Now keep calm and carry on, it’s just the carbon tax

Today reminds me of those ubiquitous ‘Keep Calm’ posters, mugs, toilet seat warmers.

Carbon pricing for the top 500 biggest emitters/ polluting scumbags begins today, 1 July.  Freak out! Stuff your mattresses with money and head into your war bunker, you do have one, right?

While Abbott is clutching at straws, or more specifically butchers, non for profits and the plight of baby animals in his attacks against putting a price on carbon, this is the reality: households and small businesses are not directly affected by the carbon price.

But we will see price increases in our electricity costs and some goods.  If you are in Sydney like I am, one of the most expensive cities in the world, I doubt most households will notice an extra two cents for a loaf of bread and a litre of milk, 11 cents for a leg of lamb (which are already too expensive to buy) and 14 cents weekly on fruit and vegetables.

Research by the CSIRO and engineering company AECOM has found that if 100 per cent of costs were passed on to households, the average weekly impacts would be around $9.10 per week with a $3.20 increase in energy bills being the largest component.  That’s less than three coffees around where I work.

It is reported that six out of 10 households will be compensated for the increases through government tax cuts, household assistance payments and pension increases amounting to $10.10 for the average household. Carbon pricing is not the only thing impacting on price, there will be increases in electricity costs because of investments in poles and wires.

Estimates show many households could be another $12.75 better off per week ($663 per year) by making small changes in the home including water-saving showerheads, cold wash and reducing standby power consumption.

As a single lass in the city I am not the average household. And as an eco nerd I already wash my clothes in cold water and have a water-saving shower head. But with the cooler wintery months I am saving electricity around my studio by:

  • Making draft snakes! I’m going to sew rather stylish snakes in muted, retro fabrics, resisting the urge to make actual snakes with forked tongues and googly eyes. Heating and cooling the home accounts for around a quarter of an average household’s energy use.
  • Bake more cakes and roast dinners. The oven warms my petite mason very quickly and what is better than your home smelling of apple tea cake on a Saturday afternoon or a roast on a Sunday?
  • Harry high pants pyjama time! Alex has been giving me a lot of flak for my ghetto granny look I’ve been sporting around my place of late. It’s not steaming hot – but it is toasty warm.

Channel your inner granny, don your flannels and uggies and cook up storm. You’ll be saving your pennies, the environment and showing Abbott who’s boss. 

To calculate the costs, compensation and savings from some simple energy efficiency actions visit: Keep calm and bake on!

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