“The latest electricity tariff changes announced by the economic regulator add insult to injury for solar owners and installers” said Jack Gilding, Executive Officer of the Tasmanian Renewable Energy Alliance.

“Electricity prices have risen by nearly 2% but the amount that solar owners are paid for electricity they put back into the grid has gone down!”

Over the past two years solar industry has been hit with a double whammy:

• feed-in tariff rates have dropped from 28c to 8c to 6.1c and now to 6.05c.

• due to a metering software problem, solar owners are not getting the full benefit of the energy they produce, in fact at some times solar owners are feeding electricity into the grid but are paying an energy charge as if they were receiving electricity from the grid

“Solar owners should be fairly rewarded for providing electricity close to the point of use and avoiding the need for infrastructure that makes up nearly half the cost of electricity.” said Mr Gilding.

At a time when Tasmania ought to be actively promoting local renewable energy production the solar industry is actually contracting. Tasmania has moved from being a net exporter of renewable energy to an importer of energy.

In the last financial year, Tasmania spent $34m more buying dirty brown-coal fired electricity from Victorian than it earned exporting renewable energy to the mainland.

“The state government needs to take action to ensure that Tasmania again reaps the financial, economic and environmental benefits that flow from being an exporter of renewable energy. A vibrant solar industry is an essential part of this.” said Mr Gilding.

TREA has launched a petition and written to Matthew Groom requesting a meeting to discuss what needs to be done by the state government to provide fair treatment for solar owners.

“Solar PV remains a good investment for many homes and businesses but for the industry to grow again it needs a fair deal from government and consumers need clarity and consistency around policy” said Mr Gilding.

Website: www.tasrenew.org.au/FairGo4Solar
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TasRenew @TasRenew

• John Hawkins in Comments: Electricity prices were set to fall 10% with the removal of the Carbon Tax. How come Harriss has been allowed to sting us out of our electricity accounts to pay the bills at Forestry Tasmania – a handout of a million a week in order to keep Ta Ann and his Sarawak billionaire operating in Tasmania. Remember to vote this living embodiment of the cultured thinking Tasmanian back into Parliament at the next election. He is the outstanding people’s choice to roll back World Heritage Listing of our forests, legislate to jail protesters and keep the insolvent solvent. A Tasmanian superstar to be proud of.

• Carol Rea in Comments: Checking on the wiki posting for Basslink and Hydro in Tasmania there were some ‘facts’ that surprised me. Principally the ownership structure. I love the tagline that suggests it benefits Tasmanians because in drought we can’t produce enough power. Spin master class. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basslink