Keith Orchison

Adversarial politics could give consumers an electric shock

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The Harper review presents an opportunity to warn politicians of the ramifications of their game-playing on the electricity market, but getting them to reach consensus on energy policy reform may prove difficult.

The electricity regulator's delicate balancing act

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The national electricity regulator faces community pressure over rising power prices, while networks are seeking approval for higher budgets. Ensuring reliable supply will be no easy feat.

When voters don't want fair power pricing

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Resistance to the Grattan Institute's power pricing model is reverberating across the airwaves and newspapers… but overhauling Australia's unfair electricity tariff system is bound to be a political hot potato.

Political hot air clouds the bigger energy picture

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Political posturing over energy and carbon abatement is distracting policymakers from achieving a balance between job creation, prices and investment. But vested interests are making it difficult.

Shock tactics won't help Sydney's energy challenge

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The state of Sydney's pylons, cables, transformers and switching yards is a key issue for 2014, but media scare stories about the risk of city blackouts adds little value to the debate.

The government needs to look beyond its 2020 climate vision

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The ongoing uncertainty surrounding the renewable energy target is stifling investment and undermining attempts to create long-term, credible policies.

An umpire calls for an RET overhaul

RET cost burdens will shift back to consumers if the market stays in its current 'messy' state, the east coast energy market regulator said as it recommended a floating target. But it also came up with another plan.

The ghosts in the electricity grid

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Energy policy uncertainty is forcing some electricity suppliers to keep unproductive power plants in operation. The economically inefficient practice is affecting investors as well as consumers.

A new shock for power companies

Cost-of-living concerns are prompting Australians to cut back electricity consumption, with flow-on problems for power companies. But vendors are on the back foot in understanding customers' behaviour.

Consumer power could fix Australia’s energy debacle

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As politicians and power companies fail to act on rising energy bills, a new PwC report suggests consumer-centrism and new market players could soon run the incumbents ragged.

Time to flick the switch on energy tariffs

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Consumers are being ripped off by an outdated electricity tariff system that doesn’t fairly reflect the real cost of supply, and the problem is only going to get worse.

Watch this space for a gas price explosion

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As gas prices continue rising in New South Wales, government and industry seem clueless on the critical question of how severely international price parity might affect local bills.

A rural headache for the Coalition’s energy strategy

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The Coalition shouldn't ignore the demands of Australian farmers, but accommodating their concerns about an expanding onshore energy industry with the party's energy objectives won't be easy.

Energy policy plays second fiddle to Coalition politics

Energy sector delegates may have been placated by Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane's platitudes about coal seam gas, but his political showmanship did little to advance the energy debate.

Will Abbott flick the nuclear switch?

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A change in public attitudes towards nuclear power should encourage the government to explore the benefits of including it in the local generation mix.

The ugly truth about energy policy

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After years of indulgent decision-making, Australia is in danger of losing its long-term relative energy price advantage. Politicians need to get back to basics on energy policy, before it's too late.

Don't hold your breath for a coherent energy policy

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Australian consumers are paying the price for the unwieldy energy policy processes of federal and state governments. With disarray on both sides of politics, when will the madness end?

Power bill reform needs a switch in time

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Reforming the tariff system will ensure electricity services remain affordable and efficient. But with elections looming, many state governments will be hesitant to take action.

NSW prepares for a gas market collision

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As New South Wales faces a gas supply squeeze, export demand is ramping up. With consumers already feeling the pain, the need to exploit this resource for local benefit is greater than ever.

Time to break the cycle on poor energy policy

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The Energy Policy Institute says the politicisation of environmental issues in Australia has come at the expense of an adequate energy policy. A taskforce – not another government inquiry – is the only solution.

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