NSW Householders Robbed, Solar Industry Imploding

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The Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) have stated the NSW Government has again refused to help households cut residential power bills by not supporting a fair price for solar-generated electricity.

A statement from AuSES released this afternoon states: “Householders are being robbed of a chance to control their electricity prices with solar, and the solar industry is imploding.”

AuSES and SEIA say Energy Minister Chris Hartcher has stated there will be a 4 month wait on a decision on the future of small-scale solar in New South Wales. The two solar sector peak bodies, who represent installers throughout the nation, believe New South Wales “won’t have a solar industry in 6 weeks.” Earlier this week AuSES said 73 solar jobs are being lost in the state each day a decision is delayed.

AuSES Chief Executive John Grimes points out the solution put forward by AuSES and SEIA is simply a fair and equal price paid to households for solar electricity generated and the solution will not cost taxpayers, nor will it result in an increase in power prices. The two organisations emphasise the solar industry is not asking for more subsidies.

“In any other industry millions of dollars would be thrown at the problem. We are not asking for band-aid money, just smart policy,” said Mr. Grimes.

The current situation in New South Wales is causing households contemplating rooftop solar panels to hesitate. “Our members are telling us householders who want solar are saying they are holding off until a policy is announced,” said SEIA President Ged McCarthy.

At present, NSW is only offering net metering on a mandatory basis; with some electricity companies profiting from the situation through the resale of surplus solar electricity generated by home solar power systems at a premium to other customers.