Is Abbott about to axe the Solar Rebate (and push solar prices through the roof) ?

tony abbott and renewables

What does Abbott have in store for solar?

Well, I woke up this morning to a beautiful spring day. Only to see an inbox full of emails telling me that, according to the Australian Financial Review, Tony Abbott has already decided to scrap the Renewable Energy Target (RET) no matter what his review panel advises.

Bummer!

Let’s see what the rest of the papers have to say on the matter. Well, the most recent article I can find, published at 9am, is telling me that the government maintains it has absolutely no intention of scrapping the RET.

Hmmmmm.

So what the flippin’ heck is going on?

One thing we can be sure of is this: if this government comes out and states categorically that it is not going to do something… then the opposite is almost certainly true. Like most pollies they have no problem lying through their cigar stained teeth.

So I’m assuming the RET will be scrapped in the next couple of months.

Now, from the emails and facebook comments that are coming through at the moment, it seems that there is a lot of confusion out there about what scrapping the RET will mean for people who are thinking of going solar.

So here’s the answer: If the RET is totally scrapped, then the Solar Rebate is scrapped.

If the solar rebate is scrapped then the price of solar will go up by about 50%.

In other words a typical, 5kW system could become $4,000 more expensive overnight.

This could happen because the RET compels electricity generators to either build renewable generation, or buy “certificates” from those who do. The people selling their certificates may be a company that own a commercial wind farm or a family that owns a residential solar system.

But if there is no RET, there is no market for those certificates and there is no more solar rebate.

So if you are considering reducing your bills with solar, may I be so bold as to suggest that now is a good time to sign a contract with your chosen installer so you can lock in the current rebate before its likely demise in the next couple of months.

And, of course, if you need quotes for solar in a hurry, you can get 3 quotes to compare from hand picked, local installers here.

UPDATE:

This blog post was written in August 2014. In December 2014 after much public backlash and the sterling work of the Australian Solar Council, Abbott promised that “household solar will be untouched” no matter what happens to the rest of the RET. If he is telling the truth (ha!) then the financial incentives (AKA rebates) will not be changing in 2015. Your call if you want to believe this promise.

 

About Finn Peacock

I'm a Chartered Electrical Engineer, Solar and Energy Efficiency nut, dad, and founder of SolarQuotes.com.au. My last "real job" was working for the CSIRO in their renewable energy division.

Comments

  1. Funny how people like to believe the unbelievable, even if the story is negative, rather than positive in outcomes. That is the way of the left leaning journalists and media people these days. They loved the lies that the previous very left leaning government told them each year: “We will have a surplus next year” was a favourite. “There will be no Carbon Tax under a government I lead” was another. But the media didn’t bother to take them to task because they knew most of that government’s programs and planning was based on imagination rather than fact. So, instead of slitting your risks about the possibility of what that evil Abbott might do next year, why not set up a line of communication with the environment minister’s office, and the prime minister’s office and discuss your issues on a regular basis?

    • We already ‘slit our risks’ voting this mob in… . Yes, Labor lied to us: Budget in surplus, no Carbon Tax. These untruths pale to absolute insignificance beside the l-o-n-g list of LNP lies we’ve been hit with. New lies daily. No end to them.

      • So very true. ANY Lnp nut who tries to spruik their grand deeds of the past and compares the present, is totally delusional and needs to be committed.

        • You have an extremely short memory. No mention of Union control, Conroy’s total failure of the NBN, the Slipper and Thompson farce’s, Gillards more than shady past with Wilson, making idiotic promises past the forward estimates on education and health, the extent of corrupt politics in NSW and the list goes on and on. When it was announced Australia had been caught spying on Indonesia, the media, especially the ABC, attacked the new Lib Government when in fact it had occurred during Labors reign? There is no reference to cuts the Lib’s desire that Labor previously endorsed yet will now not support and the dysfunction of the Senate as it currently is. The current Coalition has already done some excellent work including the stopping of asylum seekers entering this country illegally, ridding the country of the Carbon Tax and Mining Tax and seriously attempting to put Australia in a sustainable fiscal position. There is much more to do of course but at least we are now moving forward! The leader of the opposition is a complete dud! He stabbed 2 Prime Ministers in the back and is a Union lackey. His involvement within the Unions has been questioned and will continue. Shorten’s interview by Leigh Sales on 7.30 Report this last week was riveting viewing. Not once, after being asked 4 times the same question did he respond, preferring to prattle on about the Lib’s misgivings. He was shown up to be totally inadequate as a leader in Opposition. The Opposition has many from it’s team whilst in office which can only assist the Government at the next election. Conroy, Machlin, Wong, Burke, Tanya P, and the list goes on were complete failures with their portfolio’s when in Government. Once a failure always a failure especially given the ongoing denials to accept responsibility for their time in Government.
          Mr.Magoo53

      • I didn’t vote Libs or Lab in my eyes they are the same party just different figure heads. Although I’m curious to understand the “l-o-n-g list of LNP lies” that you stated which out do Lab while they were in power. Stealing from Pauline Hanson “please explain” what the lies are?

        • “this will be a no suprises government”
          “there will be no new taxes or increases”
          -Fuel excerise
          -Gp co payments
          -one off levy
          -medicare increase

          “No funding cuts to ABC\SBS”
          “NBN fast affordable sooner” (failed on all 3 so far)

          the only promise i recall he’s kept so far was to repel the carbon tax just as the rest of the world was committing to similar programs. maybe his stopped the boats too but since there classifying it who knows how many are trying to come over still?

    • You mean like the ‘financial crisis’ we are apparently in… Massive lie if you actually do some research into it; and all the things they are doing are only making it worse for Australians, all to ‘fix’ something that isn’t broken. Don’t get me wrong, less debt is great – but ruining peoples lives to do so it not.

      By the way (this isn’t directed at the original poster, just in general while I’m ranting), unless you have experienced living on the low end of the spectrum, struggling to pay rent/rego/food/etc. then you really have no idea; and telling people they “need to budget\ budget better” is pretty dumb and proves you have no idea.

