MONDAY 16 MAY, 2011 |
NSW Solar Bonus Scheme - Anger And Action
Friday 13th lived up to the legend when the NSW Government announced the
permanent closure of the Solar Bonus Scheme and other changes to the program;
threatening thousands of solar jobs and also the feed in tariff rate of solar
households who originally signed up under the scheme.
NSW Minister for Resources and Energy, Chris Hartcher, announced
those who were eligible for the original 60 cent tariff will
have the rate reduced to 40 cents from 1 July 2011 for the remainder of the
Scheme. Customers who signed up later, under the 20 cent tariff, will see no
For the solar industry in New South Wales, the announcement was another slap in
its face, still raw after the recent Federal Government decision to further
prematurely reduce Solar
Since the announcement, solar businesses in NSW have been busy fielding calls
from confused customers and found themselves in the unenviable and unexpected
position of being the NSW Government's grim reaper. For solar households who
installed systems under the original 60c feed
arrangement, anger and feelings of betrayal by the Government were
As with the original announcement of the Solar
being put on hold, the legality of the permanent closure and
retrospective tariff cut is also being questioned.
"The government set a cap, legislated for the scheme, promoted the scheme heavily.
People took up contracts on that basis. The government is now reneging on a binding contract.
It is bad form to tear it up existing commercial contracts, and sets a dangerous precedent for the government when issuing other contracts."
said John Grimes, CEO of the Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES).
AuSES has organised
to be held this week to protest the changes and to demand immediate
net metering be implemented while the tangled web of new policy is being
scrutinised; pending a possible class action by the industry and affected solar
households. "We need everyone, companies, customers and the general public to join us in saying
no to retrospective cuts to solar, and yes to an immediate a 1:1 feed in tariff in
National solar power solutions provider Energy
is a primary sponsor of the event.
11:30am Wednesday 18 May
Barnet Long Room: Customs House
31 Alfred Street
Other news for Monday 16 May, 2011
Return to main renewable energy news section
Other Energy Matters News Services