Energy poverty was once synonymous with dirt-poor Third World countries. Now, thanks to an obsession with subsidised wind and solar, it’s part and parcel of life at the bottom in the First World, too.
As winter starts to bite across Australia, the working poor, unemployed and pensioners face an anxious battle between being frozen to death now or being ultimately crushed by crippling power bills, later. The ‘choice’ is literally down to heat or eat.
The majority of homes in Australia are equipped with reverse cycle air-conditioning and their owners use the heating cycle to keep warm in winter.
The poorest households tend to rely upon extremely inefficient electric radiators or blow heaters (and, short of that, scruffy blankets and kerosene heaters).
With power prices rocketing out of control, middle-class suburbs are now drenched in a pall of woodsmoke, as householders keep warm using scavenged timber.
It’s like stepping…
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