Thursday, 17 May 2018

Greens MP introduces fair price for solar power bill

Member for Ballina and Greens Renewable Energy spokesperson Tamara Smith MP today introduced a bill to the NSW Parliament which would ensure electricity suppliers pay householders and businesses a minimum price for the solar or wind power they generate and contribute to the grid.

“Our region has one of the country's biggest uptakes of solar and renewable - about a third of us are generating our own power with solar, well ahead of the State average of 18%,” said Ms Smith.

“Ballina, Lismore and Tweed Heads South are among Australia's top 10 regions installing rooftop and other solar power systems. We're a very green region and people are getting solar panels installed not only because they're interested in the savings, but also they are playing their part in both the global renewable energy revolution and reducing carbon emissions on a warming planet.

“We need a fair minimum price to be paid for solar power by retailers because solar households and businesses are the heavy lifters when it comes to cost effective energy for the grid. My bill aims to promote the network, distribution, health and social benefits of solar and other energy production, especially by the small rooftop producers.

“The bill would require the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to take into account the full range of savings made when calculating the minimum tariff for solar power, including placing a value on health, reducing fossil fuel pollution and carbon costs, and recognising the reduced spend on infrastructure through distribution and transmission savings, as well as the fees and charges avoided and network investment savings.

“Recent recommendations by IPART included reducing the solar feed-in tariff from 11 cents to 8 cents per kilowatt hour. This could mean more than 33,000 homes and businesses in the Northern Rivers will be hit with higher power bills if the proposed feed-in tariff cuts are acted upon.

“People have invested in good faith in solar and other renewables, both to save money and help the environment. That is why I want IPART to take into account the full range of savings made when calculating the minimum tariff for solar power,

“If the NSW government is serious about supporting renewable energy, it should be instructing IPART to properly assess the true value of solar and other renewable power and it should support this bill,” said Ms Smith.

17 May 2018

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