Posted on 17. Oct, 2011 in Greening Victoria

Families installing solar panels will miss out on a standard incentive payment with the Baillieu Government caught out walking away from jobs and protecting the environment.

The standard or ‘one-for-one’ tariff was paid to the householder or small organisation for surplus electricity fed back into the grid at the same price retailers paid for electricity.

It will mean people installing solar panels that produce less than 5KW of electricity, which is up to 90 percent of the market, will be forced onto the Government’s transitional premium scheme.

The Shadow Minister for Energy and Consumer Protection, Lily D’Ambrosio, said the Baillieu Government was doing the bidding of power retailers by forcing people onto the less generous transitional tariff.

“Energy Minister Michael O’Brien is standing up for power companies rather than households, and this will mean it will take longer for Victorians to pay off their solar investment,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“Mr O’Brien didn’t tell anyone about this move, instead choosing to slip the provision into a Bill last week in the hope that no one would notice. It’s sneaky and it’s cynical.

“This will mean people will get paid only a fixed price for the energy they produce regardless of what energy companies charge for the power they consume.”

Ms D’Ambrosio said the new legislation allowed Mr O’Brien to decide when he could shut down the transitional tariff scheme altogether.

“What incentive is there for families who want to invest in clean energy when Mr O’Brien won’t guarantee how long the scheme will remain in place?,” she said.

Ms D’Ambrosio said the Baillieu Government seemed determined to preventVictoria from switching to clean energy.

“It is becoming more evident that the Baillieu Government is trying to kill off the small scale solar energy industry,” she said.

“Mr O’Brien has already been widely criticised by the solar industry and environment groups for slashing the premium feed in tariff by nearly 60 per cent last month.

“This comes on top of the Baillieu Government’s new laws that could shut down wind farm construction, driving millions of dollars of investment and jobs interstate.”


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