Liberal Hammers NSW Govt Over Solar Rebate Backflip

By Rich Bowden

The newly-installed NSW Liberal Government has received widespread criticism for its recent decision to retrospectively reduce the tariff paid to households under the solar bonus agreement.

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NSW Solar Bonus Scheme

NSW gross feed in tariff

As the fireworks erupted from Sydney Harbour Bridge at 12:01am January 1 2010, the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme opened for business. It means that NSW solar panel owners will be able to collect 60c for every kWh produced for at least the next 7 years.

It will be available to panel buyers until all the installed generators under this Scheme  reach 50 MegaWatts.

Panel owners who are eligible are the small electricity consumers. They are those consuming up to 160 megawatt hours of electricity annually.

Generally, this includes typical households,schools, small businesses and most community organizations.

Under this scheme, people will be able to get Solar PV Systems and Wind Turbines up to 10 kiloWatts in size.

According to Energy Minister John Robertson, the industry is expecting to install around 33,000 new solar systems during the life of the program.

The government is banking on solar PV costs decreasing over the next few years. Many are expecting that within the next 3 to 7 years, solar energy’s unsubsidized cost to consumers will be near that of dirty fossil based generation.

But in the mean time, the NSW Gross Feed In Tariff is giving a head start to the NSW solar industry so they can tool up, scale up and bring costs down and ROI up for Solar PV buyers.

Let’s hope the Feds watch and learn!

NSW Feed In Tariff Surprise: It’s Gross (in a good way!)

Yesterday the NSW Government surprised renewable energy fans by switching the new feed in tariff from a net to a gross tariff.

This means that owners of solar systems in NSW will now get 60c per kwh for all the electricity they generate.

Previously you were only going to get paid for the power exported to the grid (i.e not the power you used in your house)

This makes a huge difference to the economics of buying a solar power system in NSW.

Plugging the numbers into my solar calculator shows that a good quality 1.5kW system will pay for itself in just over 4 years.

In fact you’ll be getting around $120 per month of income from the outset. And the benefits will only go up as electricity prices rise.

Even if you take out a $7000 loan at 7% interest the system would be cash flow positive from the outset. See for yourself here.

That’s a better return, and much lower risk than most other investments these days.

Have a play with our solar calculators to see if it makes financial sense for you. Just put ‘Feed In Tariff %’ as 100% and ‘Feed In Tariff Price’ as 60c and the calculator will work out the payback and monthly savings.

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