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Petrol Prices (again?)

Petrol prices inflated by 'aggressive' retailers | ACCC releases damning report | The Mercury

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Hydro saved Tasmania Really?

Hydro saved Tasmania from shocking electricity price hikes, says energy regulator

Logo_AuroraEnergy

HYDRO saved Tasmania from shocking electricity price hikes in 2012-13, a report by the Australian Energy Regulator says.

The State of the Energy Market report found average Tasmanian electricity bills rose by 3 per cent because of the carbon tax, compared with a 12 per cent hit in the ACT.

AER chairman Andrew Reeves said Tasmania's high concentration of hydro power kept bills down.

"The average carbon pass-through-to-spot electricity prices during 2012-13 was broadly consistent in mainland regions at $17.70 per MWh but significantly lower in Tasmania at $10 per MWh," he said.

The carbon tax of $23 a tonne, introduced in July 2012, helped Hydro Tasmania to an operating profit of $238 million as it received higher prices without having to pay the tax.

In his annual report Tasmanian Auditor-General Mike Blake found the gas-powered Tamar Valley power station cost almost $17 million in carbon tax.

AER's report said the tax added 12 per cent to the average ACT power bill, followed by Queensland (9 per cent), Victoria (8 per cent), NSW (7 per cent) and South Australia (4 per cent).

The Coalition Government has said the repeal of the carbon tax would result in an average fall in bills of 9 per cent. But the AER report suggests the repeal would result in only a 3 per cent fall in Tasmania.

The Office of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator is believed to have decided yesterday on a new price determination from January 1.

Sourced from The Mercury

So all of the price rises over the last year have been to prop up Aurora more then create this so called buffer! As Tasmanian people are paying a carbon tax on hydro generated power but that same power when sold via Bass Link is carbon tax free! So who saved who? 😐

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Yet Another Surprise? (Not)

Hydro deep in the red

image

THE State Government will examine Hydro Tasmania's debt level after it posted a $248 million loss last financial year, just days after talking up its operating profit.

Hydro was stung by taking on the Aurora Energy Tamar Valley power station, the acquisition of which wiped $335 million off its books in asset writedowns.

Hydro has debt levels of $866 million after the gas-powered station was transferred at a cost of $205 million from Aurora Energy to Hydro under government energy reforms.

The loss is distinct from last week's before tax operating profit of $238 million, which was mainly a result of record sales of carbon-free electricity across Basslink.

Chairman David Crean said the loss was largely as a result of taking on AETV and its associated debt as well as the revaluation of hydro generation assets.

"The Government has committed to reviewing our capital structure in 2013-14 to assess the sustainability of Hydro Tasmania's balance sheet following the transfer of debt from AETV," Dr Crean said.

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The likely abolition of the carbon tax exacerbated the writedowns of hydro power stations.

"In recent years the value of generation assets increased as a result of the introduction of a price on carbon," he said.

However, as a result of a range of factors, including a reduction in forecast energy and carbon prices, the value of generation assets was revised downward in 2013.

Liberal Energy spokesman Matthew Groom said it was a $330 million Government stuff-up and that the Government had tried to cover it up.

Deputy Premier Bryan Green said the revaluation of the Tamar Valley power station was a necessary adjustment under accounting standards to reflect the way it would be operated in future.

He said the loss did not affect Hydro Tasmania's cash position and that the station was an important asset.

The Aurora Energy Tamar Valley power station has barely operated since early July, generating just 3.34 gigawatt hours compared with an average of 34 GWh a week under Aurora.

But Hydro chief executive Steve Davy said operation would resume when the current high rainfall inflows to hydro storages and rivers stopped.

Sourced from The Mercury

So what's the real story here? Aurora makes a before tax profit, yet Hydro makes a loss. This clearly means that Hydro isn't a competitive player! Just goes to show that even if the government does eventually open up the retail market for the general consumer there's no guarantee that the retail costs will be lower if the local power generation company's can't even balance the books!

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It's No Wonder (we're feeling bitter)

Hydro Tasmania records historic before-tax profit of $238 million

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ENERGY giant Hydro Tasmania has recorded the largest profit in its history.

The company is crediting increased revenue from renewable exports, the carbon price and increased exports across the Bass Strait for a $238 million before-tax profit for the 2012-2013 financial year.

The result will bring an expected return to the Tasmanian Government during the 2013-2014 year of $263 million — including a dividend of $116 million.

During 2012-13, the business returned $125 million, including a dividend of $51 million.

Hydro Tasmania chair David Crean said Hydro Tasmania expected to return more than $450 million to the state in the next two years.

