If It’s Green, It’s Sold On A Lie

Posted on Sun 10/17/2010 by


Andrew BoltBy Andrew Bolt

It’s a green scheme and the Victorian Labor Government is behind the infrastructure.

So two things you can already assume: it won’t work half as well as advertised, but will cost around twice as much. And, indeed:

Findings by the Australian Energy Regulator have undermined the state government’s position on smart meters – which will be fitted to every Victorian home by the end of 2013…

The new meters have two-way remote communication with the power company, sending energy use data 48 times a day… The program, dubbed by the opposition as the ‘’myki of metering’’, has doubled in price.

When it committed to a universal implementation, the Brumby government promised the meters would help ‘’tackle climate change’’ and allow householders to manage energy and reduce power costs.

The customer benefits, however, now appear shaky. The meters tell customers virtually nothing about their energy use. Households need an ‘’in-home display’’ or web-based program to see energy use and power charges. There is no plan about who – the retailer or the householder – pays for this technology in the program’s next stage.

The government has also put a moratorium on a big benefit of smart meters: time-of-use tariffs. These allow people to shift energy use to cheaper times of the day.

The tariffs have been put on hold, possibly until the end of 2011, after the government accepted it had not considered disadvantaged groups and stay-at-home families who cannot easily shift power use and could be penalised by up to $200 a year.

But even when the moratorium is lifted, it is unclear whether Victorians would change their behaviour, therefore cutting power costs and reducing stress on the system at peak times, according to a recent finding by the Australian Energy Regulator.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

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Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and is a regular commentator on Channel 9′s Today show and ABC TV’s Insiders. He will be heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of new radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.