Carbon Tax on Green Energy

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Richo
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Carbon Tax on Green Energy

Post by Richo » Tue, 03 Jul 2012, 20:47

Synergy (WA electricy supplier) will be passing on the carbon tax to consumers of green energy.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/br ... een-users/

Sounds more like they can't/wont change their database to account for the new change in pricing.

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If you pay for green energy then you should be getting green energy.
This was suppose to be independently audited so we get what we pay for.
Synergy can't turn around and tell us they don't know or can't gaurantee where our power is coming from - it's a requirement.

So now we pay more for green energy and even more for a carbon tax where no carbon is produced.

Go the fat cats with thier greedy prockets...
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Carbon Tax on Green Energy

Post by woody » Tue, 03 Jul 2012, 21:57

Isn't only 1/2 of the power price rise from carbon impost? (In NSW 8.7%/16% price rise is carbon impost - 54%).
0.65c/2.255c is 29% discount when it should be 54%*2.255 = 1.2c.

I think a better debate is should the carbon produced by off-peak coal stations be charged to the off-peak users or the peak users?

I say peak users, since the power stations can't match the variability of demand.
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Carbon Tax on Green Energy

Post by Richo » Wed, 04 Jul 2012, 20:41

The end game will be we get uesd to paying for the carbon tax and nothing happens to reduce the emmision of carbon.

Charging the tax to peak/off-peak would be a nightmare as this would imply everyone having a new timed-tariff(smart) meter insalled
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Carbon Tax on Green Energy

Post by jonescg » Thu, 05 Jul 2012, 01:20

Well I have been paying the extra dollars for "green" energy for the last year.

Synergy claimed it was the simplest means to ensure you were supporting renewable energy projects, and you could rest assured that all of the electricity you purchased had been produced by non-CO2 emitting means.

I accept that poles and wires are the main cause of the recent price rises, and the CO2 price added something like 1.5 c/kwh.

But to slug ALL electricity customers with the CO2 price rise, including those who are already paying a premium for clean electricity, is just plain rude.

Their excuse was that "there is no way of distinguishing between renewable and non-renewable energy" - A year 10 science student can tell you that electrons are electrons. But that same year 10 science student can do the maths on how much a years worth of green power tarrifs would amount to, and how the 7000 customers paying it amounts to quite a lot of renewable capacity. If they knew there was no means to calculate the total green energy production, why then did they set the scheme up in the first place? And if they did set it up with no intention of using the additional revenue for installing more renewable supplies, then they are guilty of misleading advertising.

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Carbon Tax on Green Energy

Post by Simon » Thu, 05 Jul 2012, 06:29

If you have been paying for "green" energy and they say that I would be asking for my money back!! Image

A bit like home solar power systems, you get solar panels and have the satisfaction of producing clean power but sell the RECs and someone else buys your solar power credits and can feel good about using renewable energy. At least that's my understanding of how the system works?

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Carbon Tax on Green Energy

Post by bga » Fri, 06 Jul 2012, 15:43

SYNERGY MUST DIE!

For statements like this:
"Our GreenPower customers receive a mix of energy - it's impractical and too expensive to have separate powerlines from renewable-only sources and given the intermittency of renewable energy,"

History will record that organisation is being run by a bunch of mindless jerks who were first against the wall when the revolution came.
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We would all be better off in a deregulated, transparent and open environment where consumers actually have some choice and can see the costs and markups of the various generators, carriers and marketers (die synnergy!).

In western Australia we have a really fake privatisation (generator:Verve / carrier:Wester Power / retailler:Synergy, all state run), it largely remains that historic state run monopoly with artificial pricing between the various components, the effect being to stifle competition.

[Think of PV output as occurring during summer peak demand, merit order pricing would indicate that the buy price for this electricity should be 5 or 10 times the miserable buy rate offered by Synergy.]

Synergy I would single out for particular torture. They have repeatedly shown themselves to be one of the most useless retailers I have ever encountered.

