The Policy Pitch: fairer pricing for power

Tuesday 15 July 2014, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Conference centre
Entry 3, La Trobe Street
Has wheelchair access

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. Consumers who use more electricity at peak times pay less than they should, with other consumers subsidising them by more than $100 a year.

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 these networks is the same whatever the time of day or season, so there is little incentive for us to use the network efficiently. There is also little incentive for network companies to invest efficiently. The result is that we all pay more than we should.

In this Policy Pitch event, Tony Wood and Fran Kelly discuss the recently released Grattan report that proposes specific solutions to address these problems.

Tony Wood is the Energy Program Director at Grattan Institute with deep experience in the energy sector. He has 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.

Fran Kelly is an Australian radio presenter, current affairs journalist and political correspondent who has hosted the ABC's Radio National program Breakfast since March 2005.

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. The free public seminars offer lively, intelligent and thoughtful debate.