Warning of DER contributing to two tier energy system in Australia

A report by the Australian Council of Social Service has pointed to the negative influence of decentralized energy sources on the country’s household bills.

The Guardian reports that the service in conjunction with the Brotherhood of St Laurence have warned they are receiving reports since steep rises in wholesale energy prices began in mid-2016 and added that policy around decentralized energy needs to be scrutinised.
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The report advocates making it easier for at-risk households to access rooftop solar and energy-efficient products; and improving the energy efficiency of public and community housing stock.

“Put plainly, there are concerns that, without significant policy and regulatory reform, the future energy market will create a two-tiered system that favours those who can access and afford distributive energy resources (such as solar panels) and those who cannot, further widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots,” the report says.

“This inequity is further exacerbated when incentives to support the uptake of distributive energy are recouped in a regressive manner through electricity bills, rather than more progressive means, such as from government budgets.”

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s chief executive officer, Cassandra Goldie, said “Efforts to provide access to affordable, reliable and clean energy are failing and low-income and disadvantaged households are bearing the brunt.

“Governments must listen to people’s very deep concerns about energy prices and make the transition to clean energy equitable and affordable for everyone.”

The report was produced after consultation with 120 experts across Australia between March and June this year.à‚ 

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