Solar Citizens Seethes Over Angus Taylor Snub

Angus Taylor - Solar Citizens

Angus Taylor running away from Solar Citizens? | Image via Angus Taylor : Facebook

Grassroots advocacy group Solar Citizens has come out swinging after being informed newly-minted Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor was too busy to meet with them.

Solar Citizens recently launched a petition campaign calling on the Minister to immediately rule out the premature axing of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) as proposed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The SRES provides support for the purchase of home solar power, knocking thousands off the up-front cost of installing solar panels.

The day before representatives of the group were to meet with the Minister in Canberra to present the open letter and signatures, Solar Citizens says it received an email from Angus Taylor’s office informing the group the Energy Minister was too busy to see them and that the letter should be mailed.

 “Unfortunately, it seems like the new Energy Minister is too busy bad-mouthing renewable energy subsidies in the media to give Australia’s 1.9 million plus solar households, and many more supporters, the time of day,” said part of an email from Solar Citizens National Director Joseph Scales.

Future Of SRES Unclear

Last week, Minister Taylor confirmed in Question Time that Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) will wind down from 2020 with nothing to replace it, but it’s still not clear if the Morrison Government will move to axe Australia’s “solar rebate” early, which is already being gradually phased out. It will come as no surprise that a Liberal to give the thumbs up to the recommendation is ex-Prime Minister and now backbencher Tony Abbott.

Solar Citizens is encouraging solar power system owners and supporters of the technology to add their names as signatories to the open letter. The group has set a goal of 10,000 signatures and at the time it was to present the letter, the number had reached 6,000.

“We’re going to keep making a noise for the SRES until Angus Taylor agrees to meet with us and receive the letter,” says Solar Citizens. “The more signatures we get, the harder it will be for the Minister to fob us off again.”

The ACCC recommended that the SRES should be wound down and abolished by 2021 to reduce its impact on retail electricity prices. However, the SRES only adds ~1% to household electricity bills and aside from benefits such as carbon reduction and job creation, solar power installed under the scheme lowers the cost of electricity for everyone by helping rein in wholesale electricity prices.


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.


  1. Geoff Rehmet says

    There are two reasons why a politician would be against renewable energy. Either they are a dinosaur who belongs in the 1950s, or they are in somebody’s pocket, or both.
    I have to wonder what role commercial lobbyists are playing here. The only losers from domestic solar and batteries are the incumbent electricity providers.
    I have to admit I have to wonder what influence commercial lobbyists are having on Taylor (to put it very politely).

    • Geoff Rehmet, you say:

      “I have to wonder what role commercial lobbyists are playing here.”

      The Grattan Institute looks at the same issue with the publication of its report titled “Who’s in the room? Access and influence in Australian politics”:

      And Ian Dunlop spoke of the influence of vested interests at the Australian Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee inquiry into the Implications of climate change for Australia’s national security at the public hearing on 8 Dec 2017 – see:

      On page 52 of the hearing transcript, Ian Dunlop says:

      “I think part of the problem is that there is a strong lobby around the world amongst fossil fuel interests to maintain the status quo of the fossil fuel industries. That is strong in Australia, it’s strong in the US and it’s strong in Canada. When you’ve been in industries, I guess, for 20, 30 or 40 years, always accustomed to economic growth increasing and the expansion of your industry, it’s very hard to accept that the world might be about to be turned on its head. I think what we’ve been seeing is a rearguard action from the fossil fuel industries over 30 years now to prevent that change happening. So you get into extreme levels of denial on these issues where it doesn’t matter what science or evidence is put forward; there will always be a group of people who will never accept the implications of climate change and the evidence around them. That, unfortunately, I think is continuing today, and it has now become extremely dangerous to the future of this country. It is not a question of what proportion of fossil fuel you have in the economy from now on; we actually have absolutely no choice. We now have to wean ourselves off fossil fuels as fast as we can. We have to do it sensibly so that we don’t cause more social disruption than necessary, and that means planning for it, not just pretending it’s not happening and leaving it to the last possible minute, when you’ll end up in major social chaos because of the lack of preparedness to make that change. I think the reason essentially is the power of the fossil fuel industries, which has got out of proportion. You can argue that historically that’s been a great benefit to Australia. It’s now become, in my view, a great weakness, and that has to change.”

      It seems to me the vested interests and those that serve them are becoming a threat to our national security.

  2. 1.9million solar owners are also 1.9m potentiol voters….

    it doesn’t take a rhodes scholar to work out those sums and the implications in 6 months time

  3. Laurie Guppy says

    I am one of the 1.9 million solar owners out there totally disillusioned by our Federal leaders. I look forward to the Federal Election with some angst as to the result. Millions of Australians have had an absolute gutful of the major parties, this will leave the door wide open for all sorts of radical independents to weaken our so called political leaders muscle even further. I for one have no idea who I will vote for at present. Both Labour and Liberal are not worth the time of day. Ian Dunlop’s comment on “Who is in the room” is right on the money I feel. The question has been asked time and again why we have the highest power prices in the world, when we have the wealthiest mineral deposit, plus no end of sunshine and wind of any country on earth. That question will be asked for a long time unless the Big House in Canberra is tipped upside down by voters and rid the country of the vermin in there eroding the future of this country. For starters we need to get rid of the “Preference Vote” this gives the losers to much ground to further erode the true vote of the public! Sadly though we have absolutely no Leader on any front with the stamina to stand tall and buck the 19th century gentry still running the country. Can we be so lucky as to find such a leader within the next 6 months? I bloody hope so!

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