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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

Region’s solar users face tariff reductions

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The north coast is leading the nation in its uptake of solar panels. Photo Energy Wise Group

Almost 34,000 households and businesses across the northern rivers are facing a reduction in their solar rebates.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal has released an issues paper on solar feed-in tariffs which flags a reduction in the benchmark price paid to households generating solar electricity.

The proposed reduction would see payments drop from 11 cents per kilowatt hour in 2017/18 to 8 cents in 2018/19.

NSW Greens energy spokesman Jeremy Buckingham has called on the NSW Government to change the criteria to assess solar feed-in tariffs to recognise the multitude of benefits solar energy brings and encourage more households and business to install renewable energy.

‘This proposed reduction in the benchmark price paid for households generating solar electricity from 11 cents per kilowatt hour in 2017/18 to 8 cents in 2018/19 is a direct result of the NSW Governments failure to instruct IPART to assess the true value of solar power,’ Mr Buckingham said.

‘If the National Party are serious about supporting renewable energy then they should be saying wrong way, go back to IPART.

‘NSW should be ensuring that electricity retailers pay a fair price for the solar electricity that is fed into the grid from roof top systems, which takes into account the avoided health and carbon costs solar brings by reducing the amount of fossil fuels that are burnt.

‘Unless the NSW Government steps in then this decision will be a huge hit to the electricity bills of over 33,144 solar households and businesses that have installed solar panels in the Northern Rivers and will act as a disincentive to further uptake of solar panels.

‘Solar power is working to even out demand peaks and reduce electricity prices. Households and businesses should be rewarded for this service, not penalised for the benefit of big coal.

Ballina MP Tamara Smith said the Greens recognise that solar power leads to cleaner air, reduced carbon emissions and cheaper electricity.

‘The uptake of solar power should be encouraged and that is why the Greens have introduced a Bill into the NSW Parliament to ensure a minimum, fair price for solar,’ Ms Smith said.

She has introduced the Electricity Supply Amendment (Fair Price for Solar) Bill 2018 into parliament on behalf of the Greens.

The Bill will replicate the Victorian criteria for establishing a mandatory minimum price which includes valuing the avoided health and carbon costs solar brings by reducing the amount of fossil fuels that are burnt, and by recognising the reduced spend of infrastructure.


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  1. This is absolutely OUTRAGEOUS! I thought Gov’t of all sorts & persuasions should be doing all they can to encourage people to contribute to the power grid! Instead the power companies get cheaper & cheaper power from the little people, whilst putting up their charges! Most politicians have their fingers in the trough, helping themselves to all the ridiculous benefits they can claim.

    It would be good to know if the so called “The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal” is REALLY INDEPENDENT!

  2. It’s hard to comprehend this moronic political decision which will inevitably lead to a reduced take up of roof top solar. Perhaps when sea levels rise sufficiently to inundate most of coastal NSW the Berejiklin band of cowboys will belatedly take note of the link between atmospheric CO2 and ice melt.

  3. No surprise here from The COALition government of NSW. Just like their Federal counterparts in bed with Big Fossil Fuel. If you want more clean energy and fair dinkum action on climate change then vote The COALition OUT!

  4. This is a despicable turn of events. People, like me, choose solar not only to help the environment but to reduce their power bills so they have a little more money to put food on their tables. IPART is supposed to be independent but clearly isn’t. I detect pressure from the power companies and the coal lobby. This must be stopped

  5. Trust these criminals that present as our representatives to do anything, no matter how destructive, to feather the already very cosy beds of their big biz mates. Mike

  6. What a bunch of f…wits or d…heads. Take your pick. Either way, I wouldn’t feed them! They think the importance of their decisions ceases the day they leave this planet – stuff the kids & grandkids. Selfish p…ks.

  7. What are the idiots doing I once was getting between $1,500 and $2,300
    Now its $150 a dam big gap.
    Being ripped off as I was an early taker cost $50,450 for a 5kw unit
    Have had solar hot water all my like so then tried solar
    The energy suppliers don’t tell you that your saving them money by transmission losses.
    Your input is possibly only going next door so its a win for them

  8. IPART lost its independence some years ago now and is the rubber stamp agent of the State guvmint. Their actions are not helped by the remit they are given by the State. IPART used to be pretty good and was independent but, sadly, not anymore. It just another example of a failing State agency.


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