The leader of the Federal Opposition, Tony Abbott, says a NSW proposal to raise electricity prices by an average of 16 per cent shows why the carbon tax should be axed. Given that it is highly unlikely that Gillard will pull out of the Carbon Tax at this late stage, we explore ways that you can reduce your power bills and miminise the impact of the carbon tax on your household bills.
NSW's Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) released a draft report on Thursday that recommends an average electricity price hike of 16 per cent across New South Wales.
This could mean an additional $338 per year for households. For small business owners in city areas this could mean a $439 increase.
Highlighting the impact of the carbon tax, IPART said the carbon tax accounted for about half of the proposed increase from July 1.
Mr Abbott told reporters the rise was further evidence of how the carbon tax would threaten jobs and add to the cost of living. Specifically Mr Abbott was quoted as saying "I notice that we've just seen the announcement in NSW that power prices will go up by a average of 16 per cent on July 1," and “This is more evidence that the last thing this country needs now the world's biggest carbon tax."
This IPART report and the commentary from Tony Abbott highlight the need to Australians to quickly look at ways to reduce their energy usage before they begin to feel the pressure of these price increases.
Ways to cut your energy usage and avoid these price increases include:
Thanks to the free insulation scheme set up by Kevin Rudd and Peter Garrett most Australian homes now have insulation in their ceilings. This helps significantly reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs. To further reduce your costs you can install:
Standard windows are very poor insulators. As a result your in winter your home loses a lot of heat through your windows, increasing your home heating bills dramatically. Double glazing reverses this process by turning your windows into insulation.
Stop relying on power companies for your electricity and start producing your own electricity. By installing solar panels on your home you can eliminate your electricity bill completely, and even (if you install enough solar panels) receive an income from the excess electricity that you sell back to the energy grid. This is a great way of avoiding future increases in electricity bills.
Similar to solar panels, you can install a Solar Hot Water system to harness the power of the sun to heat up your home’s hot water. This saves you money by minimising the amount of gas or electricity that your home uses.
Once you have properly insulated your home with insulation and double glazing you should also explore how you can heat and cool your home with very energy efficient home heating and cooling systems. There is a broad range of energy efficient heating and cooling options on the market, ranging from energy efficient split systems and central heating and cooling systems, to systems that rely on natural energy such as that from the sun and even geo-thermal energy.
To explore these options in depth you will need to speak with an airconditioning specialist.
Reduce your home’s lighting bll be introducing more natural lighting into your home. Skylights are a great way to improve the look and feel of your home whilst also cutting your electricity bill.