++ Afterthought
I was offended by patronising nature of the statement highlighted above.

Also the obvious BS in another state of the same press story:
"The State-owned utility justified its decision after claiming it could not distinguish between renewable energy and energy produced from fossil fuels supplied to households."

This makes them either liars or completely incompetent.
Last edited by bga on Tue, 10 Jul 2012, 09:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Carbon Tax on Green Energy

Post by Richo » Fri, 06 Jul 2012, 20:24

Now they want to rub it in by saying that they would have to increase the price 20% just break even with the cost of generation.
Well where is the shortfall coming from now? Tax payers.
So what is the difference between me paying it directly or indirectly.
At least if I pay it directly I have the option of turning the switch OFF.
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Carbon Tax on Green Energy

Post by coulomb » Sat, 07 Jul 2012, 14:39

bga wrote: SYNERGY MUST DIE!

For statements like this:
"Our GreenPower customers receive a mix of energy - it's impractical and too expensive to have separate powerlines from renewable-only sources and given the intermittency of renewable energy,"

Huh? But that's the reality of green power, isn't it? If you pay for 100% green (I believe you can pay for part green as well, but let's assume 100%), then if you use X kWh in your 90 day billing period, then as long as they have X kWh of renewable energy supplied, then you're covered. It doesn't really matter that in the middle of a still night, no green energy might be being supplied to anyone, as long as its made up for at other times. So when all the green customers' usage is added up, as long as the green energy supply exceeds that total, they are fulfilling their contract, and the customer (in my view) is getting what they pay for.

It really would be insane to supply every green energy customer with their own power lines, and install battery systems so that every unit of energy that they consume at every instant is green.

When you pay for green power, you expect energy equal to your usage is supplied from renewable sources. Their statement seems to be to merely be stating that fact. My apologies if I have misinterpreted.
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Carbon Tax on Green Energy

Post by coulomb » Sat, 07 Jul 2012, 14:50


Having said that, I don't think that 100% green customers should be paying any extra due to the carbon tax. I guess the power companies are arguing that green customers are using the high-carbon generation sources as a sort of backup for when the renewable energy isn't available, due to rain, night time, lack of wind, etc. But it's only "borrowed"; all the carbon sourced energy you borrow is paid back, by the renewable source providing energy at another time, so they don't have to generate as much, so they don't need to pay any carbon tax (overall) for the 10)% green customers. Sure, they need to pay for power lines to the coal generators, but not for any coal energy they use.

Put another way: to add one hundred more 100% green customers, they might have to generate more energy when the renewable energy is not available. But when the renewable energy is on, and they have enough installed, they get it all back again, by not having to generate energy for some of their ordinary customers. Overall, they don't need to generate any more energy for these 100 new customers, so they won't pay any extra carbon tax for those new customers, so they should not charge any extra to 100% green customers to cover the carbon tax. Green customers are carbon neutral (positive and negative at different times of the week, but overall, neutral).
Last edited by coulomb on Sat, 07 Jul 2012, 04:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Carbon Tax on Green Energy

Post by bga » Tue, 10 Jul 2012, 01:24

That's supposed to be idea that there's a correspondence of kwhs over the period with the grid and all of the brown customers acting as a battery to buffer the accounting of the green energy**.

Last time I checked, my bank was not having trouble quarantining my finances from my neighbor's and they haven't given me back the same $50 note I deposited 6 months ago.

Here's what they (Synergy) said in 2009:
"As a GreenPower accredited product, NaturalPower must comply with the rules of the GreenPower program in order to achieve accreditation. The program requires the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for each MWh sold."
(is this diffeent to actually buying the power?)

Sounds reasonable and no CO2 emissions in sight.

Perhaps their billing model tells the tale more accurately:
There is the standard tariff
   - the untimed A1, now 24.8866 cents/unit
   - including a new carbon tax impost of 2.5 cents per unit
AND a surcharge of about 5 cents per unit for 100% green power.

