We already have the means to cut our energy costs, writes Alan Pears in The Age • THE RECENT hysterical claims that carbon pricing will make it too expensive to run an airconditioner, or that many industries will be destroyed, are simply ridiculous. The reality is that costs are changing all the time, and the carbon cost is likely to be ''in the noise'' for most Australians, even for electricity prices. The objective of placing a price on carbon dioxide emissions is clear. Emitters now make free use of the limited global atmosphere. Placing a price on emissions means they will ''pay to pollute''. When an activity costs more, there is a tendency to do less of it, and to find ways to deliver services that involve less of the more costly activity. Consider a typical annual household electricity cost of $1500. If you've bought a new fridge in the past few years, your bill is up to $200 lower than it would have been if you still had the old fridge. Improved energy efficiency has cut running costs… Read the full article Alan Pears is an adjunct professor at RMIT University and co-director of Sustainable Solutions, an environmental consultancy.