20 February 2013 — Electricity generators have passed on the entire cost of the carbon price and pocketed the taxpayer-funded assistance, research by Carbon + Energy Markets has found. The report, “Transitional assistance of windfall profits?” was released by Environment Victoria and shows brown coal power stations have already received almost $1 billion and are scheduled to get billions more over the next four years, resulting in potential windfall profits of between $2.3 billion and $5.4 billion, depending on movements in the carbon price. The report found that in the first six months of the operation of the carbon price, generators had passed on 100 per cent of the carbon price to electricity retailers. Generators had also received $1 billion in cash compensation payments from the Energy Security Fund with the next payment due on 1 September. Australian Conservation Foundation climate change program manager Tony Mohr said while the price on carbon was driving pollution levels down, the government was handing over taxpayers’ money “to companies that clearly don’t need it and that are making a profit by passing on more costs than necessary to households”.

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