The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has renewed its call for a 2021 end to the rooftop solar panel rebate.
The Federal Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) is a discount on the installation costs of household solar panel systems. It is credited as a driving force behind Australia’s household solar energy boom.
Currently, the scheme is being phased out and will end in 2030. As a result, the rebate amount available to households and businesses decreases each year.
Solar industry and Energy Minister defend SRES
The ACCC first recommended ending the SRES last year. It said the scheme is partially to blame for rising electricity prices.
However, the Clean Energy Council and the Smart Energy Council both lobbied to keep the SRES. They said solar power is one of the main ways Australians can save on power bills.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor agreed, saying the rebate was decreasing each year and there was no need to end it prematurely.
Despite insisting on an end to the rebate, the ACCC’s latest report acknowledges solar power’s contribution to cutting power bills.
“Customers are likely to have a sufficient incentive to invest in small-scale solar technology to reduce their electricity bills,” it states.
Retail and network costs to blame
According to a January 2019 report from The Australia Institute (TAI), the responsibility for Australia’s high electricity prices lies elsewhere.
TAI lays the blame for high electricity prices with retailers and distributors. It says “wasteful spending” on management, high-pressure sales tactics and advertising are forcing prices up.
“The annual cost of these economically wasteful activities adds up to $2 billion per year,” the report states.
“These costs are passed on to customers in their electricity bill, leaving households over $200 worse off a year.”
Federal Government raises ‘big stick’
Meanwhile, a backbench committee signed off on the Morrison Government’s “big stick” energy legislation last week.
The legislation would allow the government to penalise or even break up electricity companies that engage in price gouging.
Industry stakeholders have reacted negatively to the proposal. Former AGL chief Michael Fraser described it as an “embarrassment”.
Install solar power to remove the uncertainty
It looks like the politics around energy prices aren’t going to produce any quick fixes for Australian consumers looking for relief from rising power prices.
Solar power is regarded as the most effective way of reducing power bills without having to drastically change your lifestyle.
The solar rebate comes directly off the purchase price of a solar power system and the STC price is locked in when you place an order. By installing a solar system you remove the risk of missing out on the current rebate.
If you are interested in knowing more about the rebates available to help you reduce your power bills, call the Solaray Team on 1300 221 586; or fill in your details below and we’ll get back to you: