NextDC credits carbon tax for power bill hike

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NextDC credits carbon tax for power bill hike
NextDC CEO Craig Scroggie.

Attributes ten percent increase to carbon pricing scheme.

Data Centre challenger NextDC has attributed a 10 percent increase in its power costs directly to the Australian Government's "Clean Energy Bill".

The company, which has built data centres in Brisbane and Melbourne, tallied a 23 percent increase in electricity charges between June 2012 and July 2012, the period of time when the Gillard Government introduced a scheme for big polluters to pay for their carbon emissions.

NextDC CEO Craig Scroggie told iTnews that “ten or eleven percent” of the price hike was a direct result of the carbon tax.

"A lot of the balance is related network and delivery costs, but regardless the price has gone up," Scroggie said. "And it's gone up substantially."

Scroggie, the former managing director at Symantec Australia, said the carbon tax will invariably force data centre operators to use electricity more efficiently. It is one of the major drivers for  NextDC to build a $1.2m solar panel array on the roof of its Melbourne data centre.

The data centre debutante will absorb the price increase on behalf of customers, for as long as
possible, he said.

"Ultimately it will be something we need to pass on to our customers,” he said.

"The bigger the power bill becomes, the bigger challenge it is. It's a fixed element for us, as long as we're profitable and that increase in price doesn't eat all of our profitability, it's something we can sustain for a period of time.

“But at the moment we've just decided, for the sake of our relatively new position in the industry, and wanting to do the best to for those customers; that when you make a decision to move into a data centre, it's really for life.

"A little bit of pain upfront for us is just part of the relationship."

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