Smart meters –> energy price rises by: JK

Recently, in our street in suburban Melbourne, we have had “smart” meters installed. The program of smart meter installation has been legislated by the Victorian Government – you don’t have a choice about whether you get one or not; it will come to you. Last week I received a letter from my retailer, Origin, flagging “Time-of-Use” (ToU) energy prices. For the vast majority of us, this will result in major increases in bills.

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Why acting on Climate Change is a MUST do… by: JK

Gambling is a societal issue and one that creates a lot of grief in our communities. There are many opinions as to why people are willing to make inordinately risky decisions; be it lifestyle, financial or social. This is no more so than when the risk is perceived to be in a nebulous future and especially so if there appears to be a debate about the facts. I guess this is probably the reason that Climate Change is failing to stir the hearts and minds of many people in the US and here in Australia but, strangely enough, not in the vast majority of the rest of the world. Both here and in the US, this issue has been badly politicised.

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“I told you so” is not an option by: JK

I recently heard a disturbing report on the Radio National breakfast show – what if the models are under-estimating the effects of climate change.

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….and another thing…. by: JK

What gives with the Victorian Government and the environment? Don’t Liberals have to pay energy bills?

On Monday last, there was a story in the Age of how, in order to try to “streamline” processes, they were considering removing the 6-star rating on newly built homes. Ostensibly to try to remove “red tape”, this proposal drew heavily on a Master Builders Association report from July 2010, which argued that “forcing” people to build houses with higher star ratings may cost more in building resources than it delivers in energy savings. Now the members of the MBA may be struggling with change, I don’t know, but surely it pays to find out the facts about the advantages or otherwise of building to a high standard.

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Does anyone really care? by: JK

In the recent past, I have become increasingly exasperated by our popular Governments. It is not the job of our Governments to be popular – indeed, if they don’t step on some toes, it could be argued that they aren’t doing their jobs properly. Democracy is supposed to be the government of the people, by the people, for the people. Nowadays, it seems summed up by of the political parties, for the special interest groups be they mining, manufacturing or any of a hundred others. Gone are the days of people going into politics for the benefit of their fellow citizens. Nowadays, with poll driven attention spans, if a policy isn’t at least poll neutral, it has difficulty in becoming law. And let’s not even go near being good fellow global citizens.

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Another challenge… by: JK

Only a little one this time – and it’s one where I don’t need to take a leave of absence from my family, fortunately. Please sponsor me and help the Leukaemia Foundation’s work. I’m being brave and doing the Worlds Greatest Shave!
Please sponsor me now!

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Are you a fan of smarter energy use? by: JK

Now that summer is well and truly upon us it is time to talk about how to stay cool without blowing the energy budget.

Keeping the heat out in the first place is smarter than trying to cool your living spaces after the fact:

  1. Make sure your home is as draughtproof as you can make it – this will help keep you warmer in winter as well!
  2. On hot days keep the curtains closed – lighting a space takes less energy than cooling especially if you are using leading edge LED lights – if you have external blinds or awnings, use them
  3. Set your ceiling fan to summer mode and use it in preference to air conditioning – you’ll be surprised by how much difference it makes

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Finally…a price on carbon pollution by: JK

At long last, we have a price on carbon and now the work can begin to create an Australia that makes use of its amazing renewable energy resources for electricity production in particular.

This has been a long time coming but with a “blood oath” hanging over this legislation, this is also the time to make sure we move from talking to doing quickly.The best way to create acceptance of the new technologies to be deployed is to get them up and running so that the “chicken little” comments can be shown to be just that. Most people will see that the sky hasn’t fallen in – sure, you will get certain interest groups complaining and big carbon polluters will have to change the way they do things. Sometimes change can be difficult, especially if you have been used to doing the same thing day-in, day-out for well over a century. There are opportunities to be had and the sooner we get on-board and develop our expertise in these new technologies, the more benefit we can make of the global move to a clean, renewable, low carbon lifestyle – one in which our children and grand-children can live without the diabolical consequences of having to deal with runaway Climate Change hanging over their heads.

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