Originally published in Crikey on April 12, 2012

Late last week the ACT electricity price regulator released its draft electricity pricing decision for 2012-13. And the political response couldn’t have been more predictable. The Coalition raced to highlight that, out of an estimated $244 increase in annual household electricity bills, almost $190 was attributable to the carbon price. Labor and the Greens downplayed the increase and pointed out the increase would be offset by changes to income taxes, pensions and other benefits. There will be plenty more of this over the next 18 months in the lead-up to the next federal election, and it will no doubt become increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction. For those interested in reality, the impact of the carbon pricing scheme on electricity bills is a function of four main factors: • The carbon price •How much CO2 is released in generating your electricity (i.e. the carbon intensity of electricity) • What proportion of the carbon price is passed onto consumers • How much electricity you use.

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