Thousands of Australian households’ heeded government call to shift to renewable energy sources for their electricity to meet the 1.5 degrees Paris climate deal goal by installing rooftop solar panels according to IB Times.
However, the planned rollback of generous feed-in tariffs would affect thousands of Australian households that will likely see electricity bills up to $1,500.
More than 275,000 homes will be affected in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria as from September 2016 to January 2017 when solar tariffs are starting to unwind. In New South Wales alone, a new report estimated about 146,000 would be hit very hard as stated by Damien Moyse from the Alternative Technology Association. The acceptable feed-in tariffs were rolled out for a limited period to encourage more homes to have rooftop solar panels installed. Households who fed energy back to the grid were paid or offered money. But since a lot of early adopters purchased the solar panels when it was more expensive, the loss in income every year with the roll back of the feed-in tariffs would be about $1,000 every year in New South Wales.
With the rollback, the solar tariffs would be back to 5.5 to 7.2 cents per kilowatt hour from 60 cents in New South Wales. Moyse adds that New South Wales homes which purchased bigger solar panels would be affected and charged between $2,000 and $4,000 every year because the feed-in tariffs in the said state was stronger as compared to Victoria and South Australia.
In the state of Victoria, the roll back will reduce the tariffs to 5 cents from 25 cents per kilowatt hour, while in SA, the tariffs will go down to 6.8 cents from 16 cents. Most households belong to rural and outer suburban area residents who do not belong to the high-income brackets as stated by Reece Turner from Solar Citizens. He also added that the rollback shows there is a need to put in place sweeping changes in the country’s national energy market.
Image credit: Reuters/Tim Wimborne