Electricity in Australia – Expensive, Unreliable and Getting Worse

How do electricity prices in Australia compare with USA?

“In a study by Alex Robson, released last week by the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre, comparisons are presented between energy costs in Australia and the US.

“The bottom line is that Australian households and businesses routinely pay two to three times as much as their US counterparts. Energy in the US also is more reliable and the pricing arrangements are more transparent.

“In the past decade, average power prices in Australia increased in real terms by about 70 per cent for households and businesses. In the US, real electricity prices for households stay­ed essentially flat; those for indus­trial users dropped by 10 per cent. When it comes to gas, the picture also is alarming. Australian manufacturers are being charged almost 50 per cent more in real terms than they were a decade ago, whereas manufacturers in the US are paying nearly two-thirds less. The average real price of gas also has fallen significantly for US households.”

As Robson sums up: “On electricity and gas price outcomes, the two economies have taken completely opposite paths.”

Source: Judith Sloan writing in The Australian Newspaper [Paywall]:
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/judith-sloan/still-paying-the-price-for-energy-delusions/news-story/8ff97e5d1869e9a215c222a0f5fdc57b

Report from the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre:
https://www.ussc.edu.au/analysis/australias-energy-crisis-americas-energy-surplus

The report [PDF, 10 MB]: https://united-states-studies-centre.s3.amazonaws.com/attache/82/d7/a0/2b/3b/69/09/82/f2/59/78/d5/85/6d/92/af/It-doesnt-have-to-be-this-way-Australias-energy-crisis-Americas-energy-surplus.pdf

2 thoughts on “Electricity in Australia – Expensive, Unreliable and Getting Worse”

  1. Electricity for consumers in Australia would be much cheaper if Governments [all parties] stop slugging users with hefty taxes.

    Until Governments look at their own greed for taxes to cover their overspending on less important things then there is very little hope for battlers to keep the lights on.

    Governments [including in Australia] can always come up with an excuse why costs keep rising year after year when in fact the answer to rising costs lies squarely with government financial and energy mis-management.

    1. Regarding financial mismanagement, we should remember that during the Global Financial Crisis PM Rudd and Treasurer Swan decided to borrow thousands of millions of dollars “to promote full employment and maintain the stability of the Australian economy”. Our governments must now tax and charge us for decades. We will also need to send colossal quantities of mined ore and agricultural products overseas to repay the money we owe.

      I recall phoning Mr Rudd’s office one week after he became PM in 2007 and asking, “Now that Mr Rudd has signed Kyoto so that he can sell out our environment and borrow against it, how long will it take befor Mr Rudd gets us into debt up to our necks and then gets himself a job in the United Nations?” His staffer answered “Surely you’re joking. We have twenty billion in surplus!” It didn’t take long.

      Perhaps Mr Rudd was trying to get Australia into debt in order to ingratiate himself with the UN banks. As a member of the de Vere clan he may have been trying to emulate Herbert Vere Evatt who became president of the UN in the 1950s.

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