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Tales of Energy Poverty
Energy poverty is not just some statistic, it is a real life problem
affecting and ruining people's lives.
Some others will be writing their story for this page soon:
I know one couple that owns a restaurant and their weekly electricity bill running a generator is about a thousand dollars a week higher than if they were on a grid, right now they are at a point where a rise in fuel prices could be the straw to break the camel's back and they could face bankruptcy.
Another family also owns a restaurant that bas been closed and for sale for years, not only did the fuel costs of the generator sink their livelyhood, they also find it impossible to sell the place now, as the high overheads scare off any buyer, who find it hard to obtain finance anyway with banks reluctant to lend for properties off the grid..
I know another couple that had to leave the area for work commitments, because the lack of grid causes banks to be difficult with loans they could not find a buyer for their house, so the only option was to rent it out. The tenants mismanaged the power system, and killed the batteries and generator. They spent nearly $20 000 on replacing batteries and generator, and within a year they were back to the same scenario with tenants not taking care of the expensive installation.
One resort in Cape Tribulation was preparing to open after a wet season break, and the generator blew up, the expense of a new one made it financially unviable to open up for the season and the resort remained closed, and still is today.
Another resort in Cape Tribulation also closed up, its generator blew up and they were running on a hired generator until new owners took over so besides paying fuel they also pay $1700 a week ingenerator hire!
A Cape Trib household that had limited nett income spent severeal years in the dark until they managed to get a bankloan to pay for inverter repair and new batteries.
I know someone who received his inheritance from his mother's estate and the whole amount went straight in to a new battery bank.
I know of elderly couples where the husband has passed away, and the widows are stuck in their homes, where in the normal world they would sell their house and move to an apartment, in the Daintree they find it impossible to find a buyer who can obtain sufficient finance from their bank so selling for a normal price that could buy you a decent place in the city is out of the question.
I knew some elderly people of whom one was dependent on an electric machine to help her with breathing. They nearly went bankrupt paying for generator fuel and when ever things malfunctioned again it was a very uncomfortable and life threatening situation.
I know someone whose generator blew up, and it was wet season so the solar panels did nothing. The landlord got the generator taken to town to get fixed but it took two weeks to come back, that was two weeks living without lights, without a fridge, and showering with a bucket as the water supply was driven by pressure pump. Third world living in Australia!
I received a phone call from a Darwin resident. He had purchased a Daintree property with the intent to rent it out until he retired. Now he is broke because the tenants keep damaging the standalone power system and stealing generators which he has to pay for all the time, and he can't sell the property because prices have dropped that far thanks to restricitive government policies. He was desperate but I told him join the club, we're all in the same boat here....
I know a few different house holds where they keep digging in to every deeper mortgage debt, borrowing large amounts to buy "renewable energy" equipment, which will probably have to be replaced before they even pay their loan off. The longer they live in the Daintree the more they owe the bank, reverse situation of those who live on the grid.
Can you imagine lving like this? Probably not. This is why I get annoyed when people on the grid who lose power for 48 hours in cyclone Yasi get thousands of dollars in compensation, and people in the Daintree get absolutely nothing!
These are only a few stories, this is a new page and more people will be adding their story here soon.
If you have a story to tell then please email it.
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