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Carbon tax is a solar incentive

16th Sep 2011

Sydneysiders may find that the anticipated carbon tax, as well as expected increases to household energy bills due to rising electricity prices, is the perfect reasons to begin generating their own electricity at home.

Speaking to the Mosman Daily, North Sydney mayor Genia McCaffery asserted that many solar panel installations will pay for themselves over time thanks to the long-term energy savings they will generate.

She mentioned that several council buildings have seen solar panels installed in recent years - and one recent rooftop solar project has increased the council's energy star rating from 4.5 to five.

Installation of a 21.5 kW solar photovoltaic system on the roof of the Wyllie Wong building was completed last month and on a clear summer day, McCaffery estimates these could generate up to ten per cent of the building's total electricity consumption.

Council workers and visitors to the building can track the system's performance and output on an LCD screen, which has been installed behind the main customer service counter.

Rooftop solar panels have helped organisations - and households - of all kinds across Australia save money on electricity bills.

However, it is essential for anyone considering this type of installation to do careful research to determine whether or not their property is eligible.

The Queanbeyan Age recently reported that one local church inadvertently breached planning rules when it arranged for rooftop solar panels to be fitted on the structure.

While planning permission is not normally required for solar panel installations, heritage-listed buildings - including the Queanbeyan City Council - may require development consent from the relevant local authority.

Reverend Ian Palmer commented earlier this week that he was unaware that approval was required and the installation on the roof of the rectory building did not have any adverse aesthetic effects on the structure.

Fortunately, the continued use of the solar panels was unanimously approved by the local council this week.

Australia's solar industry, according to Clean Energy Council chief executive Matthew Warren, could enjoy exponential growth levels, given adequate support and funding.

Last month, he remarked that in the state of New South Wales, it is important not to lose momentum from projects such as the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme - and government support must continue over the long-term.

Mike Peacock - Solar Correspondent 

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