"This was a year in which the true value of the state's 100-year investment in renewable energy was finally realised," Dr Crean said.

"The performance is also notable for the increased proportion of our revenue and profit which comes from the mainland.

"At the same time we continue to be a major purchaser of Tasmanian goods and services with almost $125 million spent locally during the year." Deputy Premier Bryan Green said today record returns from the Hydro to Tasmanian taxpayers demonstrated the importance of keeping the business in public hands.

"This shows the enormous value of Hydro Tasmania and the dividends it pays helps ensure the Government is able to invest in core services like hospitals, schools and police," Mr Green said.

"That is why we have decided not to sell or break up Hydro Tasmania or privatise our network of poles and wires that deliver electricity to homes and businesses around the state."

Key results

OPERATING profit before fair value movement and tax: $238 million

OPERATING cash flow : $262 million

CAPITAL works on hydro asset program : $58 million

TOTAL group revenue : $1578 million

RETURNS to government 2012/13 $125 million

EXPECTED returns to government 2013-14: $263 million

Sourced from The Mercury

Is it any wonder why when the topic of power price gets a mention most people just see red! This latest figure clearly shows that the Tasmanian Government is gouging as much money possible before the electricity market becomes open to commercial competition (if that still goes ahead) Tasmanians have been feeling the pinch for too long when it comes to electricity costs and this report simply rubs salt into those wounds.

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It's No Wonder (we're feeling bitter)

Hydro Tasmania records historic before-tax profit of $238 million

image

ENERGY giant Hydro Tasmania has recorded the largest profit in its history.

The company is crediting increased revenue from renewable exports, the carbon price and increased exports across the Bass Strait for a $238 million before-tax profit for the 2012-2013 financial year.

The result will bring an expected return to the Tasmanian Government during the 2013-2014 year of $263 million — including a dividend of $116 million.

During 2012-13, the business returned $125 million, including a dividend of $51 million.

Hydro Tasmania chair David Crean said Hydro Tasmania expected to return more than $450 million to the state in the next two years.

"This was a year in which the true value of the state's 100-year investment in renewable energy was finally realised," Dr Crean said.

"The performance is also notable for the increased proportion of our revenue and profit which comes from the mainland.

"At the same time we continue to be a major purchaser of Tasmanian goods and services with almost $125 million spent locally during the year." Deputy Premier Bryan Green said today record returns from the Hydro to Tasmanian taxpayers demonstrated the importance of keeping the business in public hands.

"This shows the enormous value of Hydro Tasmania and the dividends it pays helps ensure the Government is able to invest in core services like hospitals, schools and police," Mr Green said.

"That is why we have decided not to sell or break up Hydro Tasmania or privatise our network of poles and wires that deliver electricity to homes and businesses around the state."

Key results

OPERATING profit before fair value movement and tax: $238 million

OPERATING cash flow : $262 million

CAPITAL works on hydro asset program : $58 million

TOTAL group revenue : $1578 million

RETURNS to government 2012/13 $125 million

EXPECTED returns to government 2013-14: $263 million

Sourced from The Mercury

Is it any wonder why when the topic of power price gets a mention most people just see red! This latest figure clearly shows that the Tasmanian Government is gouging as much money possible before the electricity market becomes open to commercial competition (if that still goes ahead) Tasmanians have been feeling the pinch for too long when it comes to electricity costs and this report simply rubs salt into those wounds.

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Profit First Service Second

Welfare groups call for power discounts for battlers after Aurora profit announcement

BATTLERS should be given power price discounts after the State Government's windfall $76.5 million profit from Aurora Energy, Tasmania's peak welfare body says.

Aurora Energy yesterday announced the record profit amid continuing outcry over mounting power prices in the state.

Tasmanian consumers have endured a 100 per cent increase in electricity prices since 2001, including a 10.56 per cent increase in July last year.

Tasmanian Council of Social Service chief executive Tony Reidy said the State Government should help lower income and disadvantaged Tasmanians with its $25 million dividend from Aurora.

"The cumulative increase in electricity costs over the past decade has placed an often intolerable burden on low-income households," he said.

Mr Reidy said assistance could include additional resources for emergency relief, provision of additional affordable housing and support for better thermal efficiency of low-income households.

"This would show an increased commitment by the Government to alleviating the impact of electricity costs on the health and wellbeing of vulnerable Tasmanians."

For its part, Aurora attributed the increased profit largely to a reduction in costs and strong management.

