Electricity prices and carbon tax a concern for consumers

A survey conducted by Australian retail mortgage broker Loan Market found that 30 per cent of respondents thought utilities - including electricity prices - were the factor that would most likely to affect their financial position negatively in 2012.

Respondents also identified the carbon tax, interest rates and fuel prices as causes for potential financial difficulty in the new year.

Despite the fact that there was more concern about the possible impact of the carbon tax than utilities expense, the rise in living costs caused by the latter will be more significant.

This is according to the Spotlight Report commissioned by the Climate Institute, consumer advocate CHOICE and the Australian Council of Social Service.

The analysis was conducted by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and economic experts AECOM.

It states that overall impact of the carbon price would lead to the ''relatively small'' increase in in cost of living of 0.6 per cent in 2012-13, but that electricity prices would increase by a more substantial ten per cent.

Tips for reducing electricity bills were also provided in the Spotlight Report.

These include installing a water-saving showerhead, reducing the length of showers by two minutes, getting rid of your second fridge and upgrading from halogen to LED lights.

Posted by Charlie Moore