Grumpy / Supply and demand, they’ve got you!

What a blatant rip-off! Reader M McGREGOR, of Curtin, is grumpy about an extra charge that’s popped up in his electricity bill

WITH the introduction of the new “smart meters” ActewAGL has also introduced an extra charge of actually supplying electricity.

In addition to the regular supply charge ($1.26 per day) ActewAGL has also added a new tariff named, appropriately, “demand tariff”.

The purpose of the new tariff, they explain, is to encourage customers to use less electricity at peak times, thus avoiding strain on the electricity network. “Peak times” are described as 7am-9am and 5pm-8pm.

The basis of calculating the new demand tariff is for each smart meter to record one 30-minute period within each month that uses the most electricity (in kilowatts), and then apply a fixed rate ($0.141960 from July 1) for every day of that month!

This is a blatant rip-off, totally unreasonable and incapable of being justified.

I mean, to apply a tariff, based on the highest 30-minute period of usage, to the whole of the month when it was probably recorded in one of the “peak” periods anyway? And, to make matters worse, the GST is added on top of it.

As a result, my latest bill showed the normal “supply charge” ($96.70) but then added a further $152.62 for the new “demand tariff” to supply the same electricity! And we are aged pensioners in our early 80s!

ActewAGL apparently reasons that this “hip-pocket” encouragement will result in people using less electricity during peak periods. But aren’t those peak periods the times when people actually need to use the most electricity, starting the day with washing, showering, radio/TV, cooking breakfast etcetera and, in the evenings, returning home to the TV, air conditioning, cooking, computers etcetera. In fact, the times when a 30-minute period will use the most electricity?

Does ActewAGL really think that people will change their habits, or are they banking on people not changing, so they can sit back and reap in the extra dollars, perhaps to pay for their smart meters?


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