gas use based on its glib questions was wildly disparate from reality so no trust in it at the best of times for gas. In contrast it did a decent job with electricity last year.

More independent footwork to be done :frowning:


If there were blackouts, I wonder if the clowns in government will try to blame renewable energy, as they did in SA.

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Its the sun! 44C ambient and in direct sunlight melted the towers that were made of nothing but the very best metals. Renewable energy, bah humbug. Right!


I wouldn’t be too sure about that, since tornadoes can have wind speeds greater than those found in cyclones.


That is true, and the winds tend to have a shearing effect there there can be different directions and speeds over very small distances. This increases the forces and loadings on larger objects such as HV steel towers making them more prone to failure in such conditions. A tornado could potentially place say a northern directional force on the tower and a southern directional force on the wires/conductors, resulting in effect in a twisting action.

Cyclone winds are generally from the same direction and while gusty, place force generally in one direction.

In Queensland, special towers/poles are used in cyclone prone areas. These structures are stronger than the standard structures and are designed to take high wind loads directly on the structure and wind load from the conductors/wires.

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So it appears that Qld have towers fit for purpose but Victoria does not?

Queensland structures aren’t designed for tornadoes, but it is likely that those designed for cyclone regions may better withstand a tornado compared to a standard tower. It is also likely they would fail under extreme tornado events…and most likely have done in the past.

To design, engineer and construct structures to cater to any possible weather event or natural event (e.g. earthquakes, landslides, floods etc) would be cost prohibitive and would be engineering for risks that in most cases may never exist. The network is also designed for n-1 (loss one part of the network) for maintaining supply. The interconnectors may cope with loss of one circuit (n-1) under most conditions, but loss of two circuits (n-2), such as double circuit towers collapsing, under high load conditons these interconnecter weren’t designed for us a different matter.

States networks are becoming more reliant on these interconnectors to maintain supply under more and more operating conditions…which has been accelerated through generation closures…and there has been talk of multiple interstate interconnectors in the future to catch up with the changes in their operation roles…thus allowing higher reliance on interstate exports during normal operating conditions.

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Australia has generally been free of major tornado risks. Rare events.

Do we now ask that all HV transmission lines in SE Australia need to be tornado rated! Sooty Morrison has said we need to build resilience and adapt as a response to the changes in the climate. Who will foot the bill?

I consulted another ‘Sooty’.

I’m still waiting for an answer but expect it may make more sense.

Yet more dramas with electricity generation and distribution in SE Australia.

Some intriguing pointers on future electricity prices:

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They had to ask the question :thinking: I guess. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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An article claiming that electricity prices will decrease.

Looking at SE Qld and AGL and Origin it may already be on the way down compared to 12 months previous.

As an example:
Origin has reduced the daily supply and metering on its Solar Savers plan from $1.3099 daily to $1.2303. (8c pd rounded reduction). Consumption tariff 11 has dropped from 25.56c to 24.91c per unit. (0.65c or approx 2.5% saving). Solar feedin though has also dropped from 17c to 15c. There are other Origin products with lower daily and consumption/usage tariffs, but only 7c for Solar feedin.

For anyone with Solar plans with AGL the best feed in tariff offers have decreased from 20c to 17c. It’s a bit of a mix and match regardless of which retailer you go to. If you are a large net exporter the best retailer and plan offer is likely the one with the highest feedin tariff.

It would be great to pull all the alternate offers apart simply and conveniently. I’ve tried and just noted:
The Federal Govt Aust Energy Regulator - EnergyMadeEasy web calculator is next to useless as it does not factor in solar feedin credits.

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Not here in the Deep North where consumers are stuck with Ergon’s monopoly rip-off rates.

Tarrif 11. 26.027 cents/kwh. FIT 0.7842 cents/kwh


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We both know I’ve lived in the deep north too!

The catch here is between social equity where electricity is supplied at the same price whereever you live in Australia,
The user pays, which in a commercially driven market allows users in the more expensive to supply north to be charged more. Of course establishing the real cost of supply to the far north remains an elusive goal.

We also have national competition policy, imposed by the Federal Govt long ago, with one desire. To dismantle state run enterprise in favour of private ownership. Whether in the end the other stated outcome of lower costs to consumers delivered through privatisation has come about remains highly contentious. Except for those invested in the private ownership?

Observing how the not quite ready for sale NBN project has treated us all equally (NOT) and delivered or not cheaper internet, perhaps the Deep North may be better of as is with Ergon for electricity the time being.

The downward trend in solar feedin tariffs may see all equal in the near future. Although those in the larger markets around Sydney, Melb, Bris may in the future see competition for customers deliver them the best deals.


My calculations for the previous 10 months show that we paid over $250 more than the figures you quoted for SEQ.

And of cousre, Ergon owns the “poles and wires” whereas the SEQ resellers have to pay Energex for them.

As far as the NBN goes, we are receiving a much superior service at a lower cost than we were with ADSL2+, both with Internode.

So if our experience with the NBN is anything to go by, then bring on competition to Ergon tomorrow.

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I’d offer up the current offers from AGL and others, all of which beat a origin for Solar. Another 25-50c pd lower costs on average usage with solar. Yes, there is a big gap for electricity charges between the North and South of Qld. State election in Nov if that is likely to make any difference. :thinking:

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Actually 31.10.2020.

I won’t hold my breath.

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