Telstra mulls carbon tax charge for customers

Summary:Telstra is considering charging its customers AU$1 each, to pay for its share of the carbon tax.

Telstra is considering passing on its portion of the Australian government's tax on carbon emissions to customers as a one-time AU$1 charge.

The tax, currently at AU$23 per tonne of carbon emissions, is targeted at the top 500 of the country's polluters, and has been in place since July 1, 2012. It had been previously assumed that Telstra would be included on this list , based on its electricity costs that are associated with running a national mobile network, however, the company would not confirm at the time.

Earlier this week, Shadow Environment Minister Greg Hunt posted an example letter of what could be sent out to customers. The letter was part of market research and stated that Telstra's electricity prices have increased as a result of the tax, and that there will be a one-off AU$1 charge passed onto customers.

Telstra told ZDNet in a statement that the letter was one of several tested on a panel of around 5,000 people, to gauge market understanding and reactions on certain topics. Telstra said that it has made no decision on whether the carbon tax would be passed onto Telstra customers.

"We've made no decisions about pricing changes linked to this issue. If we decide to change our prices, we would obviously let our customers know ahead of time," Telstra said.

Hunt said that the carbon tax is "a flawed policy, which must be scrapped," and said that the Coalition would repeal the tax if it wins government in 2013.

Earlier this week, NextDC CEO Craig Scroggie said that his own organisation was looking at ways to reduce the cost of electricity , and had installed 1,642 solar panels on the roof of the company's M1 datacentre in Melbourne. Scroggie said that this will offset 670 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

Topics: Telcos, Telstra

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Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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