Turns out we never needed NZ Power: power prices drop

At the last election Labour and the Greens proposed nationalising our power markets.

Their plan was utterly crazy and based on lies and false promises. Fortunately it isn’t really needed, as the market has taken care of it.

The latest New Zealand Energy Quarterly, released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), shows the average cost of electricity paid by residential consumers has fallen for the first time in 15 years.

Average sales-based electricity cost data for the year ended March 2016 indicates the average residential cost per unit of electricity used over the period was 1.7 per cent lower than in the previous year.

“The decrease in residential electricity costs was driven by increased discounting activity and incentive credits, which rose 10 per cent compared to the previous year,” says James Hogan, MBIE’s Manager of Energy and Building Trends.

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Has Andrew Little not heard of power sockets?

Andrew Little wants to force all landlords to provide a heat source for rental properties.

He strangely thinks landlords will, out of the goodness in their hearts, not pass on the costs of providing said heat source.

Andrew Little says it’ll only be “greedy landlords” who hike rents on the back of his proposed Bill to insulate and warm homes.

The Labour leader’s Healthy Homes Guarantees Bill is set to be introduced to the House tomorrow which would make sure all rental homes in New Zealand are warm and dry, including a requirement for a heating source in every property.

A heating source? Does he specify what kind of heating source? A coal range? A fireplace? a two bar electric heater? A heat pump?   Read more »

In the interest of “Public Safety”…

Been a while since I’ve shared something from the mailbag

Nothing like 220v ac to warm things up

Hi Cam,

In the interest of “Public Safety”…

(OMG! That sounds UnPC, Nanny state-ness! – Pffttt !) – please read on…
but, is there any chance of getting that video removed from your site?

Playing with electricity is definetly NOT something to be encouraged,
and that’s why in NZ it is a regulated industry. It can KILL people ! Read more »

There is more to cheese than surrender monkeys eating it

Those cunning Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys, otherwise known as the French, have found another use for cheese, other than easing the hunger pangs after a long day marching backwards.

Generating electricity from cheese could be the plot of an Asterix comic book, but that is exactly what is happening at a new power plant in the French Alps.

A by-product of Beaufort cheese, skimmed whey, is converted into biogas, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, at the plant in Albertville, in Savoie.

Bacteria are added to the whey to produce the gas, which is then used to generate electricity that is sold to the energy company EDF.

“Whey is our fuel,” said François Decker of Valbio, the company that designed and built the power station, which opened in October. “It’s quite simply the same as the ingredient in natural yoghurt.”

After full-fat milk is used to make Beaufort cheese, whey and cream are left over. The cream is taken to make ricotta cheese, butter and protein powder, which is used as a food supplement.    Read more »

Where did all that green energy go?

The UK is facing power blackouts this coming winter…and all because of their much vaunted green energy solutions…which don’t work.

Britain’s electricity supplies will be at their tightest level in a decade this winter, forcing the country to rely on emergency measures to ensure the lights stay on, according to official forecasts.

The closure of three power stations has increased the risk of blackouts since last winter, new analysis by National Grid shows.

The ‘safety buffer’ margin between peak winter electricity demand in and the output from Britain’s ageing power stations is likely to fall to just 1.2 per cent – down from 4.1 per cent last year, it finds.

But an emergency system of backup power plants, first introduced last winter, will be in place again this year to help prevent blackouts, the company said.

Even with the backup plants in place, the effective spare margin last winter was 6 per cent and this year will fall to 5.1 per cent – the lowest since 2007-08, Grid data shows.

The backup power plant operators will be paid £37 million to guarantee they can fire up if needed in an emergency, and more if they are actually called upon.  Read more »

Guest Post – My route to a lower power bill – Part 1


I purchased a 3KW Micro Inverter Solar system from the sponsor of Map of the Day, What Power Crisis, back in March and now it’s been running for a while I thought I’d share my experiences over a few articles. Although What Power Crisis did me a decent deal on the system, I’m not being paid to write this.

I bought the system with 3 aims:

1) Cut my power bill which was heading towards $2800pa

2) Get payback on my investment within 10 years

3) Not make life miserable by compromising on comfort and convenience.

I’m not a believer in the great man-made global warming/climate change conspiracy so changes in CO2 emissions didn’t factor into my decisions. Even if this was a concern, much more than half of New Zealand’s generation already comes from renewable sources, so replacing one renewable source with another, especially as it has to be manufactured in the first place, no doubt using fossil fuels, won’t make that much of a difference in my book.

Having run the system since 25th March with an extra couple of panels added recently I’m on track to achieve my targets.

I never measured the power use before I embarked upon renovations so the $2800 is the before-solar cost of a renovated 60’s house, with a DIY solar-heated pool setup and a new well insulated small spa. I can’t quantify how much cheaper the house is to run per month due to the renovations, but it is much more comfortable than before with no mould or damp. We usually wear T-shirts all year round, and the lowest recorded temperature without heating in the living area is 16 degrees.

Cutting power use is the cheapest way to shrink a bill!    Read more »

After years of opposing nuclear power the Green taliban Australia are coming around to it

After decades of telling us nuclear power is evil, despite more people dying in Ted Kennedy’s car than in US nuclear accidents, the green taliban have now worked out that nuclear power is the only truly green power solution.

Now in Australia the green taliban are realising that they really need to embrace nuclear power if they are to come even close to maintaining our lifestyle and reduce emissions.

ALARMISTS like Jay Weatherill now finally admit nuclear power isn’t actually a terrifying mass-killing menace.

Now they say we need nuclear to stop their latest terrifying mass-killing menace — global warming.

Can you believe these guys? Nuclear power has switched from our greatest threat to greatest saviour. Yet none of these hypesters has said sorry for having peddled such baseless scares.

Take Weatherill, South Australia’s Labor Premier. As a budding politician he was “­opposed to nuclear power, all elements of it”, but this week said he’d changed his mind.

Now he was calling a royal commission to “consider what role our state can potentially play in the fuel cycle for the peaceful use of nuclear energy”. See, Weatherill reckons a nuclear industry might help save his struggling state.

The most obvious money-spinner would be a nuclear waste facility, like one Pangea tried to sell in 1999 that would have earned us $2 billion a year.

It makes sense. We have the stable geology and stable government to store the world’s nuclear waste, safe from earthquakes and terrorists.

But such facts never used to count with the likes of the unapologetic Weatherill. Such alarmists instead mounted the usual scare against Pangea and ran it out of town. Pangea couldn’t even get interviews with the young Howard government.   Read more »

I complain, therefore I am

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No wonder the Tiwai Point smelter is still going – we have a large proportion of the population in constant need of aluminium head wear.

They know when you’re out and when you go to bed.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner yesterday fired a warning shot at power companies over the huge amounts of private details that smart meters collect every day.

In a memo, the office said such meters, which are now installed in more than a million New Zealand homes and businesses, could take electricity readings detailed enough to determine whether customers were using high-energy appliances, such as ovens or heaters, and when they had left the house. Read more »

More on the lack of peak oil

Yesterday we explored the lack of peak oil.

I also found an interesting recent article on the topic at Real Clear Politics.

In a chilling 2010 column, Paul Krugman declared: “peak oil has arrived.”

So it’s really not surprising that the national average for a gallon of gas has fallen to $2.77 this week – in 10 states it was under $2.60 – and analysts predict we’re going to dip below the two-dollar mark soon. U.S. oil is down to $75 a barrel, a drop of more than $30 from the 52-week high.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Energy Research estimates that we have enough natural gas in the U.S. to meet electricity needs for around 575 years at current fuel demand and to fuel homes heated by natural gas for 857 years or so – because we have more gas than Russia, Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia combined.

With prices returning to ordinary levels and a few centuries’ worth of fossil fuels on tap, this is a good time to remind ourselves that nearly every warning the left has peddled about an impending energy crisis over the past 30 to 40 years has turned out to be wrong. And none of them are more wrong than the Malthusian idea that says we’re running out of oil.

Each time there’s a temporary spike in gas prices, science-centric liberals allow themselves a purely ideological indulgence, claiming – as Krugman, Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren and countless others have – that we’re rapidly approaching a point when producers will hit the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum. Peak oil. With emerging demand, fossil fuels will become prohibitive. And unless we have our in solar panels in order, Armageddon is near.   Read more »

Green energy bludgers put their hand out for more corporate welfare


As if blinding pilots and frying bird life isn’t enough the corporate bludgers who built the solar plant at Ivanpah with a cheap Federal loan are now trying to line up a Federal grant to pay off the Federal loan.

There is literally nowhere in the world where these green energy projects can survive without running to the government to be bailed out with loans or subsidies or grants.

Worse still the plant is owned by Google…who have more money than a bull can poop…I suggest they cough for their stupid project themselves.

After already receiving a controversial $1.6 billion construction loan from U.S. taxpayers, the wealthy investors of a California solar power plant now want a $539 million federal grant to pay off their federal loan.

“This is an attempt by very large cash generating companies that have billions on their balance sheet to get a federal bailout, i.e. a bailout from us – the taxpayer for their pet project,” said Reason Foundation VP of Research Julian Morris. “It’s actually rather obscene.”

The Ivanpah solar electric generating plant is owned by Google and renewable energy giant NRG, which are responsible for paying off their federal loan. If approved by the U.S. Treasury, the two corporations will not use their own money, but taxpayer cash to pay off 30 percent of the cost of their plant, but taxpayers will receive none of the millions in revenues the plant will generate over the next 30 years.

“They’re already paying less than the market rate,” said Morris, author of a lengthy report detailing alleged cronyism and corruption in the Obama administration’s green energy programs. “Now demanding or asking for a subsidy in the form of a grant directly paying off the loan is an egregious abuse.”

NRG doesn’t see it that way, telling Fox News the money is there for the taking.”NRG believes in a clean and sustainable energy future and therefore participates in available government programs to develop and expand the use of clean energy to accelerate America’s energy independence.” In 2013, the Obama administration handed out $18.5 billion in renewable energy grants, with $4.4 billion going to solar projects.

Ivanpah is the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world. It was unveiled in February with great fanfare. Dr. Ernest Moniz, the U.S. Secretary of Energy, justified taxpayers’ investment at the time, saying, “We want to be technology leaders. It’s good for our economy and it’s also good for helping stimulate the global transition to low carbon.”

Read more »