This just in: You are nothing but a means to profit for big utilities and NSW government4th Sep 2013
As a homeowner who sometime in the last few years made the profound decision to install a roof solar generation system, you may believe you are doing the right thing.
Your chest may swell with pride when you think about how many polar bears you're saving, and when you do the math and look at how much extra money you'll have in 10 years', 20 years' time, your mind may wander to all the other luxuries you'll be able to afford.
Unfortunately, you are mistaken. Your dreams of a greener world full of arctic seal pups and clean drinking water are nothing but a promise the Australian government has made, but has no actual intention to make a reality.
In theory, rooftop solar panels are utterly astounding. They have the potential to not only curb carbon emissions, but widespread adoption would also lower overall grid strain and the likelihood of multi-million dollar blackouts.
Fewer new generation facilities would be needed, saving municipalities millions of dollars in the long run.
That's not the way the New South Wales government sees it, but that's probably understandable. Why would it have the customers' best interest in mind when it's going to bed with big energy companies every night?
There's hope yet
But not all hope is lost.
Shrugging off big energy and the NSW government's insatiable appetite for profits, the Australian Greens have proposed a plan that would ensure solar panel holders are paid fairly for their investments, and aren't refused access to the grid.
"The old parties won’t stand up to the big energy companies and the NSW Government to take cost pressure off Australians and cut pollution," said Greens candidate for the seat of Page Desley Banks.
The new plan has three focal points. First, to ensure Australians can generate their own solar power at a fair price - this is paramount.
Next, the group aims to lower overall energy bills by improving energy efficiency, which experts say could slash costs by as much as $1 billion. The final step would be to create a National Energy Efficiency Scheme that would expand on current state-based programs.
Striving for lower electricity rates and better treatment of solar adopters doesn't have to be a fool's errand.
It will certainly be an uphill battle, but hopefully by acknowledging you are but a cog in a plutocratic machine you'll feel the fire under your feet to demand more from the Australian government.
Posted by Bob Dawson