Sunday, 15 July 2012

The Carbon Tax (yawn)

Going through the process of building our own house has really got us interested in the whole building industry, so we're always reading articles and watching home shows for ideas and updates.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple of years, all Aussies will know that the Carbon Tax came into force on 1 July and we're all waiting to see exactly how it affects the prices we pay for all sorts of everyday items.

We recently came across an article that was published in the Master Builder Victoria magazine about the Carbon Tax and the house building industry.

The article is aimed at builders, but there is supposedly some good news in there for us. While the carbon price of $23 per tonne of carbon emissions is being hotly contested as being over the top, MBV is suggesting that many of the most emissions intensive building materials are actually receiving compensation for their carbon emissions, so the price of carbon is actually a lot lower. When looking at the construction of your average family home, apparently only 58% of the cost of building the house will be subject to the carbon tax, while the remaining 42% will receive compensation.

The article also goes on to say that we, the consumers, will be paying more for carbon emissions through our consumption of energy than the builders will be paying (and passing on to us) for materials and construction.

If an average Australian family lives in the same house for 9.5 years, and the price of carbon is $23 per tonne, then that family will be paying an extra $1,800 in carbon costs from energy consumption. Add to that the annual price rises for electricity, and you're talking $$$ that can really impact your household's bottom line.

So the advice of the MBV is for builders to help their customers 'manage their cost of living by providing better house designs and better quality, energy-efficient homes. The smart builders get that a house is more than walls and a roof over the family's head...'

Really? We're trying not to be too sceptical here, but we would have thought that any builder (not just ours) would jump at the chance to put up their prices and blame it on the Carbon Tax. The builders revise their prices every few months and put them up. Let's see if any of them say that the price of carbon is pushing up the prices of their suppliers, and therefore the prices they charge us. It would be great to have enough faith in them that they wouldn't do that, but that doesn't seem likely.

Here is a link to the latest MBV magazine: Master Builder Victoria

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