Solar power users considering legal action against WA government after it announces cut to feed-in tariffsBy Pamela Medlen
Posted August 09, 2013 17:03:42
Thousands of solar power users in Western Australia are reeling from the State Government’s announcement that it will slash feed-in tariffs.
Some say they won’t be able to pay back the loans they took out to install solar photovoltaic (pv) panels on their homes.
In 2010, the government said it would return 40 cents per kilowatt hour of energy to homes generating solar power that they fed back into the electricity grid for the next 10 years.
In May 2011, they cut that amount to 30 cents for new people signing up to the scheme and then stopped the feed-in tariff altogether last year as the price of solar panels dropped dramatically.
By then, 75,000 West Australians had signed onto the scheme.
Under the changes announced in Thursday’s state budget, those who signed up initially will see their payments drop from 40 cents to 30 cents in October and then to 20 cents next year.
“Our view is that the feed-in tariff is another example of a government program which is non-affordable in the current environment,” Mr Buswell told a press conference.
The Synergy notice sent to solar customers in May 2011 reads: “As an existing residential net feed-in tariff customer, Synergy is pleased to advise that your subsidy rate of 40c/kWh will not change and you will continue to receive 40c/kWh for the net export of electricity for the full term of your 10 year contract.”