Carbon Tax Related Electricity Price Rises – Latest Estimates

With a carbon tax just a few months away, figures are flying regarding the impact on electricity prices. Researchers from the University of Queensland say they have arrived at the most accurate predictions for Australia’s eastern states.
 
According to economic models run on supercomputers, the University of Queensland estimates an average 8.9 per cent increase for retail electricity prices in the five eastern states.
 
Professor John Foster from the Global Change Institute at UQ says their estimates are “the most reliable currently available and should be the focus of ongoing debates and discussions about the household impact of the carbon price.”
  
Based on the legislated $23 per tonne carbon price, the estimated electricity price increases are as follows:
  
Queensland: 2.15c/KwH – up 10.4 per cent
New South Wales: 1.99c/KwH – up 8.7 per cent
South Australia: 2.05c/KwH – up 8.6 per cent
Victoria: 1.94c/KwH – up 8.5 per cent
Tasmania: 0.79c/KwH – up 3.8 per cent
  
The independent study was recently completed by the Energy Economics and Management Group at University of Queensland’s School of Economics; with funding from the Australian Research Council. 
 
As we previously reported, while many Australians will receive assistance to cover the increased costs of power under the carbon tax, there are also other electricity price increases lurking in the shadows; some scheduled to hit from July 1 also.
 
For example, the ACT’s Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) earlier this month gave the nod to an electricity price hike of 17%, which will add an additional $244 to annual power bills on average. 
 
In New South Wales, The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) recently released a draft determination allowing for an average price increase of 16% across the state.
 
In both scenarios, the carbon tax element is included.

Other states will not be spared – significant power price hikes are forecast over the next couple of years.
 
Even for those who do receive carbon tax assistance, the temptation may be to spend the windfall on other items; some that may add to their energy consumption. 
 
According to national solar provider Energy Matters, rooftop solar panel systems will play an even more important role in buffering against electricity price increases throughout the nation in the time ahead.
 
Information on Energy Matters’ web site shows a 1.96kW rooftop solar panel system package the company is currently offering can achieve the following estimated annual savings:
  
Queensland (Brisbane) – $1070 annual savings
New South Wales (Sydney) – $675 annual savings
ACT (Canberra) – $622 annual savings
Victoria (Melbourne) – $773 annual savings
Tasmania (Hobart) – $583 annual savings
South Australia (Adelaide) – $1070 annual savings
Western Australia (Perth) – $729 annual savings
  
Energy Matters is also running special deals on larger solar panel systems that won’t just put a major dent in power bills, but could potentially blow them away altogether.
 
Energy Matters points out the current low price on systems is in part due to the current generous Solar Credits rebate; which will be slashed by 33% soon.

With a rush starting on solar as systems must be installed by the government’s June 30 cut-off date to receive the higher rebate level, the company is urging people to secure a system during April to be assured installation in time.