"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard P. Feynman

Monday, August 6, 2012

Low income earners pay 1.8 billion for "free " solar power for wealthy.

1914 Cartoon -Some things never change

The great solar rip-off in Queensland will continue for 16 years as the poorest people in the community will pay extra so their wealthier neighbours can get free energy. Renters,pensioners and those living in low cost units are the worst hit in this failure of public policy where the government has pandered to the environmental lobby and the green carpet-baggers who are pushing these schemes. Although the new Coalition government has capped the rebate to 8 cents from 44 cents the existing contracts run for 16 years.

RENTERS, pensioners and other low-income earners are paying for their wealthier neighbours to enjoy cheaper power under the state's skyrocketing solar subsidy system.
The Queensland Consumers Association says costs to subsidise solar are forecast to triple, as the state's bill to fund the scheme continues to grow.
More than 100,000 applications were received last month from homeowners wanting to profit from the state's generous 44c per kilowatt hour tariff - twice the retail power rate - which will continue for 16 years.
By installing solar systems up to 5kW, the mostly well-heeled applicants stand to earn $200-$300 a quarter from a subsidy that is costing their non-solar neighbours more each year.
Energy Minister Mark McArdle has estimated the tariff would cost $1.8 billion by 2028 if the scheme remained unchanged. The July 9 deadline limiting future payments at an 8c cent rate.
The Government projects that the annual cost of the subsidy will rise from $50 to $100 for each household from the surge in applications, and another $50 for upgrades to the power grid.
Whether the increases will become a reality depends on whether the Government is successful in cutting expenses elsewhere in the budgets of power suppliers, including "community services".
Queensland Consumers Association vice-president Ian Jarratt said the threat of a $100 annual hike should be a concern for many people trying to stretch their income.
"A dollar is always more for a pensioner," he said.
The association said it voiced concerns about the scheme's cost several years ago to state officials. "Things had been done far too quickly and not thought through enough, especially about the cost to consumers who could not afford to install solar systems," Mr Jarratt said


  1. I have struggled to purchase a house over 20 years, it should be paid off in 2 years when I retire, but that will use up all the miniscule superannuation I have accumulated. I signed up prior to 9 July because I expect to be able to put in a minimum solar system with my tax return (higher than normal due to redundancy). I do not see it as getting a subsidy from the government, it is getting payment for the investment I am making. In future, as a pensioner, I will have to adjust my electricity usage to the amount of return on my investment. Surely this is economic responsibility rather that a "rip-off by a wealthy neighbour". I think you should research your comments more in future...

  2. Who is paying you 44 cents per kwhr ? The tooth fairy? The money comes from other consumers who don't have solar panels. If you wish to believe otherwise and delude yourself that is your prerogative!

  3. Have a look at "Gillard should lead power fix" on the Financial Review website at http://tinyurl.com/8hrncm4

    "...Those targets also mean richer households can offset part of their bills by installing solar systems and photovoltaic arrays. AGL Energy says the ability of richer households to shift the price burden onto poorer households will create a “death ­spiral”, with utilities forced to continually increase prices to gain revenue from the poorer end of the market."

  4. Nice to see the Financial Review is on the ball with this one and thanks to this blog for helping people to see the reality of this situation and keep it front of mind. Maybe this will help Bill Burrell to better understand the true situation. Frankly, I have some sympathy for your position Bill but unfortunately that doesn't make it right. Like it or not, we other taxpayers will have to pay for any savings you might make because there has to be enough money to keep the conventional power generating facilities fully operational and online to meet any peak demand.

  5. Is there a correlation between your wealth and making your home a solar power house? I read a really good book recently and it transformed the way I see money and wealth.

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