People wanting to install solar panels on their roof in NSW will have no incentive to do so as a result of the planned changes by the State Government to its Solar Bonus Scheme.
The Alternative Technology Association (ATA) is also concerned about the cut to the feed-in tariff of existing solar customers, which will add another two years to the payback time for their solar systems.
Damien Moyse, the ATA’s energy projects and policy manager, said there was currently no replacement to the feed-in tariff scheme for new customers – despite the fact that NSW once had a viable and smaller feed-in tariff that allowed households to connect to the grid and access a payment for electricity exported.
“We’re not sure if the NSW Government has simply forgotten that it once had a 1:1 feed-in tariff scheme, or if it is unaware. Either way, new small solar and wind customers will not be receiving anything for feeding energy back into the grid,” Mr Moyse said.
“What the Government doesn’t realise is that a 1:1 feed-in tariff scheme would cost the electricity consumers of NSW hardly anything – in the order of cents per year.”
Mr Moyse said the decision not to honour the contracts of existing solar customers and introduce retrospective legislation to cut their tariff was irresponsible and went totally against the purpose of feed-in tariff schemes.
“The purpose of these schemes is to provide certainty – certainty to industry and consumers. Retrospectively cutting feed-in tariff rates destroys consumer and industry confidence and is likely to see the solar and wind industries in NSW shrink significantly.
“There is no reason why NSW can’t afford a simple 1:1 gross feed-in tariff scheme that will keep investment in the solar industry chugging along and that won’t cost the earth.”
The ATA is Australia’s leading not-for-profit, consumer-based organization promoting renewable energy, sustainable home design and water saving.