This doesn't sound like a very honest green power offer to me.


++
Good point Richo,
This says that Verve is running at a loss, or there is a cross subsidy operating that depresses the wholesale price of electricity. This has the effect of providing the an adantage to the entrenched generator.

This may in part explain the very poor renewable energy feedin tariff.

A LIBERAL state government will be looking for every angle to make a LABOR carbon tax unpopular.
Last edited by bga on Mon, 09 Jul 2012, 15:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Carbon Tax on Green Energy

Post by jonescg » Tue, 10 Jul 2012, 01:31

Indeed it's not. At best, it's misleading advertising, at worst it's gouging. Again, I ask if there are grounds for class action here? Or at least requesting my year's worth of green energy payments back in my pocket?
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Carbon Tax on Green Energy

Post by Richo » Tue, 10 Jul 2012, 07:00

As far as I see it they have dug themselves in a hole with charging carbon tax to green energy users.
I bet there would be more interest in renewable energy if our power wasn't so subsidised by our back pockets.
I'm sure you are getting your green energy - remember it independantly audited.
It's just now you have to pay for a tax on something you aren't using.
So you could only claim after you have paid the carbon tax.
Any you could only claim the tax portion.
What's that $30/qtr for the average household?
Could you justify a $400/hr solicitor for an incorrectly charged $30/qtr tax?
It could only work as a class action and only affect green energy users of Synergy.
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Carbon Tax on Green Energy

Post by bga » Tue, 10 Jul 2012, 18:49

With the withdrawl any explicit feedin subsidies, the miserable RE feedin tariff (currently 0.07/kwh) is now exposed and subject to the scrutiny and criticism of consumers. There doesn't seem to have been much public comment about this yet.

The feedin tariff should be set to encourage desirable energy sources or discourage undesirable ones. Currently, it would appear that in WA, PV solar fits in the latter.
Perhaps this is not surprising when the very obvious local bias towards towards natural gas consumption is considered. The gas price is set at approximately 1/3 that of electricity, so this does not reflect particularly good value for consumers.

According to this very informative report:
How are electricity prices set in Australia?

The breakdown is approximately
    10% retail costs
    45% network costs
    45% wholesale electricity costs

By this rule, the WA feedin tariff is slightly discounted over the average wholesale electricty cost. However, this make no account for the generation profile (summer peaks) or suburban rooftop PV's proximity to the eventual consumers.

Given the weight of the wholesale electricity component of retal prices, that glib government statement of a 20% (retail) price increase to break even on generation would imply that wholesale electricity prices in WA are only 60% of the actual generation cost.
Last edited by bga on Tue, 10 Jul 2012, 09:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Carbon Tax on Green Energy

Post by juk » Wed, 11 Jul 2012, 08:16

I enquired to Synergy about paying more for green power to be used for infrastructure, so that they'd build more. Their answer didn't grasp the concept i was aiming for, but they said that every MWh they sold as green power they bought a certificate for.

Synergy are either lying about their certificate purchases or about their carbon tax liabilities.

If i was a Synergy green power custom i'd ask for a refund for the entire amount i've paid extra for the entire length of the time i'd been in the program.

A letter of complaint to the ACCC citing Apple's prosecution for claiming that the iPad was 4G even though it is 4G should be compared and contrasted to Synergy's claim of Green power that's now Brown.

Here is their mail, please use it against them, and if anyone wants the whole thing, then PM me, though i've only edited it for privacy:





Dear Mr juk

Thankyou for your enquiry re Green Energy.

Synergy has two Green Energy products - Easy Green and Natural Power. These products allow customers to apportion either a percentage of their energy consumption, or a set dollar amount to each two-monthly Synergy account for the purchase of renewable energy.

As part of the accreditation process Synergy are required to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for every MWh of our EasyGreen and Natural Power sold. RECs for new customers are only available from renewable generators commissioned after January 1997, so this requirement helps to stimulate development in the renewable energy industry. However, the purchase of the REC adds to the cost of Green Energy products.

