The NSW Energy Minister, John Robertson, said via a spokesman that ”if retailers are found to be acting unfairly we will not hesitate to introduce regulations to ensure consumers are protected.”
The NSW solar industry, which has been experiencing a flurry of activity since a gross feed in tariff was announced, can now be certain that payments from the scheme will fully benefit consumers.
Under the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme, which began on the 1st of January 2010, households and small businesses that have solar energy installations are paid 60c for every kilowatt hour of electricity they generate, whether they consume it, or feed it back into the grid.
The generous scheme is expected to see many customers earn more from their solar cells then they pay in electricity, and hence have bills that spill over into substantial credit. A small loophole in the legislation allowed retailers to avoid paying out the surplus customers have earned in cash, by instead only allowing credit on their account.
The welcome announcement by the Energy Minister confirms that such behaviour is not in the spirit of the scheme, and if any retailer continues to pursue this tricky tactic, they will wilfully legislate against it.
The NSW Solar Bonus Scheme is a huge incentive for households and small businesses to install solar cells, as together with the federal governments interest free Green Loans, REC solar credits and the falling price of solar panels, most systems will pay for themselves in around 4 years and then bank years of profit.
Solar Energy Consultant
Solar Choice Pty Ltd
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