Documentation circulated to state and territory energy ministers over the weekend indicates that under Turnbull’s NEG energy retailers will be able to claim the carbon credits from customers’ rooftop solar as their own.
“This puts big energy retailers first at the expense of households and is another reason why the National Energy Guarantee doesn’t stack up. We really need to ask in whose interest this policy was made,” said Shani Tager, Senior Campaigner at Solar Citizens.
“Over 1.8 million households and small businesses have stumped up the cash to put solar on their roof to take back control of their power bills and do their bit by generating clean energy.
“Solar owners, from pensioners to young families, didn’t install panels so that energy retailers could profiteer and get a free ride which is exactly what this proposal suggests.”
Things are already tipped in favour of the big energy retailers. In most states governments have failed to legislate a fair minimum feed-in tariff that retailers are required to pay, so solar owners are often paid a pittance for the clean energy they feed back into the grid.
“Only in Victoria are the environmental benefits of rooftop solar acknowledged in the form of a mandated minimum feed-in tariff,” said Ms Tager.
“In most states, retailers can get away with paying solar households nothing for the power they provide to the grid.
“This policy adds insult to injury by allowing those same retailers to benefit from ordinary solar households. Solar owners are already getting the short end of the stick – to let them do the legwork while retailers reap the rewards is absurd.”
Solar Citizens is also concerned about the low renewables benchmark that is set out in the NEG. Over 1,800 Solar Citizens supporters have sent emails to the federal, state and territory governments calling for a national plan that supports clean, renewable power with storage.
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