Going Off The Grid To Cost Others

Victorian power company AusNet Services is sharing evidence of parliamentary pushing to update the industry that is ever-changing and incredibly innovative. AusNet is one of the five distributing companies of electricity in Victoria and covers the outer northern and eastern suburbs, as well as the eastern portion of the state. AusNet says that a Federal Parliamentary committee is attempting to modernize Australia’s electricity grid, which is causing havoc amongst some customers.

Many households are moving onto more environmentally friendly and long-term cost-effective strategies when it comes to consuming energy. Some of the popular alternatives are battery storage and solar power. The move from grid connection to unconnected electric distributions is being called grid defection. The issue at hand is that this grid defection is going to raise the cost for those that choose to, or need to, stay apart of the grid. The rise in cost will stem from recovering costs to operate the system from fewer customers. This will particularly affect those residents that don’t have the monetary means to switch from grid use to the up-front costly alternatives. The low-income households will suffer the most from this push to modernization.

Aside from those who cannot afford to break away from the grid, some residents won’t have the opportunity at all to move to alternative electricity distributors because of its lack of feasibility. The company denies that they are sending these messages to the public for their own good, but claim that they want to inform the public and allow them to make decisions based on the greater good of the community. Alister Parker of AusNet says that the company expects future advancements regarding solar power and electric cars to be adopted by consumers, but not in the way that is going to cost the less fortunate half of the community.

Other professionals of the industry claim that grid defection risk is extremely low due to the high cost of the switch, however, the small cost spread could fall on those who have no say in the change. Malcolm Turnbull, the current Prime Minister has been holding meetings with energy distributors to discuss the potential rising prices. A few years back, this concern had been in the spotlight but was disregarded when the government had agreed to make electricity prices more reflective of actual usage rather than putting the burden of those still on the grid. This would give some monetary control back to the consumer rather than force a fixed monthly price. Potential victims urge politicians to take action before it’s too late.

Anderson, Stephanie. “Power Prices: AusNet Services Warns Customers Going off the Grid Will Push up Costs for Others.” ABC, www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-31/going-off-the-grid-could-push-up-prices-ausnet-says/8855714.

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