Monday, 5 August 2013

LNP ‘lying’ over solar power cost
15 Jun 2013

DON'T blame solar, blame electricity infrastructure for the dramatic surge in your power bill, a leading Sunshine Coast solar company says. Infinity Solar has hit back at the State Government's claims solar power and green schemes are to blame for the upcoming 22.6% electricity price rise.

Director Chris Thomson blamed infrastructure and network costs as the main culprit, saying it added $127 a year to the average Queenslanders power bill. "Queensland's power grid is operating on inadequate infrastructure and is suffering from a lack of spending over previous years, meaning updating the network is going to cost Queenslanders money", Mr Thomson said.

"Solar power is an easy scapegoat for the government, when in fact the government-funded feed-in tariff is only adding $32 to an average household bill. "Network costs, on the other hand, account for almost half of a standard power bill (48.2%), with upcoming price increases hitting Queenslanders with hundreds of dollars extra on their power bills.

"Energex spent $900 million last financial year on the network and Ergon Energy spent $300 million. The solar feed-in tariff only cost $50 million, so it is completely misleading of the government to blame solar power. "People also need to keep in mind that solar power is not just a financial issue, but is a necessary tool in helping reduce Australia's carbon emissions and increase environmental sustainability".

Infinity's Sunshine Coast shop manager Ashley Pitman said Caloundra had had "one of the highest uptakes (of solar) in Australia". He said while solar did contribute to the increase in the electricity price it was only "between 2.5% and 7%". "It has become a cost, but we have to look at the benefits it's had in keeping cost down", he said.