December 17, 2008

The clever species

Humans are so smart, especially economists, politicians and policy advisers.

From today's letters in The Age

WITH so much in the news about global warming, climate change and the need for all of us to do our bit in terms of alternative, renewable energy sources, it seemed an appropriate time to mention our 12 solar panels, installed in April 2007 at great cost to cut back our carbon footprint and ease our energy bill.

We have recently received our first "solar credit" after 18 months of even bigger energy bills. The amount credited was $1.20. Apparently, with the Victorian solar energy scheme, we still pay for all the energy we use (even though we generate it ourselves with our solar panels) and are only credited with anything sent back into the grid.

Needless to say, we are not exactly overjoyed and, in fact, would quite like our money back. No one explained that we would be subsidising the energy company with our solar panels.

In Germany and other parts of the world, solar panels installed on residences actually cover the cost of energy used and you still get paid for any excess that goes into the grid.

There's something terribly wrong with this system.

Anne S. Walker, Carlton

Yes, yes there is Anne.S.Walker of Carlton.

There's also something wrong and evil about emissions trading, but we'll discuss that a little later, shall we?

Right now, let's bask in the knowledge that installing solar panels will cost you mega bucks, on top of which you will still pay a power company for the free sunshine that you use.

Ah, bless. The search for intelligent life continues.


Former rock star Environmental Minister has announced an even more diabolical - and short lived - scheme than the current miserly pretense at supporting alternative energy sources.

Dumb arsed policy replaced by dickheaded policy


  1. Anonymous9:32 PM


    Bloody hell, how stupid I've been. I thought if you paid the capital costs to generate your electricity then you owned the electricity.

    In that case why not just do a bit a re-wiring - bypass the meter or whatever.

    I worked for a guy (an audio techie) who had his meter recording about half his rather large usage.

    If you looked very close at the spinning thingy in the metre it was stopping and starting all the time - but almost unnoticeable to the eye.

    He did it for years and never got caught. Then his girlfriend moved in, so he thought it best to stop growing dope in his roof. She would have never approved.

    Anyway, what next, pay for the rain water we gather?

    Bechtel tried that one in Bolivia - and retired hurt after the locals got pissed - really pissed, wouldn't you?

    Anyway for every bit of CO2 was stop in Australia the Chinese will add about a million times as much. Not to mention all the rest of the crap.

    Then again I suppose we could pay them a whole lot more money for their products so they could afford to re-fit their factories for cleaner production.

    But would we, and would they?

    As the Chinese would say "not yes".

    Thanks Caz for posting that letter - I've just turned on every light in the flat - the car is idling in the garage - all the TV's are on and I'm running heaps of hot water just because I can. Oh and I've just put the radiator on the veranda to keep the pot plants warm. It does get cold in the wee hours.


  2. Err, as I understand it, if you install residential water tanks and register such with the council, you will, indeed, pay the council for your freely acquired rainwater, captured in your tanks, on your land.

    Guess farmers have had to pay for rainwater landing on their properties for years, so someone thought it was a good idea for residents too.

    Of course, unlike farmers, residents can avoid the issue of paying for their rainwater by not letting the council know they have tanks.


    Just wait until I give you the real scoop on ET (emissions trading)Justin - you'll have to go out and buy extra heaters, to warm the trees, or to defrost the lawn in winter, not to mention that you'll have an urge to install extra light fittings and to stock up on good old fashioned light bulbs.

  3. Anonymous7:50 AM

    I must admit to feeling a bit like I have been sold a pup myself. We installed water tanks earlier this year under the NSW rebate scheme. Total rebate $400... total cost of tanks, including first flush systems, pump to put up to mains pressure etc... $1700.

    Similarly, the solar panel and converting to off peak boost for it cost about $3000 after rebates.

    In the meantime, we use less electricity than we did 4 years ago yet our bills are very substantially more.

    Something seems terribly amiss in all this!

    PS: Webdiary has been a fascinating spectator sport of late. I know that has nothing to do with electricity but I had to say it

  4. A mongrel pup Craig.

    Did you read about the new policy today? (See update link in post.)

    Good thing you already got your rebate, pity if you were thinking of getting another solar panel or two.

    Oh, just so you know: your power bills will only get worse, new policy or not. Wait until you see the bills once smart meters are up and running, and consumers start paying for the billion or so it will cost to install them.

    Webdiary!?!? Holy cow, it still trundles on?