The renewable energy industry is developing and innovating. There are research and development costs, capital start-up costs etc, which make purchasing renewable energy more expensive.

Synergy puts the extra money you pay towards purchasing renewable energy, and as a GreenPower accredited product, all power purchased is from WA renewable energy sources, to stimulate and support development of the renewable energy industry.

If you're interested in signing up for Easy Green and Natural Power, you can apply online or simply contact our Customer Service Centre on 13 13 53 between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday.

Yours sincerely

Jade
Customer Service Representative
Retail
Synergy (ABN: 71 743 446 839),228 Adelaide Tce, Perth, WA, 6000, Australia

customer enquiries - Residential 131353 : Business 131354 : Faults 131351 : fax: (08) 9221 4628
email: info@synergyenergy.com.au | identification no.: 23902

--Original Message--
From:     juk
Date:     25/12/08
To:     info@synergy.net.au
Subject:     General Enquiry from Synergy website.[#1079781]

Below is the result of your on-line form. It was submitted by (juk) on Thursday, December 25, 2008 at 14:54:26
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

realname: juk

email: juk

subject: Green energy

enquiry: I'd like to pay extra, not for existing green power, but to create new green power. I'd rather my money went to increase the infrastructure, not to pay for existing. Is this possible?

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Carbon Tax on Green Energy

Post by bga » Fri, 13 Jul 2012, 16:45

Hi Juk,

I have a very similar letter on file.

Perhaps this story in the climate spectator may help to explain why the PV solar deal is so poor:
Could switching off a light bankrupt energy retailer

Quote from the above:
...
That is a very strong price signal, and testifies to the effectiveness of an efficient market. It may explain why generators are less than enamoured by schemes, such as energy efficiency and distributed PV, that take market share away from their business.

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Post by juk » Fri, 13 Jul 2012, 18:27

If that article is true then they're dead in the water. If they keep putting up the price of electricity with it now over $0.20 a kWh, everyone will install solar. I note that 1.5kW which will generate 8kWh on average a day, or $1.60 only costs $2250 giving a payback time of less than 4 years.

This size system would cover my entire power bill and so apart from using the grid as a battery i wouldn't need them at all. With the price of batteries coming down and their ever increasing charges for service and supply i'd be better of going off grid.

In australia the retail price of electricity is about double that of the US. Something somewhere is very wrong.

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Carbon Tax on Green Energy

Post by Richo » Mon, 16 Jul 2012, 20:33

And it won't be that long before used eV batteries come out and play for use in the home UPS market.
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Carbon Tax on Green Energy

Post by T2 » Sun, 22 Jul 2012, 15:09

Feed In Tarriffs (FIT) for PV is 58cents/Kwhr here, it used to be 82cents.
This when the spot price on wholesale market for hydro and thermally generated power was 4 cents, or when resold to the residential market it appeared as 7cents.

Of course when the Province of Ontario realised they were losing their shirts on this deal they instituted the Global Adjustment which is a surcharge on the bill to account for those generous FIT giveaways.

Wind power is problematic because only one seventh of the installed capacity can be guaranteed to be producing at any one time. For this reason 'spinning reserves' have to be maintained just in case.

Wind power on the other hand would be a great idea if combined with a battery storage farm so that the total project can sell to the grid during peak periods.

But if you're going to make that argument why not store turbogenerated electricity overnight instead for the same reason. This would improve the overnight load factor efficiency of the steam plant when it may be otherwise running at only 10% efficiency due to fractional loading, and save the cost of the whole wind farm infrastructure ?