Chief executive Peter Davis said: "Profit before tax for the year increased significantly to $84.5 million and reflects the benefit of prior years' efficiency and restructuring and increased tariffs partially offset by electricity reform costs."

The company had 994 staff at the end of 2010, but has slightly more than 1000 now.

Energy Minister Bryan Green said the Government did not have plans to give power discounts from Aurora's profit, saying the dividends would pay for schools, hospitals and police.

"The Tasmanian Government already has one of the most generous concession schemes and hardship provisions in Australia – worth $38 million last year."

Aurora's revenue rose 4.3 per cent to $1.56 billion and energy and transmission cost 5.4 per cent more at $1.063 billion.

Energy from Hydro Tasmania cost $52 million more and distribution from Transend $2 million more.

Electricity prices are set by the Tasmanian Economic Regulator, which has approved a price reduction of 5.23 per cent for next year, saving the average household about $140.

ACIL Allen consulting director Stephen Weston saw nothing too problematic about Aurora's level of profit.

"Aurora is overseen by an independent regulator and its revenue determinations are in the public domain," he said.

Mr Reidy said that it was important to remember that a price increase of nearly 11 per cent had prevailed during the period of Aurora's profit, which was unsustainable for ordinary Tasmanians. He said the recent moves to minimise price increases were welcome but had come after a sustained period of annual increases.

Aurora chairman Geoff Willis said the $76.5 million profit before tax was $20.1 million higher than the previous year.

Total returns to the Government including dividend and taxation equivalent would be $38 million, up 36 per cent.

Liberal energy spokesman Matthew Groom said: "Given that power prices have gone up 65 per cent over the past seven years, it would be a worry if Aurora wasn't making a profit.

"The Government has had over a decade to put downward pressure on power prices but they had to be dragged kicking and screaming towards reform."

Sourced from The Mercury

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Yo DJ Spin That Wheel…

POWER prices in Tasmania are set to drop by 5.23 per cent next year — in line with retail contestability.

The drop could see the average Tasmanian household save about $140 a year.

The independent Tasmanian Economic Regulator yesterday approved a State Government proposal to see a drop in power prices for Tasmanian households from January 1.

Tasmanian Economic Regulator chairman Glenn Appleyard said yesterday new prices would represent a 5.23 per cent decrease.

Premier Lara Giddings said small businesses could save up to $650 a year on power prices.

"Electricity bills are a big contributor to cost-of-living pressures and I am sure it will come as a relief to families, pensioners and low-income earners to know that prices will fall from next year," Ms Giddings said yesterday.

"This is all part of the work the State Government has been doing to tackle the rising cost of living. As a result of our energy reform we are confident the sort of power price increases we have seen in recent years will be a thing of the past, with prices set to remain flat or decrease for the foreseeable future."

Opposition energy spokesman Matthew Groom said Ms Giddings was "seriously out of touch if she thinks power prices were something to gloat about".

"Over the past seven years, power prices have increased by 65 per cent," Mr Groom said. "In fact, the January 2014 decrease announced today is almost entirely cancelled out by the increase that was forced on Tasmanians just a few weeks ago on July 1."

Energy minister Bryan Green said he was astounded the Liberal Party was ridiculing the Government for lowering power prices.

"We know the Liberals take any opportunity to celebrate bad news but now they are unashamedly putting a negative spin on good news," Mr Green said.

Mr Green said the introduction of retail competition in Tasmania on January 1 next year would put further downward pressure on power prices.

The sale of Aurora Energy's customer base was expected to be completed by the end of October in readiness for competition, Mr Green

said.

Sourced from The Mercury

The comments on the article say what fellow Tasmanians really feel about the subject matter…  😐

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A promise bound to be broken!

A LOWER price for power in Tasmania is due to be set within weeks.

Deputy Premier and Energy Minister Bryan Green today said the Economic Regulator's report had confirmed the state's electricity prices would fall from January next year.

The new prices would be set by the Economic Regulator after the State Government recommended tariffs for approval over the next fortnight, he said in a statement.

"While we can't say definitively what the decrease will be until then, we are confident that it will be greater than our original prediction last month (of between 1 and 2 per cent)," Mr Green said.

"Electricity prices around Australia are continuing to go up but we are bucking the trend in Tasmania.

"Recent electricity prices rises experienced in Tasmania will soon be a thing of the past."

Mr Green said the State Government was on target to introduce retail competition in Tasmania's electricity market from January 1, which would put more downward pressure on prices.

