Primed for a power surge

There will be no hiding from the power price jolt that is coming Australia's way – a rise in prices that will come with or without a carbon price.

In a paper commissioned by the Australian Energy Market Commission for its 'Power of Choice' inquiry into demand management, consultants Ernst & Young have produced some salutary data on consumption – unfortunately, hardly anyone in Canberra seems to have read it.

Ernst & Young have tracked electricity use from 1973-74 (under the Whitlam government) to 2008-09 (when power use peaked before the global economic crisis really bit).

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