I was replying to Peggy in the comments section of my previous post and it was getting so long winded that I thought that I would just post a new blog post and invite all your thoughts.
In Australia we have had access to relatively low cost electricity until recently. It is only now that here in Perth WA, that the costs will increase dramatically over the next twelve months. Now we are able to use solar power and solar hot water here at Wit's End because we qualified for the Govt rebates but for many Australians on low or high middle incomes, solar doesn't come into the equation at all because they either can't afford the systems even with the rebates or, earn just over the income limit which makes them ineligible for the rebate.
I do worry about people who are on low incomes and are struggling already with the cost of electricity. How the hell are they going to manage with a 50% increase in their bills? And it's not just their energy bills, it's the flow on costs from businesses as well.
I am also torn because I know that for the good of the planet we should all use far less electricity and the only thing that will encourage that is the increase in costs.
That is the dilemma isn't it; We pay now or our children pay with their future.
Well as you know we were 'lucky' enough that The Husband earns under the cut off for the rebate scheme so we installed the panels and hws. We also have the solar oven to cook in on sunny days.
But what can the average person do to reduce their energy 'hunger' and needs? We can all post and be superior about not using airconditioning but the Eastern States of Australia are in the grip of a mega heatwave at the moment. Temperatures are hitting the mid 40's (that's 111 degrees f, for those of you using the old scale). 26 people died yesterday from heat related stress.
Peak Oil Hausfrau had some wonderful posts a month or so ago about alternatives to electricity and the cost involved with each alternative. It's not such a clearcut decision in our modern world. Hell, without electricity even our toilets would back fill, how many people realise that?
So, what do we do?