Legal Questions Raised Over Solar Bonus Scheme Suspension

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According to Greens NSW MP John Kaye, the New South Wales government may have given some households cause for a class action suit over the suspension of the state’s popular feed in tariff initiative, the Solar Bonus Scheme.
In late April, the New South Wales government announced applications to the Solar Bonus Scheme had been placed on hold and no new applications to the Scheme received after April 28 would be considered. 
The NSW Government instead recommended consumers buying solar power systems to install net metering, which provides a market value credit for electricity generated that is exported to the main grid, and to look into energy retailers that may offer separate financial incentives for solar households.
However, according to Dr. Kaye, when the scheme was suspended, a notice in the Government Gazette was not published. That being the case, Dr. Kaye claims households still have a legislated right to connect systems to the mains grid and receive a rate of 20 cents per kilowatt-hour for the energy they produce – and for those households to be prevented from doing so exposes the state to the risk of an expensive class action.
Dr. Kaye was scathing of the situation, stating “The O’Farrell government has put its hostility to renewable energy on display. They were prepared to act outside the law to kill off the solar bonus scheme and to stop people connecting panels to the grid.”
“The opportunity to turn NSW into a leader in rooftop renewable energy has been squandered”, Dr Kaye says. “Jobs have been destroyed and investor confidence has been undermined. The O’Farrell government did not even obey the law in their rush to kill the scheme.”
A “solar summit” held on Friday in Sydney to discuss the future of the Solar Bonus Scheme has reportedly resulted in consensus to close off the scheme to new connections. A final, official decision is yet to be announced.