Sourced from The Mercury

So the empty guarantee of price reduction is the best that the government is offering to the people. Why wait until January 2014 when most are struggling to get by now. Although the projected 1-2% is hardly worth making any noise about, given that doesn't even cover the last increase… 😐

Also note some of the comments on the original article, that gives you a better idea of how the public feel about it.

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It's just getting better ???


petrol-board1

HOBART'S average unleaded petrol price has climbed by about 4c in the past 10 days, while the wholesale price paid by importers has fallen by 7c .

RACT spokesman Vince Taskunas said any further rises above yesterday's average of about 164c a litre would be a travesty, given that:

THE Singapore wholesale price had been sinking steadily, from a July 15 peak of $141c to below $129c, according to Australian Institute of Petroleum figures.

ULP prices which yesterday varied between 162.7c and 166c in Hobart were too high for many Tasmanians to afford.

The ULP price has climbed about 10c in the past two weeks and more than 20c in the past year.

Prices in other parts of Tasmania have been even higher.

Mr Taskunas said the rapid rises had been particularly harsh on premium fuel users, but not so painful for diesel buyers.

Premium 95 petrol yesterday averaged 173.7c a litre, down from a 174.3c peak on Wednesday, while Premium 98 has sat just under 180c since Wednesday.

Average diesel prices have risen more slowly, about 1.5c in the past week, and remain below unleaded petrol at 161.6c.

Mr Taskunas said the continuation of such high prices was costing many Tasmanians as much $10 a week in unavoidable fuel bills.

"That's $40 extra a month, and nothing else has gone down. With higher power bills and winter heating, it's hurting people," he said.

Mr Taskunas said fuel price rises typically occurred sooner and a lot more rapidly compared with price reductions and a repeat of such a scenario would be grossly unfair on Tasmanians, particularly pensioners and low-income families.

He said the perennial price gap between Tasmania and other interstate capitals had narrowed during the surge in global wholesale prices.

"That's often the case when the price goes up, it does narrow" he said.

Commsec experts believe prices will continue rising nationally by as much as 3c in the next two weeks and said the pain had been amplified by the rate of the climb the fastest increase since 2009 of about 16c in two months.

Australian Industry Group chief economist Julie Toth said fuel price rises directly impacted on business transport costs and made consumers more wary of spending on luxury items.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd this week scrapped the $330,000-a-year Petrol Commissioner position, which he had implemented in 2008.

The price squeeze is expected to increase the use of shopper dockets.

Sourced from The Mercury

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Politics Random Ramblings

It's just getting better ???


petrol-board1

HOBART'S average unleaded petrol price has climbed by about 4c in the past 10 days, while the wholesale price paid by importers has fallen by 7c .

RACT spokesman Vince Taskunas said any further rises above yesterday's average of about 164c a litre would be a travesty, given that:

THE Singapore wholesale price had been sinking steadily, from a July 15 peak of $141c to below $129c, according to Australian Institute of Petroleum figures.

ULP prices which yesterday varied between 162.7c and 166c in Hobart were too high for many Tasmanians to afford.

The ULP price has climbed about 10c in the past two weeks and more than 20c in the past year.

Prices in other parts of Tasmania have been even higher.

Mr Taskunas said the rapid rises had been particularly harsh on premium fuel users, but not so painful for diesel buyers.

Premium 95 petrol yesterday averaged 173.7c a litre, down from a 174.3c peak on Wednesday, while Premium 98 has sat just under 180c since Wednesday.

Average diesel prices have risen more slowly, about 1.5c in the past week, and remain below unleaded petrol at 161.6c.

Mr Taskunas said the continuation of such high prices was costing many Tasmanians as much $10 a week in unavoidable fuel bills.

"That's $40 extra a month, and nothing else has gone down. With higher power bills and winter heating, it's hurting people," he said.

Mr Taskunas said fuel price rises typically occurred sooner and a lot more rapidly compared with price reductions and a repeat of such a scenario would be grossly unfair on Tasmanians, particularly pensioners and low-income families.

He said the perennial price gap between Tasmania and other interstate capitals had narrowed during the surge in global wholesale prices.

"That's often the case when the price goes up, it does narrow" he said.

Commsec experts believe prices will continue rising nationally by as much as 3c in the next two weeks and said the pain had been amplified by the rate of the climb the fastest increase since 2009 of about 16c in two months.

Australian Industry Group chief economist Julie Toth said fuel price rises directly impacted on business transport costs and made consumers more wary of spending on luxury items.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd this week scrapped the $330,000-a-year Petrol Commissioner position, which he had implemented in 2008.

The price squeeze is expected to increase the use of shopper dockets.

Sourced from The Mercury