      • I don;’t know about you, but I have worked through every recession we have had in Australia since the 1960s. But, this one, (the one we are not having) looks to be close to the worst so far. No one wants to say the word “recession” because the sheeple might panic and make things worse. In my area, two restaurant businesses have shut down in the past three months, and there are a lot of empty shops in the shopping malls. Those shops and restaurants that are open, are trading below break even. I know it doesn’t make sense, because a recession is supposed to occur after run-away inflation, which we haven’t had. Consumers are staying home and paying off debt. After six years of chaos and massive financial waste with a federal government which had no nerve at all when facing a potential financial crisis, the population gave Abbott’s lot 90 out of every 100 seats in the federal parliament. (Not including the senate) If the trades and retailers are not breaking even, then the tax revenue flow to government treasuries is down. They are having as difficult a time as the rest of us, but unless you have a secure government job these days, things are not all that rosy.

        • Colin: “this one, (the recession we are not having) looks to be close to the worst so far…”

          We’re watching a similar phenomenon in a rural town where very large new commercial buildings are being erected one-after-the-other. Commercial tenants vacate their long-term premises, move into the new buildings… and the old ones remain empty. That certainly doesn’t predict real growth… .

          Colin: “Consumers are staying home and paying off debt.”

          Well, that certainly seems true. Interest rates are low and the statistics indicate that home-buyers are paying residences off more rapidly than ever… reducing debt. (Not a bad thing!) At the same time, more Aussies are holidaying abroad. (Just got back.) ‘Potential financial crisis’, Colin? Our own dear Treasurer himself debunked _that_ little myth in NZ. But there is a lack of confidence, now being reflected in those closing restaurants and empty shops. Business confidence is plummeting. I believe Aussies are scared _spitless_ of senseless, cruel austerity measures being introduced to stem that on-and-off crisis Joe tells us is real one day… and gone (in a puff-of-smoke) the next. Joe was talking our economy down _before_ the election. He’s _still_ talking it down (except when he thinks we’re too far away to hear!) Maybe the punters are absorbing Joe’s negative vibe?

          Despite that, everyone seems to be driving a car twelve years younger than mine (even our tenants!) so I’m guessing the recession hasn’t really begun yet. I wonder how much longer the LNP can actually argue that it’s all Labor’s fault? Can they really convince us they _had_ to LIE to us to save us? Can they convince us the poor must pay more? How many more swinging voters like me are giving the LNP the finger and looking for other options as far away from them, as they are from the truth?!

          • Pretty well spot on Lessor. But the retailers and restaurants I supply tell me that their decline in business has been going on for over three years now. My business has shown a definite decline in revenue over the past three or four years as well. When your hero, Joe Hockey, became Treasure about one year ago, his job was to get Australia back on track. We all knew it could take ten years to put strength back into Australia’s economy again, even the previous PM told us clearly that Australia was looking to the future and that we have to create the new economy. Well, for just once, it is possible that she was actually right, and not just saying what the spin merchants told her to say. Although, I doubt she had a clue about what “the new economy” would consist of. Other than a lot more expensive public servants that we really need.

          • Unfortunately my hero, Joe Hockey*, has been benched. He’s gone into hiding, _under_ the Bench, it seems. Off the radar, anyway! Another heavyweight, Mathias Cormann, has been fielded to attempt The Hard Sell. Like Joseph, he has Buckley’s.

            To some extent, Mr Titanic has again distracted attention from the icebergs raining down on the LNP… .

            Meantime, restaurants offering ‘twofers’ are surviving, re-invoking that classic scene from The Sopranos, in which Artie Bucco, forced into survival mode, opens his doors to find queues of Boomers lined up to score half-price meals… ! 🙂
            Confession: I’m with THEM… 😀

            Like you, I see a recession coming. Unlike you, I see it fused by austerity, rather than by Labor’s mixed success in deflecting or deferring the GFC. Curiously, I now read statements from alternative energy suppliers claiming “We don’t NEED subsidies at all!” I fear for these optimistic souls, whose CBR will end in ashes… .

            Like Finn, I’d argue for a ‘leveller’ playing field. No subsidies for clean green power? No subsidies then for dirty fossil fuel power. And no _immense_ state subsidies for poles ‘n’ wires, which fail in storms, cause bushfires, and electrocute the unwary.

            Like several others here, I’m a cautious optimist. The sooner those of us who can afford it give the grid the flick, utilising new battery technologies, the better. Once a significant number of Aussies take that path, energy companies and government cash-cow utilities may awaken and scent the caffeine… . 😀

            * Yes, you’re correct. Joe’s a ‘Treasure’ all right. I had once figured he might become PM, but that was before his shambolic budget. 🙁

          • well I think they are all puppets, and there is only lib an lab to choose from until they get rid of preference{ deals} or votes

        • you probably voted for the Greens Christine Milne Hanson Young a pair of total fools

  2. There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that the LNP will win a second term, Finn. This temporary aberration in voter gullibility will soon be perceived as a blip-in-time. Is there _any_ sector of any demographic these clowns haven’t offended, both with their fictional financial ‘crisis’ and their wicked, vindictive budget? m (I see our fearless leader was also ‘back-on-his-bike’ this morning, yapping Team Australia again. In his case, it’s a deja vu media stunt at the same comedic level as Smokin’ Joe on camera, confusing his indicator and wiper levers, as he attempted to figure out how to actually drive a car without his chauffeur… .)

    • Give me 6/4 and I’ll back the snowball.
      …or the other lot.
      ….or both of them!

      “No one in this world, so far as I know-and I have searched the record for years, and employed agents to help me-has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.” ~ H.L. Mencken 😉

    • Tell the bookies that, or put your money where your mouth is and back labor, the bookies will gladay take your money.

      • Watch the odds change after the Victorian election, Mike. 😉

        • Yep, the odds are running against both Abbott and his LNP. All it took was a few more lies from Tony. Another month or so, a few more porkies and our PM is toast. He’s browning nicely as I type…

  3. ps…. The older I get the more I miss Joh!
    At least everybody knew where they stood.
    (even the japs lined up outside his office with brown paper-bags in hand.)

