It won’t come as news to you that Australians pay a lot for their power.
But did you know Aussies are paying two or even three times as much as their US counterparts?
Not only is this taking money from consumers’ wallets that could be spent elsewhere…or saved. It’s also prompting companies to consider shifting their operations to the US.
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US paying less for energy than Oz
The Australian Associated Press sourced a US Studies Centre report that was released on Wednesday. In it were a multitude of warnings that the Aussie economy is doomed to take a hit if our current excessive local energy prices aren’t changed.
USSC CEO Simon Jackman explicitly stated:
‘Manufacturers we spoke to repeatedly rated the United States as vastly more attractive for investment because of the relatively high cost of electricity and gas in Australia.
‘For large, industrial consumers of energy, Australian prices are simply making us uncompetitive.’
And research is strongly backing this argument.
For the last 10 years, both Aussie household and business power bills have shot up by a shocking 73%. In comparison, US households haven’t seen any significant change in their power bills for the last decade. And on top of that, US industries have seen a 10% decrease in their energy bill prices.
As for gas, the US have been even more successful. Households saw around a 30% reduction in their gas bills, and industry a 50% cut.
The US have upped the amount of gas in their energy mix, which has slashed their coal consumption by 40%. This has no doubt contributed to the massive drops in prices.
But it’s also keeping all those tree-huggers happy.
Will renewable energy solve all our problems?
The AAP reports that the same study suggested Australia looks at renewable alternatives to energy as a way to control energy prices.
Upping the supply of affordable domestic gas will no doubt reduce prices, the report claims. But moreover, it will remove a decent chunk of our long-term carbon emissions…something the world keeps badgering us about.
But maybe if we just met out Paris Agreement target, we’d quit getting the finger pointed at us. The US have already met their mark, upping their gas percentage from 27% to 26% of their energy mix in the last 10 years.
The report suggests Australians commit to a similar venture, lifting moratoriums on gas exploration, subsidising gas infrastructure expenditure and introducing a formal domestic gas reservation policy, the report suggests.
Alternatively, if we stick to our tried and true coal method, energy prices will continue to soar. Never mind the environment, it’s our wallets we have to protect!
The report also revealed a harsh statistic that household energy prices climbed a staggering 14% in just a four-month period this year, from March to June. Part of this was a result of the Hazelwood power station shutting down in Victoria.
Dow Chemical Australia president Louis Vega says the report is just emphasising the reality that a renewable energy policy is more for the good of the economy than the planet:
‘Without a bold and concerted effort to deploy an energy policy for Australia, consumers will continue to see the incredible rise in costs and the terrible effects of those higher costs on jobs, economic growth and energy security.’
Maybe now that it’s hitting so close to home (like our mailboxes) it’s time to look at those renewable energy ideas. Otherwise, we’ll see everyone shutting up shop and moving bases from the land of the ‘young and (not-so) free’.
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