New South Wales’s defunct Solar Bonus Scheme feed-in-tariff (FIT) programme is to blame for an AUD$A12 a year expected increase in household electricity bills from 2013, according to coalition government politicians – a finding met with incredulity by the Australian Solar Energy Society (AUSES).
AUSES believes solar is being used as a “scapegoat” for “simply another cash grab” in the latest state budget, while household solar panel owners continue to receive little to no return for the surplus electricity they export onto the grid.
Scheme subscribers had received AUD$0.60 per kWh, but in June of this year the rate was cut by a third and new users barred.
“Why is the government hitting householders including renters, those without solar and those that have done the right thing and invested in solar?,” AUSES chief executive John Grimes said. “The government should make power companies pay a fair price for the solar power they are currently getting from solar households if it wants to claw back funds for the budget.”
Grimes added the decision sets a bad national precedent where any government that wants to generate more revenue from households can hike power prices and blame it on solar power.