Wind energy has come to a stop here recently because of perceived health risks, similar delays also affect England. However it has to be mentioned that the supposed carbon capture may not be all that it has been hyped up to be and that is the real reason the government is stalling. Of course one of the reasons for the green energy promotion is to create new jobs in Ontario as the industrial sector continues to get hollowed out by outsourcing to South East Asian manufacturers. Does this sound familiar ?
Problem is companies like Hyundai were brought in to organise the manufacture of the turbines but they haven't produced the jobs,some say, even before the slow down on their installations.   
T2

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Post by bga » Fri, 10 Aug 2012, 16:07

More novel (stupid?) ideas from me:

Suppose that, instead of a 'supply charge', electricity suppliers started with a supply credit, say $100 per period and then charged more per kwh for electricity, set so that the 'average' consumer sees no penalty.

This would have the effect of rewarding those idealists and cost conscious consumers who maintain their usage below average, while penalising those that insist on living like Americans who consume something like 35kwh per day.

This base supply credit could be adjusted each billing period so that the scheme remains revenue neutral as consumer behavior changes. (the TAB as no problem calculating the odds for 5M bets.)
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Post by Johny » Fri, 10 Aug 2012, 16:23

I have a feeling that the powers-that-be are way ahead of us - at least in some regards. The roll out of Smart Meters, often viewed with cynicism is a major part of the push toward controlling high energy electricity users in peak times (and perhaps other times).

The facit of Smart Meters that is not widely advertised to the public is that the Zigbee interface that the Smart meters have integrated, is not limited to being able to monitor your own power consumption. There is a standard for high-consumption appliances - air conditioners, hot water heaters, floor heating, EV charge stations, for "Zigbee complience". For instance, the DiUS ChargeIQ we have had installed (temporarily) for the Leaf, has a Zigbee interface and the manufactures were dissapointed that our Smart meter wasn't installed yet.

Basically it means that electricity providers will be able to spot high-energy users, and the reasons for that high energy usage - and shut them down when they feel like it. The 10-15kwh homes shouldn't suffer too much - but the 30-40kwh houses will surely notice.

I think that the day will come soon when the McMansions feel the crunch.

Edit: Zigbee
Last edited by Johny on Fri, 10 Aug 2012, 10:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by jonescg » Fri, 10 Aug 2012, 16:53

Or EV owners?
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Post by Johny » Fri, 10 Aug 2012, 16:58

jonescg wrote: Or EV owners?
No I don't think EVs will be effected. They will mainly charge off-peak when there is power to spare. If someone charges at a peak time and there is a power shortage then fair enough that the chargeer is turned off until the infrastructure can cope again.

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Post by coulomb » Fri, 10 Aug 2012, 18:59

Johny wrote: [ EV owners ] No I don't think EVs will be affected. They will mainly charge off-peak when there is power to spare.

This is hopefully true for domestic EVs, used for non-commercial purposes. But I was wondering today what will happen with commercial EVs. Sure, some will have plenty of range for a whole day's work, and will be recharged at night. That's where we'd like to head in the future, for sure.

But for the next decade or so, EV range will probably be a bit short for night charging. A delivery driver may plug in during his/her lunch break, perhaps absorbing some of the excess PV energy available near midday. But the sun doesn't shine every midday. With pool vehicles, I suspect that they'll be plugged in immediately that they are returned to base; you don't know whether it will be needed before the next overnight charge or not. Maybe they will have some Leaf-like smarts, so they can immediately charge to say 40% SOC regardless of time of day, and only charge from 40% to 80% or 100% overnight.

It's hard to say whether a significant fraction of the EV market will be commercial or domestic; it depends on many factors.
Last edited by coulomb on Fri, 10 Aug 2012, 09:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Richo » Fri, 10 Aug 2012, 20:45

Zigby - Zigbee?

My smart meter has no method of wireless communication.
Only certain suburbs had a trial period of this some tiame ago.
Wish it did - meter is inaccessable from the road.
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Post by Johny » Fri, 10 Aug 2012, 20:54

Sorry Zigbee - didn't check. Yes it might just be the Victorian Smart Meters. The DiUS guy was quite excited by the whole thing. They are apparently the only charge point that has Smart Meter certification (so far).

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