Solar credit scheme to end early
The Federal Government says it will start to phase out its solar credit scheme from July next year, a year earlier than previously planned.
The scheme helps subsidise solar power systems by paying people for the renewable energy produced.
Climate change minister Greg Combet says it is being phased out early because the cost of solar panels is falling and several state governments have announced generous solar energy subsidies.
“What the Government is doing with this announcement today is making sure there’s still a strong level of support available, but also that householders bear some of the out-of-pocket expenses that we think are appropriate to keep some balance in this program,” he said.
From July 1 next year, average rebates to households installing a 1.5 kilowatt system in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth or Adelaide will be reduced from $6200 to $5000.
The government says the move will save average households $12 in power bills next year because energy retailers will be forced to buy less renewable energy credits.
The solar industry reacted calmly to the decision. Matthew Warren from the Clean Energy Council says it is enough time for the industry to adjust.
“There’s more than six months for businesses to plan their inventories and make sure they’ve got stock in hand and to set their marketing strategies for next year,” he said.
The chief executive of the Australian Solar Energy Society, John Grimes, said there was recognition in the solar industry that it had to be able to stand alone without government help by mid-decade.
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