Consumers confused about carbon tax

Energy retailers across Australia are working closely with the Federal and state governments to help consumers understand the impact of carbon pricing on their bills.

According to the Energy Retailers Association of Australia (ERAA), many consumers and businesses are confused about how the tax will impact their bills once it is implemented from July 1.

In New South Wales, retailers have been putting an average figure on bills to show households an estimated cost of the carbon price and green energy schemes following an estimate provided by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

However, ERAA CEO Cameron O’Reilly said estimating the impact of the carbon price on a householder’s bill is difficult as the carbon component of the wholesale price which retailers pass on to customers involves energy from a range of sources – such as coal, gas, hydro and wind – all with different carbon intensities.

“Also there are a number of assumptions about how this is passed on to the consumer. Estimates and modelling of the potential impact of the carbon price varies between state and federal governments as well as industry,” Mr O’Reilly said.

“Fierce competition in the energy retail environment combined with transparent pricing on state regulator websites should give consumers a fair idea of the cost,” he said.