Experts shine light on carbon tax impact

2nd Apr 2012

As we all brace ourselves for the implementation of carbon tax, many of us will no doubt be wondering what impact it will have on our energy bills.

Those of us who generate power from solar panels may be protected against some of the rises, but the rest of the population are waiting to hear whether their hip pocket will feel a bit lighter this winter.

Fear not, for help is at hand – energy retailers are working alongside federal and state governments to make sure we understand the implications.

The Energy Retailers Association of Australia (ERAA), which is tasked with lobbying in the interest of gas and electricity retailers, is behind the push to make us aware of what the heck is going on.

Cameron O'Reilly, chief executive officer of the ERAA, acknowledged that there is growing concern over how the carbon tax will affect our bills.

He revealed that in New South Wales, retailers will put an average figure on household bills using estimates from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

No idea what these guys do? They are responsible for deciding the maximum prices that can be charged for energy in NSW – so we want them on our side!

Unfortunately for us, Cameron believes it will be tough to determine exactly how much of an impact carbon pricing has on our bills, especially as retailers source energy in a range of different ways.

Coal, gas, hydro and wind all have different intensities of carbon, which can make it difficult to calculate general figures.

"Also there are a number of assumptions about how this is passed on to the consumer. Estimates and modelling of the potential impact of the carbon price varies between state and federal governments as well as industry," Cameron added.

The upshot is that we're all pretty much in the dark until the carbon tax is introduced on July 1.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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