Death, Carbon Taxes And Electricity Price Rises

The passing of Australia’s carbon tax legislation on Wednesday in the House of Representatives reaffirmed there are only three things you can be assured of in life – death, taxes and since more recent times, electricity price rises. The latter may be harsher than many people realise.

Like it or hate it – opinion on the measures in their current form is divided even among green-leaning Australians – the carbon tax appears inevitable and the countdown clock is now ticking.

While many Australians will receive assistance to cover increased costs of energy generated by the new tax, there are also “natural” electricity price increases looming in the wings, waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting – and comparatively few will be given a bailout package on those hikes.

Even for those who do receive carbon tax assistance in its various forms, the temptation may be to spend the windfall on other items; some that may contribute to their energy consumption woes. A nasty electric bill shock awaits many.

How harsh the sting will be for those who don’t or can’t squirrel away their pennies to go towards bigger power bills or fail to take other evasive action is hard to say, but some figures were bandied about in a number of states yesterday.

Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett says  the carbon tax will add seven per cent to electricity prices and the carbon tax will not deter the State Government from increasing electricity prices an additional five per cent in the next state budget.

The Queensland opposition has warned of a possible 22 per cent hike in electricity bills.

In Tasmania, electricity prices are predicted to increase by 23 per cent over the next three years

Nationally, electricity prices are expected to rise 10% on average, plus any increases already slated or yet to be announced in each state not connected with the carbon tax.

To avoid the zap; there are a few things Australian households can do – one is to embrace energy efficiency; another is to go solar.

According to national solar solutions provider Energy Matters, even an entry-level 1.44 kW rooftop solar power system can currently slash $500 – $800 from annual household electricity costs and given the looming carbon tax, solar panels are now a better investment than ever.

Energy Matters is offering a series of solar power system specials to help Australians reduce or wipe out their electricity bills and the company also offers a no-interest payment plan option on selected systems.