  4. Ahhh well, if we re-elect this hapless crew, we’ll get exactly what we deserve. I too recall ‘…living on the low end of the spectrum and struggling…’ Aaron. Our family is largely unaffected by this cruel, divisive budget, but we recognise that Australia is going backwards fast, economically, scientifically and ethically. As Finn comments, above, if Abbott says one thing you can bet his actions will be the exact opposite. I cannot recall any politician (or party) in my nearly seven decades on this planet, repeatedly lying with such an open face. Sadly, there’s little likelihood of our PM facing court action for false pretences, other than at the next election. I guess the really amusing part (should he survive that long) will be our laughter every time he makes an(y) election promise in future. Labor and the Greens should have comic fun lamPOOning his myriad broken promises in the run-up to that election!~ 😀

  5. I operate an electrical contracting business specialising in PV Solar. I believe that solar technology must stand on its own without Government stimulus, as a cost-effective alternative when compared to other sources of electricity supply. Although we’re still 4-6 years away from having affordable energy storage, once this technology becomes accessible, then PV Solar will begin to grow again.

    • HI Peter,

      I completely agree, but we need a level playing field.
      Let’s remove all the fossil subsidies, which are 10x higher than any renewable sunsidies at the same time:

      http://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/solar-subsidies-lets-get-the-facts-straight/

      Cheers,

      Finn

      • My earlier reply was never published? But I do agree with you Finn. Removal of subsidies across the board will be a smart move, along with the disproportionate subsidy level affecting different forms of renewable generation. The price of electricity will likely rise as a result but the billions saved by the government can be passed on in the form of lower taxation.

        • Lower taxes? mmmm not sure that will be a benefit to us all evenly,money and/or taxes does not flow down hill very well, never has. Governments have to learn to tax us properly first, then distribute it where it’s needed. All this fudging of government revenue needs to stop, Taxes and their use needs to be regulated better. It’s not a matter of more tax or less tax. Its about people and businesses paying the right tax, and the tax being used to benefit all.

  6. Great pity the way Tony is going! I liked the bloke and even voted for him but his really letting his advisor’s unscrew all the nuts in his head because his really screwed up. Chopping the Ret will ensure him a place as a 1 term Prime Minister. But who knows maybe that’s what he wants. At least he will get all those beautiful benefits they all march away from Parliament with. I AGREE ANYONE THINKING ABOUT INSTALLING SOLAR SHOULD DO IT NOW. Waiting even a couple of months is risking paying thousands of dollars more, if not at least 50% more on today’s prices, for a good quality system. (If there’s still a quality Solar company around to do it.) or they’ll be left to choose from only those dealers selling the cheapest components from you know where.

    • Well Said Byron!

    • The fossil fuel industry need to be phased out ASAP, non electric cars should be given a use-by date, there is enough technology to start introducing electric cars and building the infrastructure to support it. That goes for power too.
      The more we start using these renewables the cheaper and better they will get, just like any other new emerging industry.
      Fossil fuel industries should be be investing in renewable for the sake of not only our future, but the future of their investors.

  7. Thanks for thanking me for my comment Finn. It gives me great pleasure to have access to talk to a guy whose got the knowledge and skill to talk objectively about something. A lot of so called professionals (eg Doctors) get all huffy when you even dare to mention “I read this article about X, don’t you think we should try Y”. Regards and best wishes. I don’t know where you find the time to to keep up.

    • Barry Pascoe says

      Solar Panel salesmen everywhere,
      I used to be a competitive Cyclist, I took many chances in order to win races, I used to say “Never worry about being run over by a truck until you can see it’s Gearbox”. but let us recognise which truck is likely to run us over.
      The real issue I see, is that the entire Federal Government is a compilation of Private entities, Check out “Dunn and Bradstreet” (Private Corporations.) contact the Commonwealth of Australia and ask the Ombudsman what their function is in regards to the Citizens of the Commonwealth of Aus, the reply is very interesting.
      I used to be a Monarchist until I found out what has been done to us Citizens of Aus.
      We now work for a series of Corporations.
      The great thing is that we have NO LEGAL Contract with the Federal Government, including the ATO. Unless you have signed a contract which was fully explained to you with a legal representative, (Not one who is under contract to any Australian Federal Government, so is an agent of that Government.) But is a true representative of the citizens of the Commonwealth.

      I am well aware that I sound like a demented person, but I can only suggest that you test these facts for yourself. In fact I insist that you do not believe anything you see or hear without testing the truth for yourself.

      Many of the courts, (Murder and other serious crimes are not included.) are yet to be tested, simply by asking if you are under contract to the Court if you agree to give your full name when facing such a court.
      If the reply is affirmative then refuse to participate any further.

      My real take on this is that we as a whole should demand our money back from failed or flawed purchases such as the Collins Submarine, the Myki, the De-sal plant and chase politicians who took their pensions and ran away after these debacles.

      I want to see a new referendum for a republic, that is really the only way I can see repairing the Constitution which has been eroding away since 1973.
      We the people saw it happening but we did not recognise how much was taken from us as it was a very stealthy process.

      My advice is just check out what I say and tell me where I am wrong, I really would love it if I am, because this looks awfully scary otherwise.

      • Liberals lied to Us.
        Well, how can you demand our money back from US gov failed F-35 jet fighter ???
        In 20 years cost $100 billion …. ” Well done ” P.M.

        • If you are only a socialist political troll, Marco, you have nothing of value to contribute. Unless you are deep into the technology of the F-35 weapons platform, that is. And I doubt that. As long as power companies keep increasing our power bills, there will be people waiting to fit solar systems. Subsidies are only of importance to the cheapest jobs. There is a great deal of work to be done on commercial buildings. I did mine, and I would have done it with or without subsidies.

          • Unless you’re a Paid Piper for the Liberals, or a struggling vendor of Solar Electricity Panels, I find your comments extraordinary, Mr Spencer. Why, not so long ago, regarding the future wonderful Brave New World of LNP government, you stated:

            “I think the LNP policy will be revealed to show a more efficient way to increase the take up of renewables by getting rid of the huge cost of multiple government department overheads related to existing renewables policies, and using the funds available more effectively by direct funding and subsidisation ideas. This would not be detailed prior to the election… ”

            Come out from under your bridge and explain to us in detail this ‘direct funding and subsidisation’ we can expect now that these fools are in power; and we’re all paying for it.

          • Who exactly are “you paying for it”? Lessor? Or are you insinuating that your source of public funding is being threatened? Get out and sell your products, like the rest of us have to, without relying on funding from the public purse. Don’t be a leach.

          • Do you mean “Who exactly are you “paying for it”, Lessor?”

            We’re all ‘paying the cost’ of beLIEving the string of lies these conmen fed us; a foul budget affecting those who can afford pain least. While many of us are financially unaffected by this Liars’ Budget, all Aussies suffer when bullies and conmen single out and attack the most vulnerable.

            I never expected you to respond to my questions related to the LNP “…using the funds available more effectively by direct funding and subsidisation ideas. This would not be detailed prior to the election… .” Your prediction was meaningless political drivel.

            Leach? You yourself spruiked ‘direct funding’ and ‘subsidisation’.
            Like these (other) liars, once the election is over, nuthin’… .

  8. Solar Panels are a total farce says

    Solar panels do NOTHING to reduce the carbon emissions. Do you think they turn the generators down 25% when everyone has solar panels? No they dont! Generators run at capacity with or without solar panels. Think about it, as soon as a cloud covers your neighborhood the energy requirement and demand suddenly increases. The generators have to be running at capacity otherwise there would be blackouts everywhere. The ONLY thing solar panels have ever achieved is cheap rates for the rich people who can afford a 6kw system and for everyone else, their roofs are not big enough to hold that many panels. Its a total farce. Because the consumption at the meter is less, those who cannot pay for solar panels have to pay more per KW because the electricity company’s up their prices to make up for the reduced revenue. Biggest wast of money ever devised which only allows rich people to save and hardly any impact to reduce emissions.

    • Hello there! Thanks for popping by 🙂

      1) I used to work in a baseload power station. They have to carefully forecast electricity demand and set the generation to suit. These days that includes wind and sun forecasts. If it is going to be a sunny day, then they literally burn less coal because they set the generation setpoint lower to compensate for all the solar. The distributed nature of solar means that you can forecast the solar generation very accurately. Smaller fluctuations in demand are catered for by gas peaking plants.

      2) RE solar being a plaything of the rich… The facts are that lower and fixed income households are driving the solar boom.
      The suburbs with the highest percentage of solar installations are overwhelmingly low- to middle-income suburbs and places with a high proportion of retirees. These are the households that are the most concerned about rising electricity prices.

      In 2012 the top 10 solar postcodes were:
      Dubbo, NSW – 28 per cent of houses with solar
      Caloundra QLD – 27.3 per cent
      Victor Harbor, McCracken, Hindmarsh Valley, SA – 25.9 per cent
      Pinjarra, Oakley, Ravenswood, WA – 24.7 per cent
      Currency Creek, Goolwa, Hindmarsh Island, SA – 24.7 per cent
      Aldinga, Port Willunga, Silver Sands, SA – 24.1 per cent
      Jimboomba, North & South Maclean, QLD – 23.9 per cent
      Ellenbrook, Brigadoon, The Vines, WA – 23.8 per cent
      Hallett Cove, Sheidow Park, SA – 23.6 per cent
      Ormeau, Jacobs Well, QLD – 23.2 per cent

      3) Yes the government support of solar has increased your current bill. By 1.2%. By 2020 it will have a net effect of reducing your bill. (Source: the Warburton Review commissioned by Tony Abbott)

      • +1

      • When it’s hot, solar makes peaking loads lower, because it’s ideal for supplying air conditioning. This along with energy efficiencies, reduces distribution costs, which are most of the cost of your electricity. Manganese batteries, electric cars, are therefore in all our interests, solar 1/100 th of the price in 1977 per kWh, 50 times as much energy as bio fuels per hectare acre. A small roof has a lot of square meters, 25% of Australia’s desert, is enough to make a trillion tonnes of liquid hydrogen per year.

        Solar Energy employs more people than automotive industry in the United States, more people are employed in solar in Australia than in coal. Solar is already making more energy than is put into making the cells and installation, we’re into pure energy profit from now on. Soon solar power costs, will be cheaper than all other sources.

  9. Philip of New Farm says

    So Finn, give me some down to earth advice. I’m building a house right now and have OK’d the provision of wiring for solar, but will not go beyond that until I know which is the best solar and if there is a genuine saving. Can you give me some numbers, and can you recommend (this is not the ABC) a good solar company?

  10. It has been proven that solar and all other forms on non efficient power generators save zero in emission in fact they are emission producers so where is the genius there just a bunch of sheep rambling unproven rhetoric, supporting a mantra so others can become very very rich.
    .

  11. I have a 5-KW system on my house, I am not rich, I hoped when I retire will be a little easier with the SEC-bills. I make some time, twice the power than we using, and the power company or the Smart meter stealing nearly half the electricity I make. The Electricity Ombudsman, don’t have one electrically trained specialist, just some girls sitting behind the desk, and talk on the phone.
    I did ring some big electrical companies, some Solar companies, etc. would pay for an independent report on my consumption and usage, so I can use it even on the Court. When they find out what I want to do, never hear from them again. I think they all in bed with the Government, and queuing up for the rebate. I did pay $9600.00 for my system, after the rebate, witch was $2700.00 from the taxpayers money. Then the rebate stopped. Next day my system from the same company was $9200.00, without rebate. I taught they maybe can help me being cheated, no surprise, they gone. Took all the money, than declared bankrupt. They were advertising in radio, and TV, then disappeared with probably millions. I just payed $284.00 SEC-bill for 94-days, my usage was little over 800-KW. Before I had Solar my consumption never been more than 900-KW in 3-month. I don’t even have a new hairdryer, so I am using about the same amount of power. The 5 KW-system even at a winter days make about 7-8-KW, when have a little sunnier 12-13 KW a day. I have good position with my house, no trees to hold a way the light. Summer time it makes about 18-25 KW a day.
    Even at winter produces about 7-900 KW in 3 month, summer time it should have a profit, and I can’t go to anybody. I don’t understand in a beautiful rich country like Australia, in such a big business like this, don’t have a strong controlling body, to make sure there is no corruption in it.
    They should know, where is allots of money, there is CRIME. It is inevitable.
    If someone in a similar situation, drop me an email, if have some idea how I could do something in a situation like this. I am running out of ideas.

