PM admits public face hefty ETS bill

NZ Herald Jun 29, 2010
Households will bear more than their fair share of increased energy costs when the next phase of the emissions trading scheme takes effect on Thursday, Prime Minister John Key has acknowledged. The Sustainability Council recently suggested households would bear half of the cost of the ETS during its first five years despite accounting for just 19 per cent of all emissions. Yesterday, at the start of a week in which the transport and electricity sectors come under the ETS, the PM conceded that “a disproportionate amount” would be paid by households under the scheme.

“But that’s because if we are too heavy handed with businesses … on day one, that runs the risk of those very same households potentially losing their jobs. That’s just the balance here.” Mr Key said the initial heavier burden on households was the scheme’s “entry point” and over time most of the further costs would fall on industry. The Government estimates the ETS will add 1c a kilowatt hour or 5 per cent to the cost of electricity.