In these two earlier posts, I commented on the need for carbon compensation to be attached to energy bills. I focused on the political benefits of such an approach. But there is another, more important reason for compensating low-income households this way.
Rather than the monthly bills that we receive for many subscription / contract services we use, electricity bills arrive quarterly. This can cause significant price shock to low-income households with limited access to savings and credit.
An article by Shane Wright in the West Australian (via Peter Martin) has given me a bit of a rethink about the “milk war”. I am seeing more parallels with the retail of milk and electricity retail markets.
Perhaps I should take this as notice to think about energy markets less and to get out more…
Essentially, for most consumers of milk and pretty much all consumers of electricity, the product is a simple one and all we care about is price. The role of milk producers and electricity retailers, however, is to compete on anything but price. Here lies the tension between marketing and consumer benefit.
The votes have been counted and the headline results are as predicted months ago. The only talking point of interest, at this stage, has been reflections on the Greens vote. Various commentators have called the Greens result a disappointment, given that they went into the election as favourites in Balmain and strong chances in Marrickville, and on current vote appear Labor appear to have held Marrickville and likely to hold Balmain (though it’s very close).
But was the Greens result really so disappointing? What were the positives for the progressive Left?
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Part one of this post criticised the assumptions behind the proposed model of household compensation under the Rudd Government’s CPRS. Part two, below, looks at an alternative approach.