Would small businesses be affected by changes to the RET?

Businesses face rising electricity prices 171 80234 0 14101013 300

Any changes that are made to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) wouldn't be in the best interests of the nation's small businesses, a new independent report has claimed.

Jointly carried out by the Climate Institute, the Australian Conservation Foundation and WWF Australia, the study revealed how scrapping or changing the RET would have far-reaching effects.

Electricity prices

One of the problems many small business owners are facing at the moment is the threat of rising electricity prices - something the RET was designed to tackle.

However, authors of the report - titled Who really benefits from weakening the Renewable Energy Target? - argued that electricity costs could rise if the RET is not left in its current form.

The average household bill could increase by $30 a year and it's only likely that the effects will be far greater on the nation's companies. The majority of this rise will occur after 2020 once the RET period has ended.

Renewable energy

There is also concern that removing or altering the RET could lead to an increase in emissions, which is something many companies are keen to ensure does not happen.

It's estimated that as much as $8 billion of investment in new renewable energy capacity could be put under threat, with South Australia and New South Wales bearing the brunt.

Meanwhile, 150 million tonnes of carbon pollution could be allowed to enter the atmosphere by 2030 and not to mention additional pollution costs valued at over $14 billion. This is the equivalent of putting around 4 million extra cars on the country's roads.

A case for the RET

There are many groups pushing for the RET to be kept in its current form and among them is John Connor, chief executive officer of the Climate Institute.

"The RET is a bipartisan policy that is effectively reducing carbon pollution from the electricity sector and building our nation's renewable energy industry," he commented.

"Both these objectives are vital - they help avoid dangerous climate change and sensibly position Australia's economy to remain competitive in a world moving to clean energy sources."

Although a final decision on the future of the RET is yet to be made, small businesses can protect themselves against the prospect of rising prices by going in search of an energy tariff that meets their needs.

Taking time to compare electricity plans is the best way to see what is available and which tariffs are best suited to the requirements of the individual business.

Posted by Jeremy Elliott