SA Power Networks propose $100-a-year surcharge on solar

4th June 2015

Ecogeneration (3/6/15): reports

"SA Power Networks has proposed a $100-a-year network surcharge on solar households, attracting criticism from the Clean Energy Council (CEC). ...

"CEC Policy Manager Darren Gladman said most people with a solar power system would be confused about why an electricity company would think it is fair to charge them more just for having solar panels, and called that confusion 'entirely reasonable'. 'People should be encouraged to invest in technology that helps them to reduce their power bills, without being penalised by their power company', Mr Gladman said. 'The message SA Power Networks is sending to consumers with this solar charge is: Don’t try to cut your bills, because we’ll find a way to charge you more in the end', he added.

"Mr Gladman said most people installing solar power in recent years were working families in the outer suburbs and regional areas, who had managed to find a bit of extra money to invest in technology which would help save them on their power bills over the long term.  'People have invested in solar power in good faith, with their own money, because there were government incentives to encourage them to do so', he said. 'The way people use energy is changing rapidly, and all businesses working in the energy sector have to adjust to that. This problem of falling revenue is a complex one that many in the industry are wrestling with, but the approach taken by SA Power Networks is a lazy solution that unfairly penalises the wrong people'."