Wednesday, July 08, 2009

What Cap & Trade will do to an already painful Jewish household budget.

I found this nice little application which will allow you to plug in a few items from your monthly budget and find out how much your utilities and expenses will rise due to the new Cap & Trade bill. Our household, like most practicing Jews, already suffers from a very tight budget. Cap & Trade certainly isn't going to help any.

The Tax Foundation
Household Cap & Trade burden calculator

We don't have gas or oil heat, but our electricity is coal fired, so it's pretty much a wash as far as pollution goes. I used off-the-top of my head estimates for the categories of monthly spending they requested to do their calculation, but since our budget is very precise and I update it monthly, I am pretty well familiar with our average spending in each area affected by Cap & Trade.

If you're not that up on your spending, the calculator comes with US averages already plugged in. If you know your budget you can simply correct their figures. If not, the calculator will show how much the average US household will have to pay in increased utility/price costs per year thanks to Cap & Trade.

The grand total increase in utility costs due to Cap & Trade for our household, which is very conservative since we don't generally use the dryer except for a 15 minute fluff per load (if that) and have a strict budget for the number of days we can air condition each summer, came out to be just shy of $900 a year. This means we will have to pay an additional $75 toward our bills, on top of the already existing planned rate hikes for the various storms and rate increases our utility companies have already requested from our state's Public Service Commission. Since there's no doubt those requests will be approved, we can expect our monthly budget for utilities (direct and indirect) to go up about $100 per month.

Your bills will probably increase more, since most of you still living on the East Coast have natural gas or fuel oil heating all winter, in addition to more usage of your dryers and air conditioners, and had worse storm damage to your area's utility lines. I would hazard a guess that most New Englanders should expect their utility costs to increase somewhere between $120 and $150 a month by the time Cap & Trade is fully implemented.

Thanks, Obama.

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