Doubts were raised about how a state scheme would merge with any national emissions trading scheme when the Prime Minister, John Howard, released his emissions trading report in May, according to The Sydney Morning Herald (11/9/2007, p.2).
Energy-saving devices no longer economical: The New South Wales carbon price, already languishing around $11 a tonne, had fallen further in July, when Howard appeared to exclude demand management and energy efficiency abatement from the scheme. At $6, it was no longer economical for companies such as Easy Being Green, Neco and Fieldforce to install light bulbs, low-flow showerheads and other energy-saving devices into homes free or at heavily discounted prices. Paul Gilding, CEO of Easy Being Green, said the scheme’s most cost-effective and efficient way of cutting greenhouse gas pollution would disappear. "That will be a tragedy," he said. "This is the scheme that is cutting greenhouse gas pollution at the mass consumer level."
Certificates too easy to obtain: The NSW Government had been accused by some market participants and green groups of contributing to the collapse by making it too easy to generate certificates that did not represent genuine greenhouse gas cuts. The NSW Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water, Phil Koperberg, had declined a request for an interview. A spokesperson for him blamed the Federal Government for the market crash. The State Government had formed a taskforce to investigate the price collapse.
Energy efficiency companies struggling: The head of the NSW advisory panel on climate change, Martijn Wilder, from the law firm Baker & McKenzie, had said he believed a number of energy efficiency companies in the market were "on the edge". He said there were two simple factors: the oversupply of certificates and the uncertainty in the market since the Federal Government announced its carbon trading scheme. Fieldforce’s managing director, Craig Bathie, said if the price of carbon remained at $6, more than half of NSW householders would miss out on free or discounted energy installations, and his company might have to lay off a couple of hundred employees in rural areas. Neco’s carbon services director, Ben O’Callaghan, had said his company might have to close its regional Carbon Services Division, and 60 jobs in 10 regional locations would be lost.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 11/9/2007, p. 2