Telstra mulls carbon tax charge for customers

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.

TOPICS: Telcos, Telstra

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


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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  • One charge...?? What a con

    A one off charge that's supposedly for the "carbon tax" - what a scam and con by Telstra.

    If its really a associated with increased costs then those costs would be ongoing and should therefor naturally be incorporated into prices over time. Instead Telstra is banding about the idea of a one off charge in order to squeeze an extra dollar (literally) off its customers.. The fact that its eventuated out of market research that seems to say customers might tolerate such a one off charge only proves the point that its not a legitimate passing of costs but rather an attempt to illegally siphon an extra charge using the carbon tax as a excuse.

    I hope that the ACCC is on the block watching as they have specifically warned against this illegal behaviour
    • Why is it illegal?

      Telstra hae every right to pass-on their costs. I do not support what they might do, but I cannot see how it can be illegal. BTW, if there was no carbon tax, there would be no cost for Telstra to pass-on. Remember, "There wil be no carbon tax under the government that I lead"?
      • Illegal

        The ACCC has already warned business against trying to raise prices without being able go demonstrate actual merit or real increased costs involved.. Any business doing so is acting illegally and can (and have been) taken to court by the ACCC.

        My argument is that if there is real increased costs from carbon pricing then they should be ongoing concerns for a business and not one off in nature - thus the one off charge proposed by Telstra is nothing more than the price gauging that the ACCC was warning against
        • Yes, I understand that

          However, if Telstra decides that there is a cost from the CO2 tax and decides to pass-on that cost this years, but not in other years, then that is simply a business decision that Telstra is able to make. The only time that Telstra might be responsible for an offence is if there was no actual cost rise as a result of the CO2 tax - a situation that would be highly unlikely give the vast amounts of power that Telstra consumes.
  • Carbon Tax

    However I am determined to put a price on carbon”
    Amazing how all the liberal party trolls neglect to state the whole quote.
    • Labor Party trolls

      Gillard make is clear in the statement that she made that in the term of government (2010-2013) that there would be no carbon tax etc. There is no misunderstanding what she said and what she intended to imply. There can be no misunderstanding that her intend was to tax CO2 "in the future", meaning in some future term of government. Stop trying to re-write history. She lied!

      And just for the record, I do not vote Liberal!