Western Australia solar homeowners label extra billing proposals as unfair ‘sun tax’

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Similar proposals in South Australia and New South Wales have been ruled out following public outcry. Credit: Sunpower

Homeowners with solar installations in Western Australia have labelled proposals from the state-owned utility Synergy to charge solar rooftop owners an extra fixed fee as an unfair “sun tax”.

Synergy has proposed extra billing for big energy users as well as the state’s 191,000 rooftop solar owners, claiming there is a flaw in the fixed charges element of electricity tariffs, which results in many standard electricity consumers paying far more for their power than they should be.

Campaign group Solar Citizens consumer campaigner Reece Turner said: “Solar Citizens welcomes efforts to ensure that electricity users are encouraged to use power sensibly, but targeting solar households is not the way to go. It’s a ludicrous idea that Premier Barnett should step in and rule out immediately.

“More than one in five homes are powered by the sun. These people have made the sensible decision to invest in clean, abundant energy and should not be penalised.”

Turner also claimed that the state government has over invested in electricity generation and network capacity while demand for electricity has been falling – adding: “Synergy is looking for a scapegoat to cover up for its spiralling budget losses.”

He also said that similar proposals in South Australia and New South Wales had been ruled out following public outcry.

The Australian Solar Council launched a campaign against the solar taxes, claiming that Synergy wants to double the connection charge for solar customers, amounting to an AU$800 (US$583) tax on solar families.

John Grimes, chief executive of the Australian Solar Council, told PV Tech that Synergy is a monopoly power generator in Western Australia and is effectively a monopoly retailer also.

He added: “There are a few small players, but the market is absolutely dominated by Synergy.”

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
July 23, 2021
A reduction in deployment costs combined with technology gains mean solar-plus-storage is an increasingly attractive option for off-grid mining operations looking to cut emissions. Jules Scully looks at successful case studies and the opportunity ahead.
July 16, 2021
The new chief of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has said he wants the country’s grids to be capable of handling 100% renewables by 2025.
July 14, 2021
Maxeon Solar Technologies has expanded its AC Energy Solutions portfolio with the launch of a new module for the rooftop solar market.
July 13, 2021
Solar PV capacity in Asia Pacific could triple to 1,500GW by 2030, with China driving deployment and Indonesia set to be the region’s fastest-growing market, according to Wood Mackenzie.
July 13, 2021
A renewable energy hub consisting of up to 50GW of solar and wind generation for the production of green hydrogen is being planned for Western Australia.
July 12, 2021
Investor confidence in the Australian clean energy market has been dented by “unhelpful and unpredictable” government interventions.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021