CVGA Media Release –
The Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance (CVGA) welcomes the announcement by the Federal Government to place a price on carbon. The Government also announced a compensation package for individuals and families to offset the cost of the carbon tax. The CVGA urges everyone to both pocket the compensation and avoid the tax.
So how do you beat paying the carbon tax?
“The key thing to remember is that the Carbon Tax is not a direct tax on Australian households” says Keith Reynard, Chair of the CVGA
”The Carbon Tax is paid only by the top 500 carbon emitting companies. However, at least some of the Carbon Tax will be passed on to the consumer by higher prices for the products generated by these 500 companies. Most of the increase in prices relates to electricity generation.”.
The CVGA sees that the easiest way to avoid the carbon tax is to pursue energy efficiency initiatives at home and in the workplace. Households can save up to 25% of their electricity usage by simply applying a couple of energy efficiency measures.
“Every kilowatt of electricity saved is money in your pocket. There are some simple measures to save electricity and to make your home more comfortable. The simplest of these include draught stoppers and closing off rooms that do not need to be heated. Understanding your current energy use is the first step. “ Keith said.
Do you know what your current household energy use is? Do you know that most houses can save up to 25% of their electricity usage by simply applying a couple of energy efficiency measures? Do you know what would happen to your energy bill if you were to reduce your heat thermostat by 2oC and put an extra layer of clothing on.? If you did this for the winter season you would negate at least partially offset the effects of any energy price rises.
There are some very good household energy efficiency programs operating within Central Victoria at the moment. These include the CVGA’s Refit n Save program which is a partnership program with local sustainability groups, and the Central Victorian Solar Cities (CVSC) household and business energy audit program.
And why should you do this?
Firstly, to save money, but more importantly to take some responsibility for reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the atmosphere that accelerate the changing climate. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) advise that mean average temperatures for Victoria has risen by 1oC since 1900, most of this rise occurring in the last 30-40 years. Globally the temperature rise reflects a similar pattern. There is also a strong relationship between this recent temperature rise and the increase of GHG emissions into the atmosphere.
The BOM records also demonstrate greater variability and extremes of events in recent years. In Victoria we only have to recall the Black Saturday bushfires in February 2009 and the flooding experienced from September 2010 through to February 2011. These are unprecedented extreme events since climate records began. If we are to mitigate the impacts of these extremes, then to reduce our own individual impact on the planet is simply the responsible thing to do.
Furthermore, do you realise:
- efficiency of converting brown coal to energy is merely 25%;
- there is approximately 14-15% loss of electricity in transmission from the Latrobe Valley to Bendigo. Therefore we pay for an extra 15% over and above the 100% of energy we use.
- distribution companies have put submissions to the Australian Energy Regulator to increase infrastructure capacity to meet peak demand periods, which in Victoria relate to heat wave periods in summer. These peak periods occur for less than 100 hours per year, but we all pay for the distribution companies to build this infrastructure capacity (poles and wires) which is redundant for 8660 hours per year. At present there are project proposals of some $47Bill to upgrade these networks to meet peak demand. Have you noticed your electricity bill rising since 2007 on the way to doubling by 2013, and all the time without any provision for a carbon tax?
- as variability of our climate increases, which it currently is, the built in redundancy of the electricity system becomes greater.
- the average Australian per capita electricity consumption has risen from approximately 7000 kWh/yr in 1980 to 12500 kWh/yr in 2004. In the same period California’s electricity consumption has remained constant at about 7500 kWh/yr.
Australia is the most carbon obese society in the world on a per capita basis. This potentially leaves the production of carbon intensive products exposed economically as other parts of the world move to cleaner production systems, and they will, in time, demand products with lower carbon footprints. This is already happening with product labelling in the USA, Japan and Europe. In Britain, $2Bill worth of products were purchased last year with the Carbon Trust approval label.
As Keith says “The world is moving in this direction. Let’s ensure we are not left behind in the Clean Energy Future.”