Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Confusion surrounding the power bill crisis

I am confused at the moment surrounding the ongoing debate about power costs. We are being told that people’s bill are doubling and flats of girls in Dunedin are paying over $700 a month.

It’s being inferred that the cost of power is doubling…but no report is talking about the cost of power per kWh.

For this to be an outrage, we would expect to see the cost per kWh to have doubled…but it hasn’t.

I can’t say this with ultimate authority, as there may be case out there that fall outside what I about to say, but from doing talkback last weekend on this exact subject, the most people seemed to be able to show in increase per kWh from June last year, to June this year is 10%. And no one said that their daily charge had changed.

So, if your cost of power per kWh has gone up 10%, your daily line charge is unchanged…but your power bill has doubled, the only logical reason is your power consumption has increased significantly…isn’t it?

So if your power bill has doubled, I would bet that your consumption has also…use more power, pay for more power.

Now the other question is, “are we paying too much for our power?” in other words, are the companies charging us too much for our power. Not meaning as an increase, but is 22c per kWh (an average NZ city charge) too expensive. That is a valid question, so what do we see around the world.
USA – LA, price per kWh is 19c (NZ26c)
Australia – Brisbane, price per kWh is 16c (NZ19c)
UK – London. price per kWh is 14p (NZ32c)
SA – Johannesburg, price per kWh is 25c (NZ125c)

So it would appear from our bigger cities, to other western larger cities it’s not that different.

So, we are not hugely different on a world scale, we know our price per kWh has not increased a huge amount, yet our prices are “double”.

Rather than signing protest forms and making complaints, wouldn’t it make more sense first of all to stock take in our own homes and see why our consumption has gone through the roof. If, for example, it’s because the days are colder this year shouldn’t we blame God as opposed to the power companies, or is this just a case of us not being able to afford the amount we now need to pay, and someone needs to take the balme?