Cairns Solar Feed-in Tariff Creates Controversy

The recent announcement of the government in regards to the change on feed-in tariff Cairns has elicited conflicting responses from the affected consumers and government officials.

Energy Minister Mark McArdle announced that the mandated 8 cent solar feed-in tariff by network energy businesses such as Ergon Energy Cairns and Energex will be stopped. He said that the consumers affected by this change will have to negotiate directly with the retailers.

With this change, the rates for the regional customers of Ergon Energy Cairns will be approved by the Queensland Competition Authority. While those in the Energex region will have to negotiate it themselves since the government opted out of the arrangement.

The immediate response from the Electrical Traders Union was heated with its officials accusing the government of “pulling the rug” from under the feet of the Solergy Solar Energy Technology Cairns consumers in Queensland.

There are about 50,000 solar energy users in Southeast Queensland that will be affected by this change. If the ruling pushes through, they will be forced to negotiate feed-in tariffs directly with their energy retailers themselves. However, the 204,500 customers who signed up to the government’s 44-cent tariff prior to June 2012 will still receive the same rate until the 2028 promised cut-off date.

Minister McArdle assured the consumers that this feed-in tariff Cairns change will cause a downward pressure on electricity prices. He added that if the rates are left unchecked, the scheme would cause the increase of $110 million to electric bills for the next six years.

But this statement is contradicted by an officer of the Electrical Traders Union. Stuart Trail, ETU state organizer said that with 285,000 solar customers receiving 44 cents per kilowatt hour until 2028, McArdle’s pronouncement was ridiculous as it is ineffectual.

Mr. Trail added that the regulators of the tariff seem to have a pathological hatred against renewable energy. He believed that this is their latest step in their mindless pursuit of free market ideology in the Queensland Energy sector.

He added that letting these customers on an 8 cents feed-in tariff dealing directly with the retailers is unfair as it is impractical. He asked if the government really expect the ordinary customers will have the expertise to deal directly with the retailers.

Mr. Trail also said that the idea that increased competition will lead to better deals for the householders is laughable. He added that it didn’t work for retail prices and it will not work for solar tariffs.

The National Director of Solar Citizens Lindsay Soutar also added her comments to the feed-in tariff Cairns controversy condemning the decision by saying “This is incredibly unfair.”

Another voice against the decision came from the general manager of Solergy Solar Energy Technology Cairns office. He said the cuts will be a blow to the industry. He believes that the government is setting up to sell the power corporations in their attempt to bring about a competition scenario.

Lindsay Soutar also intimated that “It will be difficult for individual householders to get a good deal. They simply don’t have the negotiating power. When retailers set the rules, solar owners lose.”

For more information about the cairns solar feed-in tariff, visit Australian Solar Quotes and get free information about solar energy, and solar rebates whilst you wait for you free solar quotes to come through.

The Author

Since working in the energy sector, I have developed a keen interest in the evolution of renewable energy technology and the importance of sustainability for our future. My background reflects experience throughout the energy sector with a large focus on solar power in both the residential and commercial markets.

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