Death By Power Bill

Electricity can be deadly – not just from electrocution, but also from the knock-on effects of power bills.

The AMA has warned that the increasing cost of electricity will contribute to more deaths of elderly people during summer heatwaves.

According to a report on The Advertiser, heatwaves will kill 130 Adelaide residents each year by 2050 because of global warming and high electricity prices.

“With electricity prices going up the way they are, there are a lot of pensioners who cannot keep the air conditioning on as long as they should,” says AMA president Dr Peter Sharley.

The AMA has approached the Federal Government urging action to combat the problem.

Solar power could play a role in preventing heat related deaths in the elderly.

If additional subsidies for installing solar panels were made available to at risk groups, it would not only help more retirees reduce their power bills and allow for longer running of air-conditioning units; it would mean the extra potential load – which can create serious problems of its own – would not be additional strain on the mains grid during peak power consumption periods.

Even without additional support, solar power may have other benefits making it more affordable for retirees – investing in solar may increase a pension due to a reduction in savings account balance and income from interest.

With electricity cost increases set to continue and given solar’s potential to provide better returns than some other investments; perhaps installing solar panels should be an important part of retirement planning.

According to national solar provider Energy Matters, a good quality 2kW solar power system can provide electricity bill savings of between $417 and $980 annually; depending on the location.

With a solar panel array having a serviceable life spanning decades; it’s an investment that will see many people through their retirement, except for perhaps the solar inverter needing replacing or refurbishing during that time frame.