Worried that the carbon tax is going to make your next electricity bill much larger? Improve your household energy efficiency by just 10 per cent and you won't end up paying any more.
Picture by Kristopha Hohn
At The Conversation, RMIT lecturer Alan Pears runs through the relevant numbers:
For electricity, Australian households pay around 25 cents per kilowatt-hour, the standard unit. The carbon cost will add 2 to 3 cents to that. If you can save 10% of your electricity use, you will offset your carbon cost. A similar rule applies for gas.
The average household spends $40 a week on energy. Pears suggests that saving $4 a week will offset carbon-related increases, and saving $10 a week would eliminate all carbon tax-related costs. Possible tactics? Not using a clothes dryer (which costs around 75 cents a load), not running a second fridge (which can cost up to $5 a week), and cutting down on the use of hot water (even through simple activities such as not using hot water to rinse dirty dishes).
Power is one area where legitimate price rises because of the carbon tax can be expected (the ACCC is carefully policing businesses that claim price rises are due to the carbon tax). Many families will also receive compensation via the tax system to offset the increases, but taking control of your power usage is a sensible tactic regardless.
The carbon tax needn’t cost you: easy ways to cut energy costs [The Conversation]