• 04 JAN 15
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    Smart meters proposed for Tasmania in new Tas. government draft for public comment

    It had to come: The industry push (with the usual spin) to introduce smart meters in Tasmania. Note that in the government’s draft policy statement public comments are invited until February 15, 2015. I will certainly be sending in a submission and invite all interested individuals and groups to send in submission as well.

    Don Maisch

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    The following appeared in the Tasmanian Mercury newspaper on December 22, 2014:

    Bid to restore energy advantage with pay-less power strategy

    DAVID KILLICK
    Mercury
    December 22, 2014 12:00AM

    SMART meters, an increased uptake of electric vehicles and a second Basslink cable look set to be part of Tasmania’s energy future.

    Releasing a draft of the state’s energy strategy yesterday, Energy Minister Matthew Groom said the aim was to drive down the cost of electricity prices for all Tasmanians.“This is about ensuring that in Tasmania we have the lowest possible power prices that are genuinely sustainable over the long term,” he said.

    The policy has nine goals, among them ensuring a safe, secure, and reliable supply; that Tasmanian electricity prices will be among the lowest in Australia; and that consumers will have greater choice in how to meet their energy supply needs and will pay competitive, fair and predictable prices for those choices.

    Mr Groom said he was keen to ensure that the policy restored Tasmania’s “energy advantage”. The Government was determined to never see a repeat of the recent power price increases of 65 per cent over seven years, he said. The policy aims to improve the efficiency of state-owned power businesses, improve energy efficiency in Tasmanian homes and remove impediments to the take-up of emerging technologies. It also seeks to positioning Tasmania to take further advantage of its significant renewable energy resources. TasNetworks chief executive Lance Balcombe welcomed the plan. “TasNetworks is committed to delivering the lowest sustainable electricity prices for customers, and I’m pleased the Government also shares that objective,” he said. “With network costs making up about 60 per cent of the average Tasmanian electricity bill, TasNetworks has a key role to play in ensuring we keep prices low, while delivering safe and reliable services.” However, Greens Leader Kim Booth said the strategy failed to address carbon price losses or future changes to the Renewable Energy Target, while sneaking in the “Christmas grinch” in the form of another Basslink for which Tasmanians will pick up the tab.

    The draft is available for public comment at http://www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au/energy/strategy until February 15.

    Also from the state government:

    Tasmanian Energy Strategy

    The Tasmanian Government is developing a Energy Strategy to identify ways in which energy can be used as a key economic driver for Tasmania.

    Following on from the work undertaken by the Energy Working Group, the release of an Issues Paper, and the feedback received via public submissions to that Paper, the Government has developed a Draft Energy Strategy. The next step in the process is the release of this Draft Energy Strategy for public consideration and comment.

    View the Tasmanian Energy Strategy (Adobe PDF) (MS Word)

    The Strategy has an overarching vision of restoring Tasmania’s energy advantage. Supporting this vision, the Strategy has three key themes

    making energy work for people
    reducing the cost of delivering energy
    positioning Tasmania for the future.

    Underpinning these themes are a suite of action items, which provide practical ways in which Government will respond in the short to medium term to deliver on these three themes.

    The Government welcomes stakeholder and community views, and will take them into account in the finalisation of the Strategy.

    Submissions are invited on the Strategy and its actions. Submissions will be published on the Department of State Growth website.

    The Department may decline to publish certain submissions (or parts of submissions) where there are issues concerning appropriateness or confidentiality. If the author of a submission wishes to exercise confidentiality in relation to a submission or part of a submission, this should be clearly indicated, and will be respected. Where only parts of a submission are requested to be confidential, they should be submitted as an attachment to that part suitable for publication.

    To facilitate the publication of submissions on the website, submissions should be electronic where possible.

    Submissions should be lodged by Sunday 15 February 2015, and may be emailed to:

    Energystrategy@stategrowth.tas.gov.au

    Or posted to:

    Energy Strategy Submissions
    Department of State Growth
    GPO Box 536
    Hobart Tas 7001.

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