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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Light bulbs

Here’s what surprises me about the whole light bulb issue – it’s the fact that it takes the Australians to actually just go and do it, while little old NZ ‘thinks’ about doing it – it’s almost as if the Greens and Labour were caught out surprised that a Government could just make the decision without begging the country to consider it. It is that type of environmental leadership the Greens and Labour seem incapable of.

Australia, NZ ready to get rid of standard light bulbs
New Zealand and Australia are about to turn off the incandescent lights that have illuminated them since the bulb was invented more than 120 years ago. Australian Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday announced that traditional light bulbs would be phased out within three years - a move he said would be a world first. Under law, the super-cheap lighting will vanish from supermarket shelves by 2010, replaced by energy-efficient alternatives such as compact fluorescent bulbs. Mr Turnbull estimated the move would slash Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by about 8000 tonnes a year in the five years to 2012.


At 21/2/07 9:17 am, Blogger SamClemenz said...

Well, now I've heard everything!

Speaking for the NZ market, I would like to know some industry statistic's on "Phillip's and Eco" stock ownership figures shared among our KOWBOY power baron's. Somebody stands to gain from this and it damn sure ain't us Peon's!

It's lovely that both countries are thinking of energy efficiency at the same time that our energy prices have sky rocketed well over 60% in the past 2 years alone.

Could this phenomenon be tied to the fact that these bulbs use fewer kilowat hours, and last longer, therefore successive massive price rises were in order to maintain the same revenue flows? Now that's thinking ahead!

It's high time that the government starts looking seriously at energy company regulation. This is a serious issue for every consumer.

Utilities have been allowed to print money unfettered in New Zealand without any intervention or any serious consumer advocacy groups with teeth.

The reserve bank jerks the reins on inflation by using things like Petrol pricing, the housing market, and food prices, but neglect the impact on everyone's income's for phone and power costs.
If the costs for producing power and maintaining a transmission network were the main factors in it's pricing I don't believe we would have much to complain about, but the cost of producing and maintenance are only a small portion of the overall price we all pay. This is where we all lose at the end of the day.

Exhorbitant Daily line charges play a huge role in your bottom line monthly bill. What is the REAL reason these costs exist? They exist to insure that everyone who is connected to the grid guarantees income to the company whethter they use any power or not. In other words - It's an "I gotcha charge"! The amount of the I gotcha charges alone (creeping quickly to $1.50 a day per residential house-gold) would provide maintenance on a network and the revenue necessary for periodic upgrades.

This entire excercise with the National Governments privatising the energy sector in the 90's was a diabolical disaster, and I firmly believe it was pre-meditated. The opposite effect has been achieved in that the competition created through the split up has caused prices to rapidly escalate for the consumer directly benefitting the Power companies, while the government coffers are bursting at the seams from all the additional revenue they have gleened from Levy's, GST, and taxes as a result of their progressive thinking without regulation policies in place against Corporate Rape of the consumer. We're the big losers at the end of the month.

Low energy bulds? I need to turn on the fan to blow the smoke out of the room on this one!

Over the past 2 years we have replaced every damn light bulb in our house with low energy ones at $7.75 a pop. Yeah they do last longer, but for the slight drop in kilowat useage, it takes years to recover the cost from just a single bulb, and never catches up as long as the power price keeps rising every 6 months.

At 21/2/07 9:24 am, Blogger SamClemenz said...

As for greenhouse gas emmissions in New Zealand, because we use predominantly South Island Hydro-power it's not the same issue as Aussie Coal fired generator's.

Bringing wind farms on line, and utilising improved Solar sources is hopefully where we are heading in the future. Transferring South Island Hydro- to North Island customer's is far from cost effective, and drives cost through the roof for us all!

At 21/2/07 10:53 am, Anonymous jr said...

Sam the fixed daily lines charges exist to smooth out the income of the lines and metering charges companies. These charges are passed on by your energy retailer - in the case of a metering a daily charge is the fairest way of charging, a meter costs the same irrespective of how many kilowatts run through it so its very difficult to charge it on a variable rate. With lines companies if the daily rate was scrapped the variable would just rise.

I agree that the deregulation in the shape it was conducted was an error, but to suggest it was deliberate is laughable.

The entire shape of the NZ market has shifted with the run down of the ultra cheap, easy to acces, clean, Maui Gas Field, this made up a large portion of generation. Power is bound to become more expensive (and was amazingly cheap previously by international standards, due largely to Maui).

Low energy bulbs are a no brainer, they last longer and are cheaper to run, you pay less. And with energy prices rising the pay back will be quicker...the higehr the energy prices the more money your are saving - bit bemused by your "never ctaches up comment?!!?"

The wind and solar sources you speak of leave a massive footprint and are unreliable....and increasingly expensive as the USA is suddenly pushing wind power in some Mid West states and the global supply capacity is currently groaning under the strain. Renewables are more expensive, if they weren't they would have been adopted already. Power companies are selfish actors looking to maximise profits, if they could do so with renewables they would. So I can't see how the shift to renewables is supposed to lower costs.

At 21/2/07 12:21 pm, Blogger SamClemenz said...

Your comment has some merit too it, and my understading of the manner in which lines companies, Generator's and brokerage companies are subsidized isn't helping I suppose.
Jr., at the end of the day it all adds up with too many hands in the till that equal an end product that is over priced.

My comment about it being deliberately done is not laughable it's sad, because I think the folks that came up with this scheme, The Ruth Richardson's, Richard Prebbles, ect... were looking to help their wealthier friends cash in on a sure thing by de regulation. It never worked from the start and was rushed through Parliament before any further debate could take place on the down sides to the concept.

Here's just a small example of cost comparison's with regulation by a Utilities commission.

We lived in Seattle for a portion of '99, and 2000. For our family of 3 utilising the same basic consumption of units per month (650) our power bill was $48.00. Here in New Zealand the same usage costs $165.00. Why is that I ask? It's not in the sxchange rate because this compares apples to apples in each economy.

Our network - (National Grid) is in place and is either paid for or on a long term drip. There has been no extensive upgrades that any of the lines companies have accomplished, or out of the ordinary maintenance costs undergone. So we're talking same basic backbone, without a lot of new network added other than to cover regional population growth requirements and regular maintenance.
Just where is there justification for 6 monthly price rises by the broker's and lines companies?
The energy efficient bulbs don't use that much power to begin with, so why is my power bill rising every month even as I replace ALL of the bulbs in the house with energy efficient ones?
I find this a convenient way of creating a transfusion effect on the population. $165.00+ is transfused from my bank account every month to a utility blood sucker! That to me is something that is NOT Laughable!

At 21/2/07 1:04 pm, Anonymous jo said...

i heard on the tele last nite, it would only be .14 percent of total emissions though..if thats 8 000 tons less, they must be pumping out those gases. Perhaps its all the warm beer?


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