According to an analysis just released by the REC Agents Association (RAA), the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) component of the Renewable Energy Target that supports the installation of solar panels on homes and businesses will have zero net cost impact on household power bills.
RAA states the cost of the SRES is expected to halve over the next two years to less than 1% of a power bill. Additionally, a reduction in wholesale electricity prices delivered by the million plus solar power systems installed on rooftops across Australia will lower it even more.
“In fact, residential customers will be better off in the future with the operation of the SRES as the reduction in the wholesale price exceeds the cost pass-through on customer bills,” states the report.
The revelation has come at a crucial time, with the Renewable Energy Target review under way.
“This analysis destroys the myth that the Renewable Energy Target is a major driver of soaring power bills,” said Ric Brazzale, President of RAA. “The Renewable Energy Target is low cost and high achieving. It must be maintained to finish its job.”
Among the many benefits of the RET, Vice-President of RAA Fiona O’Hehir said the SRES component has assisted 5 million Australians in slashing their power bills and has created 15,000 jobs; “and will do so at zero cost to households or the Federal Budget. That is an extraordinary achievement.”
Currently, the cost of the SRES accounts for just 0.54 cents per kWh or 2 per cent of power bills.
Even with all the evidence mounting that the Renewable Energy Target provides considerable bang for buck, its continuance after the review is by no means certain. Concerns have been raised about the backgrounds of some of the members of the review panel.
For this reason, the best time to go solar may well be now to take advantage of the current level of incentives available.
RAA’s full report on the impact of the Renewable Energy Target on power prices can be viewed here (PDF)