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Australia's first online carbon tax calculator

Find out in a matter of seconds how your business’ bills will be impacted by the carbon tax scheme with the help of a new free online calculator.

The calculator was developed by a number of Australia’s leading energy specialists at Energy Action and is based on information outlined in the Federal Government’s climate change policy, Securing a Clean Energy Future. The device is said to be the first of its kind in Australia.

Small business owners can access the calculator through the Energy Action website. Simply enter the information from your current bills into the calculator, and the device will forecast your energy costs for 2013, 2014 and 2015, after the carbon tax scheme kicks in July next year.

According to Edward Hanna, head of energy efficiency and sustainability at Energy Action, many Australian businesses were confused about the impact the carbon tax will have on them.

“A lot of businesses failed to understand that while it's only the top 500 polluters which are likely to have a direct liability, that liability will be passed through the economy,” he told Smarter Business Ideas.

“That's of particular relevance in the energy sector, where the carbon tax will be a new line item on energy bills.”

A recent MYOB survey revealed that 65% of small business owners are concerned that the tax will have a negative impact on their companies. According to Hanna, the best way for small businesses to mitigate these costs is to take on more environmentally-friendly practices in the workplace, saving up to 30% on their energy bills. 

“We're seeing a real sea change in the way people think about their energy usage. The first consequence of the carbon tax and a whole lot of renewable energy initiatives around the economy is that energy prices are going to increase...The business case for operating an environmentally friendly business is becoming stronger and stronger,” he said.

“It starts with understanding your energy bills, monitoring your energy usage and feeding that back into the way that people behave on your premises. A lot of the changes we're talking about is changes to people's behaviour, rather than significant changes to processes or investment in equipment.”

Here are four simple ways small businesses can cut their energy usage:

1. Reduce the voltage of your lighting circuits
2. Implement sensors in your lighting systems
3. Turn off your computer and monitor at the end of the day when it’s not in use
4. Reduce your usage of airconditioning
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