Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Retail Price Inquiry underpinned by fake economics

Press release: Retail Price Inquiry underpinned by fake economics
Molly Melhuish 28 March 2018

Fake economics is set to underpin Government’s Retail Price Inquiry. It will be carried out by Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and its lead consultant is Concept Consulting.

Both have been wholly captured by Big-Electricity interests – the major generator-retailers and network companies - whose profits depend on growth in electricity demand. Today’s electricity lobby is no more public-spirted than Big Tobacco, or the sugar lobby, or the fake science behind climate-deniers.

Domestic electricity users must achieve an equal weight in how this inquiry is set up. We need support from economic consultants who recognise the many benefits of investment in household energy efficiency and locally supplied renewable energy, in competition with the big-electricity businesses who lobby to protect their interests.

Concept’s three massive reports on economics of new technologies – solar energy, batteries and electric vehicles – are being reported to conclude that solar rooftops will increase climate-warming emissions, and that the low fixed charge regime harms low-income consumers.

Those conclusions derive entirely from the assumptions behind the analyses, and reflect MBIE’s own electricity scenarios which assume continuing growth of electricity demand requiring building of $13 billion of new power stations by 2050, plus new transmission, and local lines assets.

Big-Electricity competes with consumer-driven investments in rooftop solar – and also home insulation, and efficient lightbulbs and appliances. Those investments stabilised domestic electricity demand, which has not grown since 2009 despite significant population growth. The consumer investment in solar + batteries assumed in MBIE’s new-technology scenarios would come to $7 billion by 2050.

Government refused to consult domestic consumers on the terms of reference, and failed to answer at least two requests for consultation. Submissions on the TOR came only from big-electricity interests – power companies, major electricity users and Business New Zealand. Submissions refer to a “consensus” that the Low Fixed Charges regulations should be repealed immediately.

This Retail Price Inquiry is the wolf being set to guard the henhouse. Big Electricity has wholly captured the Inquiry. Unless policy-neutral economics replaces the flawed assumptions of officials and their favoured consultants, the monopoly interests will continue to suppress not only solar rooftops but also household energy efficiency and sustainable home heating.

Householders will face continuing high power bills, and their investments in energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy will be made increasingly uneconomic through the loss of the Low Fixed Charges regime.

Ends

Some sources:

MBIE will carry out the Inquiry, and Concept Consulting the lead consultant:
https://www.gets.govt.nz/MBIE/ExternalTenderDetails.htm?id=19433032

$13 billion new power stations – - for the “disruptive” and “low carbon” scenarios, others are $11-12 billion. From MBIE Electricity Demand and Generation Scenarios,
http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/energy/energy-data-modelling/modelling/electricity-demand-and-generation-scenarios/edgs-2016
click on “Results Scenario Summary XLXS 921 kb”, and open the tab “system cost”

How fixed charges suppress household investment in energy efficiency and renewables:
https://www.raponline.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/rap-ck-mh-aj-network-tariff-design-for-smart-future_2018-jan-19.pdf
Fixed charges take the power of choice out of consumers’ hands...resulting in increased costs for all by driving excessive investments in underutilised grid infrastructure”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Forest And Bird: Misinformation Circulating On Biodiversity Policy

Forest & Bird is concerned at misinformation circulating regarding a policy statement aimed at protecting New Zealand’s unique biodiversity. The National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity is being consulted on by the ... More>>

ALSO:

NIWA: Scientists Say Methane Emitted By Humans ‘vastly Underestimated’

NIWA researchers have helped unlock information trapped in ancient air samples from Greenland and Antarctica that shows the amount of methane humans are emitting into the atmosphere from fossil fuels has been vastly underestimated... More>>

ALSO:

SMC Expert Reaction: Record Dry Spells And Effects On Forests

With no rain forecast before Sunday, Auckland is about to break a record for the city's longest dry spell. Niwa says Auckland is likely to hit 40 consecutive days without rain this weekend . The upper North Island is seeing severe meterological ... More>>

ALSO:



Reserve Bank: Official Cash Rate Remains At 1.0 Percent

The Monetary Policy Committee has decided to keep the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 1.0 percent. Employment is at or slightly above its maximum sustainable level while consumer price inflation is close to the 2 percent mid-point of our target range. ... More>>

ALSO:

Science Media Centre: Novel Coronavirus Detected In China – Expert Reaction

The virus was detected after more than 40 people were hospitalised with pneumonia in Wuhan City, China and the outbreak traced to a large animal and seafood market. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that person-to-person transmission ... More>>

ALSO:

NZ First: Launch Of Parliament Petition To Remove Aluminium Dross

This afternoon to a crowd of over 100 people in Mataura -- Mark Patterson, New Zealand First List MP based in Clutha-Southland launched a parliamentary petition regarding the aluminium dross issue in Mataura, Southland. The petition asks that the House ... More>>

ALSO: