Carbon price compo passes first test but consumers remain vigilant

CHOICE says a well-designed carbon price is the most efficient way to reduce CO2 emissions and limit the cost to consumers of taking credible action on climate change.

The consumer group accepts that, based on the Government’s modelling, consumer impacts from the carbon price appear relatively modest, although cost-of-living increases in the economy will remain uppermost in many consumers’ minds.

But it warns any push for higher levels of industry assistance could see the burden of costs on households increase. Some businesses may also attempt to price-gouge under the cover of carbon costs.

“With so many households identifying increasing energy costs as a concern, it will be crucial that the Government does not take a backward step in the levels of compensation for consumers,” said CHOICE head of campaigns Matt Levey.

“Businesses should also be put on notice that they should not use the carbon tax as an excuse to pass on unrelated costs, and we are keen to see the ACCC play an enhanced role in providing a significant deterrent to such behaviour.”

CHOICE has been advocating for comprehensive information and assistance to help households reduce their energy use, along with reforms to the energy sector to curb network costs.

“We are pleased to see some commitments in today’s announcement to assist households in cutting their energy use, including funding immediate work to explore a proposed National Energy Savings Initiative,” said Mr Levey.

“However, this is still a long way short of the reforms we think are necessary to limit the costly expansion of our energy networks and create a more consumer-friendly energy sector.”

Read CHOICE’s consumer guide to the carbon price.  

Media contacts:
Ingrid Just - Spokesperson, CHOICE - 0430 172 669
Matt Levey – Head of Campaigns, CHOICE – 0488 214 066 (available in Canberra for interviews on Sunday 10 July)

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