September 26, 2012
The Alternative Technology Association (ATA) congratulates the Victorian Government on its decision to introduce flexible electricity prices from July 1 next year.
The ATA, a not-for-profit consumer organisation promoting sustainable living, believes the government has struck a good balance between opportunity and protection for Victorian households.
Flexible pricing will mean consumers pay more to use energy at times of high demand and less at other times. It is more reflective of the costs of building power networks and operating generators than the flag tariffs most Victorian households are currently on.
“Flexible pricing will result in lower bills for some households without them having to change the way they use energy,” said Craig Memery, the ATA’s energy consumer advocate.
“Others will be able to save money by making small changes to how they use energy, such as running the dishwasher in the evenings, or doing laundry on the weekends, when energy is cheaper.”
But not all households will be better off with flexible pricing: “The government’s decision to make flexible pricing voluntary in the short to medium term gives these households the opportunity to avoid bill shock and choose what works best for them,” Mr Memery said.
The government and industry have also agreed to allow consumers to try flexible pricing and go back to flat tariffs if it doesn’t work for them. This gives households the opportunity to understand the risks and benefits without being locked in.
The ATA encourages the government to continue realising benefits for consumers from Victoria’s smart meter network through new technology such as smart appliances.
“Smart appliances, including white goods, air conditioners, pool pumps and water heaters, can provide households with a chance to respond to energy prices and be rewarded for reducing their impact on the electricity system through peak rebates. These benefits can be shared with all consumers through lower bills.
“Victorian smart meters can make this happen.”
Craig Memery, ATA energy consumer advocate: 0412 223 203
Damien Moyse, ATA energy policy manager: 0439 900 692