WEDNESDAY 04 JANUARY, 2012 |
Australia's Carbon Tax And Commercial Electricity Customers
The new year has stirred up fresh concerns over the impact of Australia's
upcoming carbon price on electricity bills for small business and other
While carbon tax relief for
has been well publicised, the situation for commercial
customers has received less coverage.
Commercial electricity customers often pay a lower rate for power than
residential users; so the carbon tax will in effect see electricity costs
increase by a greater degree for some enterprises from July 1, 2012. According to some estimates, the jump could be as much as 19 percent for big power users.
In terms of government support, the manufacturing sector will be able to benefit
from the $800 million Clean Technology Investment Program, which will provide grants to manufacturers to support investments in energy-efficient capital equipment and low-pollution technologies,
such as commercial
solar power systems
The food sector will be able to apply for grants under the Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program;
a competitive merit based $200 million initiative to help relevant businesses
large and small to invest in improved energy and/or carbon efficiency for production processes and products.
Some in the food and manufacturing sector may find even without successful
application to either of these programs, solar energy systems will provide a
much-needed buffer against rising electricity prices.
For all small business enterprises with an aggregated turnover of less than $2 million a year, the small business instant asset write-off threshold will be increased to $6,500 for depreciable assets from the 2012-13
Small businesses can also take advantage of the Solar
to purchase a solar power system right now. For just a few
thousand dollars, even an entry-level rooftop solar panel array can slash power bills by a significant amount. The Solar Credits
rebate will be further reduced from July 1 this year.
Other forms of carbon tax relief will be available for small and large
enterprises, the details of which can be viewed on the Australian Government's Clean
The carbon tax isn't the only power bill bogeyman on the horizon -
frequent electricity price rises in the years ahead due to other factors will
become the norm rather than the exception. For businesses in Australia, energy
efficiency and the implementation of on-site alternative energy generation will
become an increasingly pressing issue and an important part of maintaining
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