    • Tamas,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Don’t get confused between the rebate which is a point of sale discount, and is still going strong:

      http://solarquotes.com.au/panels/rebate

      And the Feed In Tariff (aka solar bonus) schemes that pay you a premium for exported energy, which have all but ended to new entrants.

      A 5kW system should produce about 20kWh per day averaged over a year. (To understand the difference between kW and kWh this may help : http://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/kw-and-kwh-what-is-the-difference/)

      Have a look at your inverter and see how much energy has been produced in the last 365 days – it should be about 7,300kWh. Much less than this and there is something amiss with your system.

      How much your bill is reduced by depends what rate you are getting for your electricity exports, if you got your system a while ago then you may be getting a premium export Tariff – let me know and I can work out what your bill savings really should be.

      Hope That Helps,

      Finn

    • Have to agree with Finn that the figures don’t add up, Tamas…

      …BUT… a friend who had a small SES installed found her power bills went UP, after a Smart Meter was installed, replacing her A1 metering.

      Anxious to avoid the same outcome, we insisted on A1 metering on all our SES installations, at all our rentals. Many tenants don’t have electricity bills at all… !

      Another friend received around $1800 back last year!~ Admittedly, when they retired, they replaced all their whitegoods, media, etc, with new devices with low(er) energy consumption.

      I actually declare income to the ATO annually, as a result of power generated when rentals are vacant, even for short periods. It’s only a few hundred dollars most years, but it’s income! 🙂

  12. all my lighting is 12 volt dc only the tv in the lounge room on ac power points got remote switches lighting must only with led . got big battery and inverter 12dc to 240 ac my bill was $ 0.80 perday how can I save more???? may be a bigger solar??? . remote control power point big saving no more on stand by power.

  13. Perhaps we should look at the tecnical apsects of these ECO unviable systems. Power distribution systems for wind and presumably solar power cannot handle the variable input without many problems arising.
    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/wind-turbines-but-no-power.
    Investment by Union super Funds in Solar power, if it can be called that will fall over if these problems of input and storage for night time use are not solved. There are many promises that fail to materialise. ECO equals political. Haven’t y’all guessed by now. There is something different about these projects. Its called political influence and its coming to change democracy. How? Think Agenda 21.

  14. Every government rebate always inflates prices. Getting rid of the rebate will drop the solar panel to competitive pricing. I wish the government got rid of all rebates for solar panels, lpg tank installs, first home buyers grant, baby bonus, etc

    • As long as they also stop subsidising fossil fuels to the tune of billions a year – I’m all for it:

      http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/fossil-fuel-follies-massive-subsidies-underpin-oil-coal-exploration-17916

      • Just thinking, I have 5 LED screens in my house and an LED light bulb, photovoltaic LED has saved me a fortune, without the subsidies of big carbon. Big silicon is going to make a fortune and big carbon is going to lose it’s shirt, the Rockefeller’s have gotten out of big carbon investment. They’ve sniffed the wind and they know big carbon, is a rotting carcass, renewable energy will be the biggest industry in the world.

    • We always enjoy a good laugh when reading “I wish” comments, Kahuna. They often add another tinge of colour to The Green Debate… . Green with envy. 😉

      • No envy here, it just bothers me that we have to constantly be bent over unnecessarily, for everything. Solar panels aren’t viable for me, however it may be for others & why should they endure highly inflated pricing? Drop the pricing by eliminating the opportunity of one minute wonder companies abusing these rebates. Pink batts scheme is another example. It cost the government the same maximum rebate value for my little unit as the double storey mansion next door. Why? Because they can due to this “rebate” gravy train.

  15. Solar the greatest waste of time and money ever invented I would not even bother with solar hot water.
    The climate change scam is just that the worlds greatest scam, during the 1970s the world was heading towards another ice age, oops nothing happened so it became global warming oops nothing happened, so now its called climate change as this will cover everything for these liars who spruik this scam.
    There is no such thing as man made climate change never has ben never will be it was invented to governments a interests groups who see it as a great opportunity to scam money. If people are truly serious about renewable energy nuclear power stations should be built.

    • Your articles certainly attract some strange responses, Finn. Wondering if the Japanese people in the vicinity of Fukushima would agree with David that nuclear power is ‘renewable’? We are slowly and surely poisoning small regions of the earth… nuking the land, sea and air… in some cases for tens of thousands of years. Having seen wind, tidal and solar energy systems operating successfully around the world, we are convinced that solar energy is most effective, particularly in countries like Australia. In our own case, we enjoy long tenancies because most of our rentals have SHWS and SES. Ask our tenants if “Solar the greatest waste of time and money ever invented…” Inevitably, those who do leave us, to build their own homes, incorporate the very same energy systems in their new dwellings.

  16. GordieBrooks says

    I find it so strange how an advertisement disguised as a “news story” can lead to a full blown political debate. The who idea of the story was to make you hit the link and get 3 quotes, not complain about politicians. I just wonder how many people actually hit that link.

    • thats exactly what it is.An advertisement trying to scare people into investing money into some not so brilliant scheme solar has becme a huge money making scam.too expensive not reliable dodgy imported inverters cheap panels etc.I have had numerous quotes to supply only as my electrician is solar approved and for a 5kw system upwards of 3000 dollars different in price supply only.
      biggest fort since pink batts scam i mean scheme.simple answer is use your power thoughtfully turn off when not in room this will reduce your costs.solar electricity is and will remain an expensive rort this story or add as it really is put up to scare you into investing your money into something you don’t need these solar companies are all in it to make money not to do you any favours

      • PaulJ: “…biggest fort since pink batts scam…”

        Yes, we can all see you put a lot of fort into these comments, PaulJ.

        PaulJ: “…simple answer is use your power thoughtfully turn off when not in room…”

        That’s a pretty amazing fridge you have there, son!

        PaulJ: “An advertisement trying to scare people… it really is put up to scare you…”

        I agree. I _am_ terrified. You wrote this _before_ the LNP reduced school funding, right?!~

  17. Listen you clowns Ive lived 61 years and watched Aussie politics closely. Labour always pushes Australia forward – Libs always drive Australia backwards. While huge money was coming in from mining during ABBOTT and COSTELLO oops sorry Howard and Costello, did they put money into infrastructure no they gave us the oxyMORON of all oxymorons- MIDDLECLASS WELFARE. Not spending money on the states because all states were Labour.Are there any Libs who are worshipped- no. Whitlam in his speech said we would spend money on Solar-1972! Is Australia exporting Solar technology all over the world- NO ITS SUNNY GERMANY.For the truth will you all please watch the Insiders on ABC.Anorak fact- Australia’s greatest treasurer spent $470,000 unneccessarily flying back and forth from Canberra.when he should have taken commercial flights!

    • You sure live in a fantasy world Harry. Every time Labor gets kicked out of office they leave Australia in a recession with billions in debt. Or were you locked up in a room with no windows back then? Howard left office with 55 billion dollars for Labor to spend, and they wasted hundreds of billions of dollars on what? Absolutely bloody nothing! Wake up mate.

      • You certainly seem to exist in an LNP fog of confusion, Colin. Howard sold off Australia’s assets to create that surplus. Yes, Costello certainly set My Generation (Who?) up for a comfortable retirement! But let’s zooooom forward to the present… an LNP vision looking backwards. The vision is one of AUSTerity, a plan which is surely reducing consumer confidence, certain to increase unemployment… and which focuses on grimly reaping our most disadvantaged. Inspirational… NOT.

        Now your major problem in responding is that I am part of a very powerful group which changes governments. My partner and I are swinging voters. We have *NO* allegiance to any party. We have voted Liberal, National Party, Labor, Green and Independent during the last 50 years. We’ve never voted PUP… and we’re unlikely to vote for any representative of the current COALition.

        Fiercely attacking any Labor or Green sympathisers, you present as a one-eyed LNP stooge. It’s a disadvantage, as you miss (at least) half the picture. But continue to push the LNP platform. Gawd help ’em, they certainly need a few more cyclops zealots like you!~ 🙂

        • OK, Clever Lessor. What do you suggest for the future? Borrow a half a trillion dollars on top of what we already owe, and blow the lot on projects that do nothing to build the nations economy? Or would you do what the current lot are doing? And fix the mess left behind by the previous morons? Of course you would. Because if you didn’t, even more of the private enterprise engine of Australia – small business – would go out of business. Enough already have gone. The economy has to focus on getting the private sector moving again. Subsidising solar is not as important as it was a few years ago. It has been kick started, prices have dropped to attractive levels, and we all want it. The government has to move on to more important tasks.

          • Colin: “The government has to move on to more important tasks…”
            Your funniest contribution yet. 🙂

            The COALition is digging a deeper deficit than Labor ever devised… . There’s little chance that these ‘more important tasks’ (other than selling off what’s left of our assets) will come to fruition, leaving a huge hole in Joe the Budget Smuggler’s unpopular, unfair, divisive, doomed ‘budget’… .
            If pickpocketing the elderly* is one of these ‘more important tasks, you’ll discover that Aussies do believe in a fair go. Moreover Aussies quickly eject compulsive liars… we don’t elect ’em… or re-elect ’em. You get to fool us once… just once… .

            What do *I* suggest for the future? A focus on Science and technology. Recognition of the immense value of both, in our economy. Gradually reduced emphasis on dirty fossil fuel energy sources and their subsidies. Government recognition that education doesn’t cost… it pays. Restoration of confidence, both by business and by consumers. Reduction of fuel taxes, to encourage Aussies to holiday in Australia, rather than overseas. Reduction of unwarranted ‘protection’ of ineffective, archaic, cash-cow utilities (poles-and-wires technology, for example). Protection instead of Australians from increased GST, currently being proposed for ramming down the states’ throats.

            More if you want it. But what I’d _really_ like to see is a list of promises made by Tony Abbott, with direct quotes, before the election… and the actual outcomes _following_ the election. We will, of course, see this scrolled on our not-widescreen-enough TVs, prior to the next election. If asked, I’d contribute donations to _any_ and every party which elected to run these ads… . 😉

            * While we are unaffected by these rip-offs, we recognise larceny from a distance.
            Watch the LNP back-pedal on some of its budget nonsense soon… .

          • So, Clever Lessor, are you naive enough to suppose that one year in office should have reversed the effects of 6 years of Labor spending and borrowing? It will take ten years to turn it all around and get back into the black. In some people’s little magic world, it should happen overnight. Well, sorry, mate, their are no good fairies at the bottom of the garden behind the prime minister’s office, and there is no garden behind the treasurer’s office.

  18. Ahhh, that old Debt & Deficit Disaster Drama. Repeated enough, we’re supposed to beLIEve the greatest LIE of all. Enough of the ‘Clever Lessor’ line, son. I haven’t referred to you as Colon, so drop the smart-aleck nomenclature, OK? 🙂

    Ten years to turn it all around? ‘Their’ are no fairies at the bottom of the garden? Hard to beLIEve you reject that notion, if you beLIEve all the other claptrap they’re spinning… . 😉

    And if you imagine, even for an instant, that Abbott’s clowns will remain in power more than two more years, you’re barkin’ up the wrong tree, Colin. (Tell ’em they’re dreamin’… . 🙂 )

    • From what we have heard during the past few weeks with reporting on APEC and later the G20 meetings, it appears that every western nation is struggling at the moment. Japan’s economy officially went into recession this week, and Germany is about to do the same. This is mainly because other western export targets for their products have experienced a slow-down in demand for high-end profitable products originating from the two top quality product manufacturers in the world. That is a good indicator with regard to Australia’s economy. Things are tight. Big manufacturing concerns have closed during the past few years, and the reasons date back to some time post-GFC when the world economic maps changed. We now have to build from scratch our ability to employ, export and become a strong economy. Just as people and companies in Australia have had to hold back borrowing and buying, so have our governments; Plenty of outcry over that, of course. But reality is that we have to work through what seems to be a fact of life for almost every country in the world.

      • Right-wing austerity won’t save Australia. The LNP is certain to reduce consumer confidence, retard the growth of alternative energy, further undermine our industrial base and slow the pace of growth to a lock-step resemblance of Metropolis.

