Media - Solar Citizens

Media Releases

RET works to reduce cost of living for all Australians

Media reports today on the workings of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) are misleading, with evidence that the Target works to reduce power prices for all Australian consumers, according to Solar Citizens.

National Director Claire O’Rourke said the Government’s Warburton Review clearly showed rooftop solar and renewable energy helped reduce electricity prices for all households in the long-term - whether they had rooftop solar installed or not.

“The Prime Minister promised Australians a fresh start yesterday and there’s no better place to start than returning to bipartisan support for the full RET by 2020 with no changes,” Ms O’Rourke said.

“The current 41,000 gigawatt Target will deliver cheaper power prices for all Australians and create at least another 15,000 jobs in solar and renewables by 2020.

“More than 1.3 million Australian households have made the sensible choice and installed solar rooftop systems so they can generate clean energy and take control of their power bills.

“Most of those households are in lower and middle income suburbs, areas that are most vulnerable to power price rises.

“The Federal Government should support good policy, such as the Target, that allows more people to go solar.

“The Federal Government should end its unpopular attempts to destroy the Target, as it creates jobs, growth and investment, and works to reduce the price of electricity for all consumer,” Ms O’Rourke said.

Claire O’Rourke is available for interview

Media contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

Attacks on solar owners must end after huge swings in Sunshine State

Solar voters have helped deliver a shock double-digit swing away from the LNP in Queensland after bitter attacks from former Premier Campbell Newman on solar home owners.

Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke said the LNP’s refusal to commit to a fair feed in tariff, protect solar jobs and support the Renewable Energy Target had alienated voters who are making the sensible choice to take control of their rising power bills by going solar.

“The next Queensland Government would be wise to learn from the election result and move to immediately end the unpopular attacks on solar homeowners and businesses,” Ms O’Rourke said.

“The most recent data tells us that there are more than 420,000 solar households in Queensland who voted in this election.

“The new Queensland Government should make sure solar and other renewable industries are supported so household power bills come down and new investment and jobs in these twenty-first century industries are created for Queensland.

The Federal Government would be wise to learn from the Queensland election result and end it unpopular attempts to destroy the Target, as it works to reduce the price of electricity for all consumers - whether they have solar or not, Ms O’Rourke said.

“The message is also clear for Prime Minister Abbott, his Government and the vested interests trying to hold back renewable energy in this country is clear: help deliver a bright future for Australian energy now or make way for political leadership that can get this done,” she said.

Media contact: Jane Garcia 0434 489 533

New Scorecard launches: Queensland’s solar future at stake in weekend poll

Solar Citizens has launched a new Election 2015 Solar Scorecard so Queenslanders heading to the polls on Saturday are able to “Vote 1 Sun”.

“Our Solar Scorecard lays out all of the major parties’ solar policy, so that when Queenslanders head to the polls they can make an informed choice,” said Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke.

“Overall, Labor, The Greens and The Palmer United Party made positive responses to solar policy questions we put to them. They all have clear plans to support solar and solar homeowners in the Sunshine State.

“However the policies from the Newman Government are bitterly disappointing as it continues its attack on solar home owners.

“The LNP needs to do a better job for solar in QLD. By refusing to commit to a fair feed in tariff, or to protect solar jobs and the Renewable Energy Target they are alienating voters and missing an opportunity to help people take control of spiralling power bills.

“A recent poll conducted found that 27% of Australian households have rooftop solar power installed. The most recent data tells us that there are more than 420,000 solar households in Queensland - all parties contesting Saturday’s election would be wise to remember this.

“The next State Government is responsible for making sure solar and other renewable industries are supported so household power bills come down and new investment and jobs in these promising industries are created for Queensland.

“Solar Citizens urges all candidates contesting the Queensland election to put the support of households who want to benefit from generating their own clean solar energy front and centre in the final days before the poll.”

Claire O’Rourke is available for comment

Media contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

See the Queensland Election 2015 Solar Scorecard and the full responses from all parties here: http://www.solarcitizens.org.au/scorecard

 

Solar Citizens: Queensland Election 2015 policy questions put to all major parties:

Solar Citizens has put the following policy positions to Premier Campbell Newman and the leaders of all major parties in Queensland to ask them where they stand on the five major issues facing solar:

1. A FAIR PRICE FOR SOLAR FED INTO THE GRID

Does your party commit to setting a regulated minimum feed-in tariff, set at a fair level for consumers who generate power and feed it back into our state’s energy supply?

