Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

A history of Hydro

Going back to the Seventies and the early 80’s I recall Hydro Tasmania media statements saying water levels in the state’s dams were of high concern: levels were at 30% off full capacity.

Hydro advised customers to get wood heaters to preserve water in the dams. Customers going into Hobart’s Hydro building for advice were told this.

It’s all changed now &helped; with the arrival of Basslink water reserves are drained as heavily as possible to maximise profits in mainland markets. regularly Hydro dams are down to 30 per cent capacity (that is, 70 per cent empty; how different to the 70’s, early 80’s …)

A little history …

In the 90’s Hydro developed a sudden change of direction and “Hydro Heat” as a new product to drive sales of power.

With Management suddenly decided they were in the electricity business and should promote electricity sales … instead of turning business away.

“Hydro Heat” consultants (employees of Hydro Retail), were set up within the new business model.

This “Hydro Heat scheme” later changed name to the “Preferred Supplier Scheme”: under the Aurora brand, both models say their staff go to consumers homes to advise on what heating to select.

Then referred to Aurora Preferred Suppliers as accredited partners for supply and installation of recommended electrical heating appliance options.

The “T42” special rate for heating was created that initially was cheaper than the T41 hot water rate. The T41 hot water meter was used and simply re-named t42 . This conveniently bundled hot water into the new “Hydro Heat” as a new lower rate T42 deal to drive sales volumes.

As time went on the T41 hot water solos rate meter and the new T42 re-classified meter where “Hydro Heat “ appliances were installed, became the same price rate per kw hr. Then in later years Aurora simply stopped reclassifying meters to T42 from T41 , seemingly to cost staff costs in doing so, as if made no difference to pricing, but lost tracking of new installations of Hydro Heat data for the Aurora Preferred suppliers division, which has since been disbanded.

Tasnetworks /Aurora’s new boss Lance Balcombe is incorrect in his statements that T31 subsidises T41/42 as far as home heating rates are concerned.

He is simply trying to kill off the T41/42 tariff inappropriately and to see gross disadvantage to a large sector of Tasmanians needing economical heating against our cold Tasmanian climate.

Bryan Green: Groom backflip on Tariff 41

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Steve

    August 8, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    #2; “..any state government that oversees the removal of T41 will almost certainly be removed themselves at the next election.”.
    Now there’s the best argument I’ve read in favour of immediately scrapping T41!

  2. Ben Lohberger

    August 8, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Re #1

    The cheaper hot water rate in Tasmania was introduced by the Hydro in the 1920s or 30s to encourage the take-up of electric hot-water heaters, and thus increase demand to meet the growing supply of electricity that Hydro had coming on line.

    As John Thirgood mentions, the powers that be decided to encourage the take-up of wired-in heaters during the 1990s by doing the same thing – offering the cheaper tariff that was previously reserved for hot water only.

    It’s more than a little unfair for the industry to now start publicly canvassing for the removal of a subsidy that they came up with, which has encouraged/lured tens of thousands of Tasmanians to convert their properties to wired-in heating on T41 (including most Housing Department properties).

    Because of the expense involved in converting heating systems, or running wired-in heating on T31, the removal of T41 actually has the capacity to make a lot of people very angry.

    But I strongly doubt it’ll ever happen; any state government that oversees the removal of T41 will almost certainly be removed themselves at the next election.

  3. Steve

    August 8, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    If T31 is $0.25/unit and T41 is $0.15/unit, whilst the actual value of the product is $0.20/unit, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to say that one group is subsidising the other.
    Obviously though, my above proposition is a gross simplification of the situation, with the reality far more complicated. I’ve never really understood the different rates in Tasmania. Traditionally “Off-Peak” power was devised as a mechanism to encourage electricity use at times of low demand. This makes sense with traditional power stations but surely hydro is so concerned about base load? They just leave the water in the dam!
    I would think the group that’s really subsidising other users are the poor old commercial users; those who aren’t big enough to rate “special” deals. T22 at $0.34/unit must make solar look pretty good!

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