The early move to an emissions trading scheme combined with the household assistance program staying as is presents an opportunity to use part of the windfall to create even more savings – by going solar now.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the Federal government’s decision to terminate the carbon tax will help reduce cost of living pressures for families and operational expenses for small business. The Government will also be maintaining its special assistance payments given to families and low income earners.
“The modelling from Treasury shows that in the financial year 2014-15 an average family will receive a cost of living relief to the value of $380 per year,” said Prime Minister Rudd in a press conference in Townsville yesterday.
While the carbon tax does have an impact on electricity prices, it is a bit player – and shifting to an ETS will still have some impact; albeit even smaller initially. Other factors such as increasing network costs are the major culprit behind power price rises.
National solar provider Energy Matters says the early ETS move and retaining of the Household Assistance Package provides an opportunity for more families and businesses to not only burn a hole in their power bills or blow them away altogether by going solar; but to buffer against possible future electricity price rises that can occur due to a variety of factors.
Based on the windfall of $380 a year for the average family mentioned by the Prime Minister; this equates to $7.30 a week. It may not sound like a great deal; but it is nearly a third of the weekly repayments on a 3kW solar power system under a zero-dollar deposit “save as you go” payment plan Energy Matters is currently offering.
A 3kW system can generate savings of more than $1000 a year; depending on installation location. This means under Energy Matters’ current payment plan arrangement and even with only a mid-size system, from July 1 next year many more families could be well ahead from the time a system is installed and generating power. Even now, 3kW and larger systems under the company’s program can offer a “save as you go” effect.
However, 12 months is a long way off and much can change – for example, a weaker Australian dollar is exerting upwards pressure on the cost of solar equipment.
By going solar now instead of waiting for the ETS change, households can lock in low system prices and attractive payment plan arrangements that may not be available next year; benefiting from solar immediately and ready to take full advantage of the new carbon pricing arrangement.