2. NO DISCRIMINATORY SOLAR FEES

Does your party guarantee no unfair fixed charges for solar homes and to roll back the ridiculous $500-a-day service charge that discriminates against solar users?

3. TRIAL SOLAR STORAGE - THE WAY OF THE FUTURE

Does your party commit to launching a trial of solar plus storage - the next big thing - in 1000 Queensland homes to test innovation of technology and business models that will allow solar to run day and night and help maintain our state’s energy supply?

4. ONE MILLION SOLAR ROOFTOPS

Will your party commit to setting a target for achieving one million Queensland rooftops (including for low income earners, schools and public buildings) to have solar power installed by end of the next term of government?

5. STAND UP FOR QLD SOLAR JOBS – PROTECT THE RET

Will your party declare full support for the national Renewable Energy Target, that supports thousands of Queensland solar jobs, helps with the price of installation and lowers the wholesale price of power for all consumers, and will your party pledge to call on the Federal Government to expand the RET to at least 50% by 2030?

Queensland's sunny solar future at stake in upcoming election

Solar Citizens across Queensland are calling on major political parties to deliver stronger commitments to support rooftop solar and renewable energy ahead of the January 31 state election.

According to National Director Claire O’Rourke “Solar Citizens are urging all parties contesting the Queensland election to put the support of households who want to benefit from generating their own energy front and centre this election.”

“Queensland has one-third of Australia’s rooftop solar capacity with more than 380,000 homes with solar PV installed - that means solar homes are the fourth biggest capacity power generator in the state.”

“Solar has helped households reduce electricity bills and has created at least 6,000 jobs for Queenslanders in small to medium sized businesses. That’s why we are calling on Queenslanders to “Vote 1 Sun” and pledge to vote for sensible, positive solar policy this election.”

“The Newman government has wiped out mandatory feed-in tariffs, slapped discriminatory $500/day charges on larger solar users and wound back a host of renewable energy initiatives.

“Premier Campbell Newman and his government needs to stop attacking solar homeowners and siding with the big power companies,” Ms O’Rourke said.

“Blaming solar owners for the rise in power bills is wrong and unfounded. Queenslanders want more solar, not less because it just makes sense.
“All parties would be wise to remember there are more than 380,000 solar households in Queensland, who will all be voting with solar in mind this election.

“Queenslanders want the next government to stand up for solar homeowners and solar jobs this election and we look forward to hearing positive solar policy announcements as the election approaches.”

Claire O’Rourke is available for interview.
See the Vote 1 Sun pledge here: http://www.solarcitizens.org.au/vote

Media contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

Solar Citizens: Queensland Election 2015 policy position

Solar Citizens has put the following policy positions to Premier Campbell Newman and the leaders of all major parties in Queensland to ask them where they stand on the five major issues facing solar:

1. A FAIR PRICE FOR SOLAR FED INTO THE GRID
Commit to setting a regulated minimum feed-in-tariff, set at a fair level for consumers who generate power and feed it back into our state’s energy supply.

2. NO DISCRIMINATORY SOLAR FEES
Guarantee no unfair fixed fees and charges for solar homes and rollback of the ridiculous $500-a-day charge for larger solar users.

3. TRIAL SOLAR STORAGE - WAY OF THE FUTURE
A trial of solar plus storage in 1000 Queensland homes - the next big thing - that can test innovation of technology and business models and will allow solar to run day and night and help maintain our state’s energy supply.

4. ONE MILLION SOLAR ROOFTOPS
One million Queensland roofs (low income earners, schools and public buildings) to have solar power installed by end of the next term of Government.

5. STAND UP FOR QLD SOLAR JOBS – PROTECT THE RET
Declare full support for the national Renewable Energy Target, that supports thousands of Queensland solar jobs, helps with the price of installation and lowers the wholesale price of power for all consumers, and pledge to call on the Federal Government to expand the RET to at least 50% by 2030.

One in five Australian households are now powered by solar energy

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has confirmed that the solar revolution is taking place on rooftops across the nation with the release of new data today showing one in five households now use solar energy.


Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke said millions of Australian are now experiencing for themselves the benefits of rooftop solar.


“The growing number of Australian households with rooftop solar are generating local jobs, producing clean energy and taking control of their power bills,” Ms O’Rourke said today.


“We know that most households that have installed solar are on lower and middle incomes because these people are more sensitive to rises in power prices and solar helps reduce power costs.


“Many more households are looking to install solar as a way to take control of their rising power bills. 


“The best way the Federal Government can support Australian households in making the transition to solar energy and reducing the cost of power is to keep the Renewable Energy Target strong. 


“The Government’s own Warburton Review showed that having rooftop solar and renewable energy in the national power mix would reduce electricity prices for all Australian families in the long-term.


“New polling from The Australian Institute shows 75% of Australians support an increase in the Renewable Energy Target, not a decrease.


“Significantly, 64% of self-identified Liberal voters support an increased Target, while 43% of Liberal voters agree with an ambitious Target of 50% or more renewables by 2030.


“Our political leaders should catch up with the vast majority of the community and the one in five households who use solar energy and support more solar, not less,” she said.


Claire O'Rourke is available for comment. 


Download the ABS solar data here: http://bit.ly/1yH1KPn


Solar Citizens can assist with case studies of households who have installed solar hot water heating or solar power in most Australian capital cities and some major regional centres.


Media contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

New national poll finds Australians want more solar, renewables

Australia’s politicians are lagging far behind the community who are overwhelmingly in support of all types of renewable energy, according to new research for Solar Citizens. 

Despite sustained attacks on renewable energy from the Federal Government, including its flawed Warburton Review, three-quarters of the community want to see an increase in the Renewable Energy Target – not any reduction in the scheme.

Significantly, the poll conducted by The Australia Institute found 64% of self-identified Liberal voters support an increased Target, while 43% of Liberal voters would support an ambitious Target of 50% or more renewables by 2030.

Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke said Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Government could not continue to ignore the deeply felt popular support for growing renewable energy among Liberal voters and across the nation.

“The Australian community wants political leaders who can fast-track the growth of renewable energy such as solar and deliver on the jobs and cost savings on household power bills that this brings,” Ms O’Rourke said today.

“Solar Citizens today calls on all political leaders to catch up with the vast majority of the community and commit to a target of at least 50% renewable energy in our system by 2030.

“The message for Prime Minister Abbott, his Government and the vested interests trying to hold back renewable energy in this country is clear: help deliver a bright future for Australian energy now or make way for political leadership that can get this done,” she said.

The community wants Australia to invest in and support more capacity of all types of renewable energy:

  • 83% want more solar energy plants;
  • 74% want more wind turbines; and
  • 85% want more rooftop solar.

“Australians are ready for the jobs, opportunities and savings on power bills that solar and other renewable energy technologies deliver. More than 1.3 million households - that’s at least 2 million voters - have already installed rooftop solar power and are now enjoying lower power bills,” Ms O’Rourke said.

“Only 4% of people surveyed think Australia is ‘leading’ in terms of renewable energy generation. A Renewable Energy Target of at least 50% by 2030 can help power a strong economy, ease the cost of living for Australian families struggling with rising power prices and make sure we don’t get left behind,” Ms O’Rourke said.

Contact: Jane Garcia 0434 489 533

Government must halt attempts to cut solar and renewables and support Australian families

Solar Citizens welcome Labor’s decision to walk away from the Renewable Energy Target (RET) negotiations following the Abbott Government’s repeated attempts to destroy the solar and renewables industry.

SENATOR RICKY MUIR CONFIRMS SUPPORT FOR FULL RENEWABLE ENERGY TARGET

Solar Citizens welcomes Senator Ricky Muir’s commitment to a full 41,000 gigawatt hour Renewable Energy Target (RET).

Protecting the Renewable Energy Target opportunity helps Aussies and the planet

Solar Citizens is calling on the Federal Government to abandon its attempt to cut the Renewable Energy Target following the release of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

Critical decisions on solar policy should be made in best interests of entire community, not vested interests of big power companies

Comments by AGL Chief executive Michael Fraser that the Renewable Energy Target should be scrapped show how out of step the big power companies are with the majority of community members who want more solar energy.