Dear Small Business Operator,
There is a lot of misinformation in the community about the impact of the carbon price. I am writing to make sure that you have the right information to confidently assess its effect on your small business operations.
The facts for small business are:
There are no new forms to fill out.
There are no new regulations to comply with.
Most won’t be significantly affected as they are not heavy consumers of gas or electricity.
There is no carbon price charged on fuel for the typical small business car or van.
There is no carbon price for heavy on‐road transport until 1 July 2014.
The price paid for electricity by a typical small business is expected to rise by around 10 per cent and for most businesses electricity makes up 2 per cent or less of costs. In other words, for a small business with a total of $100,000 of expenses per year, their electricity bill is expected to only rise by around $4 per week because of carbon pricing. For further information see www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au/your‐electricity‐bill.
It’s important to remember that general significant increases in electricity prices have been primarily driven by investment in network infrastructure, the majority of which is owned by state governments. The carbon price has a modest additional impact.
You can find information on practical ways to reduce the energy bill for your business in the attached fact sheet as well as at www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au/small‐business and the Energy Efficiency Exchange website www.eex.gov.au.
The Government has also funded a number of business groups to roll out targeted energy efficiency information, which will help you manage your electricity costs. A list of successful applicants for Round 1 of the program can be found at www.climatechange.gov.au/energyefficiencyinformationgrants.
In addition, we have increased the small business instant asset write‐off threshold to $6,500. There’s no limit to the number of items that can be written off in a financial year, making it easier for you to invest in more energy efficient equipment if you choose.
It is expected that in most cases you will pass on increases in energy costs to your customers. That is why the Government has put more money in the pocket of households, so that customers will still be able to comfortably support businesses such as yours. The tripling of the tax‐free threshold – from $6,000 to $18,200 – will also directly benefit around 1.4 million small business owners who are sole traders or hold an interest in a partnership or operate through a trust.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has put out guidance to help you understand your obligations in relation to claims about the impact of the carbon price and also how to challenge misleading claims that may be made by your suppliers. No new obligations are involved, you simply need to have confidence in any claims you make about the cause of any price rises. For further information see www.accc.gov.au/carbon.
There is also specialised information regarding the impact of the Clean Energy Future Plan on the waste sector and certain refrigerants that are particularly damaging for the environment at www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au.
Putting a price on carbon is the most environmentally effective and cheapest way to cut pollution. We look forward to working with you to create our clean energy future, and to helping you take advantage of the new business opportunities it will bring.