Solar Citizens To Meet With Angus Taylor Advisor Today

Angus Taylor - solar rebate

After being snubbed by Federal Minister for Energy Angus Taylor last month, Solar Citizens will get another opportunity today to raise their concerns in Canberra – but not with the man himself.


UPDATE: The Guardian reported earlier today Minister Taylor has said “there’s no plan to change the SRES“, which means the solar subsidy will reduce gradually as originally intended. Solar Citizens has called the news “a people-powered victory“.

The day before Solar Citizens was to meet with the Minister in Canberra in September, the group states it was notified by his office that he was too busy to see them. Solar Citizens was already en route to Canberra to deliver a letter signed by thousands of solar supporters asking Mr. Taylor rule out prematurely axing the solar rebate as recommended by the ACCC.

It was requested that the open letter be mailed to the Minister instead. Solar Citizens objected and vowed to keep prodding until Mr. Taylor agreed to meet with the group. Their persistence paid off to a degree – they’ll be meeting with one of his advisors.

The issue has become more pressing with EnergyAustralia and Origin again calling for early axing of the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) at the recent Australian Financial Review National Energy Summit.

“The head of energy at EnergyAustralia said that he’d “love to see” the scheme scrapped – hardly a surprise considering solar threatens their bottom line,” said Solar Citizens National Director, Joseph Scales last week.

As of last Thursday, the open letter was accompanied by more than 8,500 signatures, with Solar Citizens aiming for 10,000.

“We’re making ground on our campaign to protect the SRES but with big energy stepping into the ring, the fight is heating up.” stated Mr. Scales.

The Morrison Government announced measures yesterday that it says will bring down the cost of electricity and there was no mention of a threat to the “solar rebate1 – and there shouldn’t be considering it only adds around 1% to power bills while delivering emissions reductions, thousands of jobs and has helped millions of Australians rein in their energy costs.

It’s a situation that the Government will need to handle very carefully, particularly after the Wentworth by-election and with a Federal election to occur before May 2019. The Government may attempt to keep the spotlight off the issue for now while it tinkers with other bits relating to energy. If the Coalition is returned to power and has the numbers, an attempt could perhaps be made soon after to ditch the SRES – hence the need for a rock-solid commitment prior to leave the solar subsidy, which is already reducing, alone.

Footnotes

  1. But one of the measures may pave the way for new coal and extending existing coal-fired power station service life
About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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