        No wonder bright young scientists are leaving us in droves, to work in countries where Science is revered and supported.

        There is no Debt & Deficit Disaster, even in the minds of those who created this silly political ploy. Hockey (whom you’ve referred to elsewhere as “your hero”!) himself admitted it was a fiction in NZ, when he so foolishly underestimated the hearing of Australian electors.

        This is the most appalling group of self-serving, self-flagellating zealots, led by an Abbott and a Bishop, for CS!~ Fortunately, these winkers are so removed from the electorate (gradually waking from their slumbers) that by the time our religious right realise their folly, it will all be over. I’m not particularly concerned about who takes over, or whomever leads them; providing they’re honest… and they put Australians and Australia first.

  19. Marcos: “Public that can afford the renewable products are they ones who should be subsiding the pensioners and unemployed..”

    You may be unaware how things actually work in Australia, Marcos. Taxpayers actually _do_ provide income to pensioners and the unemployed, every fortnight. Nothing wrong with that, in my view… but your logic is awry. We already ‘subsidise the pensioners and unemployed…” Did you think that some kind of government-generated slush fund paid pensions and unemployment benefits? The _public_ pays these benefits.

    At 67, I’ve never received a cent of either unemployment benefits or pension. Never will. Nothing wrong with that, either. On the other hand, the solar HWS and solar electricity systems we have provided on our rentals do, in fact, serve less well-off folk. Again, we subsidise other Aussies, by giving them cheap (almost free) energy.

    It’s just too easy to compartmentalise, as you’ve attempted to do in your comments. Throwaway lines like Libs and Labs are the same… or ‘the public… should subsidise pensioners / unemployed’ are, in fact, childlike notions. Please consider rereading your comments before posting in an adult forum… .

    • I comment on the topic (by the way everyone is entitled to their opinion) but you had to attack me personally “adult forum” and “childlike notions”….reading through the posts it’s all about you (you constantly reference yourself please spare me the melodrama), throw in a few technical terms to pas off as someone with intelligence, and let’s not forget trying to have the final say on everything.

      For someone who claims is 67 you behave like a pimply little 13 year old who likes to troll web sites. Was going to say grow up but your 67. Learn to communicate however I doubt that will ever happen. I’m sure you will respond with another post ready to mock me. Go for it!!! Just shows who you really are.

    • Hope you’re over that conniption, ‘Marcos’! You sounded like you had a coronary coming on there!~ Did you consider actually responding to the points I made re. taxpayers subsidising you? I suspect you had no reply. Yes, it’s true I was laughing at your naive comments and outstretched hand. Pimply 13 year old? I suspected from your spelling and lack of logic you might indeed be a juvenile… and there’s nothing wrong with kids posting in adult forums, but bleating for increased largess without ever having contributed to the economy is a little rich.

      I’m sure you have several more playground jibes to misspell. Go ahead!!! You’ve already given us a clue to your age and complexion… .

  20. The RET was a Ponzi scheme pure and simple, and as such was always going to fall over. The only problem was no-one wanted to believe it. As for jobs, the lions share of those were created abroad where the equipment was manufactured. If proof is required one need look no further than the glut of electricity in the national market – the price of which has never been higher. This simply displays the distortion which was always predicted would happen before the RET was installed. Hence the description of the RET as a Ponzi scheme – quod erat demonstrandum.

  21. One thing we can be sure of is this: a solar panel salesman is always going to predict government subsidies being terminated soon and/or prices are about to go up.

  22. Brian Johnston says

    Brian J says:

    For the libs to lose the next election Labor must first dump Shorten. No further comment on that except to say, Shorten has been put there to ensure a Labor loss. Cunliffe ensured a Labour loss in New Zealand.

    Australian economy entirely out of whack. Australia deindustrialised, fact. Aust. gets cheaper goods and clothing, unemployment rises, crime rises and house prices rise dramatically. In fact everyone is worse off, fact. If Aust. had paid more for Aust. made goods there would have been less money to fuel a housing bubble, simple. Aust. has to return to ‘can do, self help’. Self sufficiency in oil and no imported petrol would help. USA gases up for 80cents or less.

    Foreign ownership of say farms and coal mines means all those products are taken from Aust. at cost price. No tax to Govt. on no profit. How dumb is that. Everything should be Aust. owned and sold at a profit. Are you listening Joe. Joe’s gone. Aust. should be self determining and self sufficient.

    Car workers could help build subs.

    It’s not hard a 10 year old can understand.

    Oh. Solar panels and windmills are a waste, so is LPG in a car. If solar panels were installed without subsidy and surplus sold back to power companies at their coal/hydro purchase price it would take years and years to break even.

  23. People need to see what we have as much as have not. The previous government was predominantly a shameful shamble unfortunately with Labour allowing manipulation from the Greens to save their own seats over running the country effectively…they paid the price as we all have. I think we need to give Abbott a go. As said before, he has instigated some tough changes already to bring us to surplus. Look at the Howard era, he was as popular as a fart in an elevator in the first years but became one of our best!

    • LabOr, Lance, LabOr. (Is this TONY Abbott you’re promoting, or some other Abbott? Surprised at your comment about “..bring(ing) us to surplus…” My understanding is that the LNP have increased the deficit.)*

      * Also increased unemployment, reduced business and consumer confidence, sent industry overseas, created a wages recession, etc. To give Mr Abbott credit, he _has_ backflipped acrobatically on many of these ‘tough changes’… on an almost daily basis. Quite an amusing spectacle… He’s putin on quite a show!~ 😉

    • Goodness, what a long epistle. I hardly know where to begin… ! Are you sure you’re getting bored? It seems to me you actually enjoy the opportunity to practise one of your five ‘langue’s’.

      Do you want me to respond to each of your many assertions? I’ll happily respond and extend the debate on the many issues you’ve raised. (You probably _won’t_ enjoy that. 😉 )

      Suffice to say that, in your closing paragraph, you actually do address an issue on which we both agree… affordable battery backup. I’ve raised this possibility in these forums, questioning whether Samsung’s new three-in-one battery system might meet this need. If this frees us from dangerous nineteenth-century poles-and-wire ‘technology(?)’ the sooner the better… .

