All things Solar…!!

by Ted Sorensen
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The Electricity and Other Legislation (Batteries and Premium Feed-in Tariff) Amendment Bill 2018 was introduced on 15 February 2018 by the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy – now passed, the Bill aims to;

1. clarify when additional generation systems and electricity storage devices can be deployed in association with the Solar Bonus Scheme;
2. enable the effective implementation of a new national regulatory framework for retail competition in embedded electricity networks which commenced on 1 December 2017; and
3. allow residential and small business customers in regional Queensland to have the option to return to Ergon Retail, if at a property that has switched to a private retailer

Without the proposed amendments, the financial consequences for the State would be too severe. I will continue to express my frustration and disappointment that these amendments are needed to help bail Labor out of the mess it has made of the energy policies in this State.

The main areas of concern relates to the Solar Bonus Scheme which, like many Labor policies, was introduced without first carefully considering the longer term financial implications for the State’s finances.

In crafting the Solar Bonus Scheme, Labor came up with what has charitably been described by ACCC Chairman Rod Sims as “excessively generous”. Without this amending legislation to clarify the ambiguity in the scheme as it relates to additional generation systems and electricity storage devices, the opportunity exists for this scheme to be exploited even further.

The Solar Bonus Scheme was closed to new entrants by the LNP in 2012 to reduce electricity prices as well as contain what was projected to be a major cost blow-out of epic proportions. Even so, it has been estimated the scheme will still end up costing $4.1 billion from its introduction in 2008 to until 2028.

The most important thing is that Labor is finally listening, and will also allow residential and small business customers in regional Queensland to have the option to return to Ergon Retail. This has been a constant complaint in my office, and I have made many representations to have this silly law changed.

Until next time,
Take care
Ted.

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