    I had a couple of glory years, some time ago now Craig, when I could not only get away with (only just) calling myself "a blogger", and also had the flexibility of time to loiter in the metaverse.

    These days I "have a blog", and even fly-bys to other blogs is but a rare treat.

    I'd quite forgotten about Webdiary. Hey, even Margo's arch enemy has his blog back within the folds of MSM, and it has never been the same since.

    I must drop by, see what WD is up to.

    A synopsis, by any chance Craig, what has been tickling your fancy at WD: What things ail them at WD and cause them angst in these times of the Rudd Rapture?

  5. "Dumb arsed policy replaced by dickheaded policy."
    Heh heh heh.
    Could na' put it better myself Caz

  6. Anonymous1:33 PM

    I dont seriously expect to see any public utility prices stop increasing full stop. What is so galling is that for the vast majority of people it simply isnt possible to save money. No matter how much we have cut our useage it has been more than offset by the next round (or two) of increases. The same stupid situation applies to public transport. I heard today that two of the inner Sydney projects have been earmarked for Kevins big infrastructure spending spree. The outer suburbs, or those areas with no public transport.... well, lets ignore them!

    Webdiary? My enthusiasm about blogging has been on the wane for a long time. A few rather nasty exchanges on some of the WD outcast blogs finished things for me. I tend to look at times but have given up on posting. WD is in a bit of a time warp, one could almost think that John Howard was still Prime minister with the amount of criticism he gets on there. I find this a little bizarre. I cant wait to see if Marilyn will make a comment about them opening christmas island concentration camp up...should be good.

    But seriously, the place seems to have lost its direction with the demise of JWH. On a whole, the regulars are loathe to say anything bad about St kevin and some recent dummy spits have caused big issues that might finish the whole thing off.

    I am sure Kathy will echo my sentiments in some form or another

  7. Hey, Craig, hope you are fightin' fit.
    Ain't Marilyn a hoot, though.

    She is telling all and sundry to switch off their lights and do their bit. "Don't blame the government," she opines.(She's ranting over at Crikey, too)

    It's ironic isn't it. If Howard(had he been in power) had been the instigator of this soft(useless) emissions target, and not Rudd, she'd have been cursing and causing a ruckus.
    However do people come up with these notions that somehow Rudd is so much more nobler and caring than Howard.

    Ernest William is another, with one eye firmly closed.Complete lack of objectivity.

    I do think a few there are beginning to become a little jaded with Rudd.I notice that he is no longer refered to as Kevin from heaven.
    Kevin 747 seems more apt these days. Lol.

  8. "But John Howard is gone and Kevin Rudd has assumed his role. Ernest you can doubly rejoice and one day in the future, as the unbiased observer you are, I will look forward to the lies of Kevin Rudd Mk 2,527."

    Three cheers for my favourite albatross, Justin!

  9. When I read:

    "He is a stickler for procedure - he is a person who is determined to do the right thing - he inevitably places caveats on the issues about which he does not have the power to give a guarantee - and most of all, he tries his heart out to be honest to the Australian people."

    I threw up in my mouth.

    So much came readily to mind ... petrol prices, grocery prices, hospitals, education revolutions, high speed broadband for the whole country, fair workplace laws ... and on it goes.

  10. Anonymous10:39 AM

    High speed broadband - now I'd like to see that.

    I still find it very hard to watch Rudd, maybe because I'm really not quite sure what I'm watching.

    PS. I have just secured all rights (with the BIG fella upstairs) on the supply and distribution of air.

    Please note that from 1 January 2009 (then on a quarterly basis) all residents of Planet Earth can expect to receive their GASA (Global Air Supply Account) in the mail.

    Residents will be billed on the amount of air they breathe and discounts will be given for those who wish to reduce their consumption (having a lung removed is highly recommended).

    Also abstinence from sex will also go along way to reduce your accounts (heavy breathing is wasteful).

    Best not get into sport, rather take up meditation and get lots of sleep.

    Anyway if you want air then you're gunna have to pay for it just like everything else.

    BTW - if you think you can get outa paying - forget about it - the BIG fella doesn't muck around with useless windbags.

    Can't wait for 2009 - life is gunna be a real GASA.

  11. I intend to reduce my GASA by holding my breath for 30 seconds every minute.

    So there!


    On the alternate 30 second cycles I'm going to use air imported from another galaxy.

    So there!