AN ENERGY “death spiral” could result in electricity prices skyrocketing further as some customers tear up large bills in favour of using their own solar and battery power.
A Senate committee examining the management of electricity networks has found bill shock will become even more shocking for some unlucky customers as improving technology allows other customers to go “off-grid”.
A report prepared by the Environment and Communications References Committee said it was increasingly likely more and more customers would generate their own electricity in the future as technology improves solar and battery power, leaving fewer customers to foot the bill for the growing and expensive electricity network.
“Electricity prices, largely driven by network costs, have risen significantly while the demand for electricity has declined,” the report says.
“This had led to concern about a death spiral; that is, high prices are causing demand to decline while also encouraging consumers and businesses to engage in their own generation activities. Remaining customers would be required to pay an increasing share of the network costs.”
With more than one million solar power systems already on roofs and emerging battery storage technology allowing homes to store their own solar power, we could see an even more dramatic behaviour shift.
The report recommended an urgent investigation into electricity production, asking state governments to “prioritise efforts” to focus on whether networks are properly anticipating more and more customers going “off-grid”.
Meanwhile, the committee is still considering allegations of price rorting by electricity company Energex.
Complete article with video was posted on The Courier Mail linked here