  24. Lessor, rest assured that Labor one day will return as our government, it has being the norm since the horror days of Whitlam. Labor get into office destroy Australia’s economy, Then the coalition get back in get things right again, once done we vote Labor back in and the cycle repeats itself. However if we at next election vote Shorten and the Greens back in before the present government has had the time to fix the economy after the last disastrous Gillard/Rudd government- then we really will be up the creek without the proverbial paddle.

    • No rurries Balders, in 6 or 8 election cycles we’ll be at crash year in global warming and loss of arable land. We certainly won’t have to worry about short-sighted politicians by then ‘cos they’ll be beating each other to a pulp with their walking sticks as they fight for boat moorings round Pymble or Pennant Hills Road.

    • Balder: “…rest assured that Labor one day will return as our government…”

      Believe me, i rest assured, Balder. 🙂

      Whitlam? I met him once. Labor had hired me to do a photoshoot in a regional centre. There was no reason whatsoever for him to come over and engage me in conversation… but he did so. I was able to thank him for providing me with four years of uni, without cost… for my first degree. I found Gough to be a very genuine, caring politician. There haven’t been too many of those since the mid-70s… .

      You believe that Abbott and Hockey are ‘fixing’ the economy?! Let me guess: You just hung a stocking by the chimney; you still place decayed molars under your pillow; and the feral Easter lagomorph brings you chocolate embryos each year.

      The LNP are _crucifying_ the economy. Watch unemployment balloon in 2015. Watch consumer confidence and business confidence plummet. Watch interest rates fall to record lows next year. Observe the loss of Australian industries as the LNP offshores our jobs. Then watch the Libs perform a series of economic and environmental backflips worthy of Cirque Soleil. Abbott et al have a major problem. Their impediment to a healthy, thriving economy is their chronically-diseased ideology.

      Don’t despair. You have actually predicted the cure, in your opening sentence… . 😉

      • LESSOR: I am sure Whitlam was a very nice man, with all good intentions, never the less until the duo of Gillard/Rudd appeared his government was regarded as the worst Australia had seen; now it could be debated and could be a tree way contest.

        Your free uni education was not free at all, it was paid for by your local shopkeeper, his girl at the counter, your taxi driver,plumber,garbage collector,pensior and the list goes on, but I am happy for you that it didn’t cost YOU anything- It must be nice to live in H.C. Andersen fairy tale land.

        Living in Canberra for many years you will understand how impressed I would be for a politician to walk over and shake your hand, it properly happens a thousand times a day here.

        But we do agree in that Labor one day will return to the government benches but, for the sake of Australia we should hope it will not be before the coalition have fixed the economic mess the last Labor government left us with

        • Having paid taxes 43 years straight, I’m not particularly swayed by your assertions of a free ride, Balder. That free education from which I benefitted does however mean I’m able to understand those subtle little differences between ‘tree’ and ‘three’… and ‘pensioner’ and ‘pensior’… and ‘probably’ and ‘properly’. Let me guess… you’re the failed product of a *private school education*, right? (One the _rest_ of us subsidised!)

          The LNP are creating a new ‘economic mess’ of their own ideological making… in the misguided belief that _austerity_ will save Australia. In fact, they’ll set our economic future back a decade or two, or even further back, if we don’t turf them before 2016.

          We can see that you don’t have much respect for learning (as your illiterate post amply demonstrates) but your understanding of simple economics is as simplistic, flawed and retarded as hockeynomics. Chill out and enjoy the ride as a temporary aberration in Aussie common sense is corrected dramatically. You won’t have long to wait… . 🙂

  25. LESSOR: Again why shouldn’t you pay taxes like anybody else, what is so special about that, – When I arrived in Australia as a 19 year old in 59 I started paying tax 1 month after arriving and now 55 years later I am still working and paying taxes, that does not entitled me to get anything without paying other taxpayer don’t get.

    You are right I should take more care with my spelling, I must apologise for that, in my defence English is only one of five langue’s I have been taught, and at times I mix them up a bit particular as I get older— and no I did not go to any private school here, I was fully schooled and taught a trade in another country, at no cost to Australia, and by the way I started learning my 2nd language in year 4.

    You surprise me a bit with your university degree (paid for by your local 17 year old check out girl) when you maintain that private schools are subsidised by the rest of us–If you have gone down the street and asked any 10year old kid to help you they would have advised you to search a government Department called- Australian Bureau of Statistics–in there you would have found-All children in Australia have a right to a basic education paid for by the government. It cost $10,000/year to educate a child in a government school, and the government pay $5,600/year if the child attend a private school–Therefore each year parents decide to send their child to a private school the government/taxpayers save $4,400. Even you with your university degree you should be able to understand the massive savings to government expenditure private schools deliver.

    Finally you question my understanding of basic economic, perhaps you understand it better than me, I don’t know you and therefore can’t comment on you apart from what I read here and that does not indicate any great understanding of it. But for myself I did run my own company for over 27 years employing a 25 man team, so I do have a bit of understanding of economic, certainly enough to know if I do good I pocket the surplus money if I stuff up, I pay out of my own pocket, not asking a 17 year old cashier to pay for me just because I have done my duty and paid taxes for 55 years.

    Anyway I am getting a bit bored with you, and this site is not to evaluate (where we started this conversation) which PM was the worst Whitlam or the duo, Rudd/Gillard—It should be about Solar panels, so if you have anything sensible to contribute to that subject please let us all know. — In the mean time I am waiting for some bright young spark to develop roof solar tiles, in conjunction with an affordable battery backup so we don’t need to connect to the grid at all.

    • Goodness, what a long epistle. I hardly know where to begin… ! Are you sure you’re getting bored? It seems to me you actually enjoy the opportunity to practise one of your five ‘langue’s’.

      Do you want me to respond to each of your many assertions? I’ll happily respond and extend the debate on the many issues you’ve raised. (You probably _won’t_ enjoy that.)

      Suffice to say that, in your closing paragraph, you actually do address an issue on which we both agree… affordable battery backup. I’ve raised this possibility in these forums, questioning whether Samsung’s new three-in-one battery system might meet this need. If this frees us from dangerous nineteenth-century poles-and-wire ‘technology(?)’ the sooner the better… .

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