It’s Time to Fight Back

The price of energy in Australia is rising. Whether we like it or not, we’re facing price hikes — and while Aussies are known for being good-natured, it’s time to take a stand!

While we may complain about rising prices, chances are that we won’t actually do much more than that. In a recent article by Glasgow Caledonian University researcher Keith Baker, he noted that in the face of price hikes, British consumers were reluctant to change suppliers. Why? Because they were comfortable dealing with a known supplier, and changing their supplier — setting up new accounts, organising payment details, potentially dealing with technicians’ visits — was inconvenient.

And really, is it worth the hassle of changing suppliers when they’re all relatively similar?

While the energy market is heavily regulated, it is ostensibly open. Yet as in many markets where significant investment is required to simply play ball, it’s clear the market is in the hands of a very small number of large corporations, who adopt similar practices and pricing. For example, there were likely good reasons for some of Australia’s three top energy companies (such as EnergyAustralia and AGL) to all raise their prices on 1 July of this year — but the net effect is closer to a monopoly than open market conditions, reports News.com.au.

Source: News.com.au Data: AEMO

It is well known that Australia has become one of the most expensive countries in the world to live in, but it may surprise you to learn just how expensive it is. For example, the 12.5% price hike that British Gas is subjecting UK citizens to will cost the average household an increase of £76 (AU$125) per year; while in comparison:

- AGL customers in Canberra pay an additional AU$579 per year

- In NSW, EnergyAustralia customers’ bills increased by 19.5%

What is the reaction to such significant increases, and realistically how much higher can these prices go? For many, it’s hard to imagine a world in which crippling energy price rises aren’t a fact of life. But now that dream is a reality. At Power Ledger, we echo the sentiment shared by many, that the energy market needs a truly radical intervention. We like to think that we will be at the forefront of that intervention with our peer-to-peer marketplace that paves the way for energy providers, consumers and businesses to work towards generating and sharing their own renewable energy resources, like solar power, and trading it amongst their neighbours.

This revolutionary approach to energy, that democratises control over supply, demand and pricing, offering a modern, decentralised, low carbon structure to the energy industry has been welcomed by all, including the big utility providers who recognise that they need to find a role in an electricity system in which P2P trading is a major part of the landscape. Power Ledger is already trialling their system with Vector in New Zealand, and with Australian suppliers TasNetworks and Western Power.

So how does it work? Residential and commercial developments generate renewable energy, either as part of a micro-grid (a small group of properties or buildings that operate as a closed-off energy grid), or while connected to existing electricity distribution networks. These energy asset owners decide if and when they want to sell surplus energy, who they’d like to sell it to, and at what price. Power Ledger uses blockchain technology to track each unit of electricity from the point of generation to the point of consumption.

As a result, both consumers and businesses gain greater access to renewable energy and have greater control over market pricing. All of a sudden, the energy market is fundamentally disrupted, and every individual, community and business can actively participate in shaping a more dynamic supply and pricing model. All of a sudden, there’s a viable alternative to faceless corporations. All of a sudden, there is greater freedom of choice.

Ready to take back control and join the energy revolution? Get in touch!