Energy Companies Attack Rooftop Solar to Protect Profits
Thursday, 11 October: It's galling to see energy gentailers that recorded huge profits last year encourage the Federal Government to make it harder for Australian households to slash their electricity bills with solar, says community group Solar Citizens.
In a speech yesterday, spokespeople from both Origin and EnergyAustralia encouraged the Federal Government to scrap solar subsidies, including the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).
"Everyday people are taking the power back with rooftop solar," said Solar Citizens’ National Director, Joseph Scales.
"While the big energy companies have been making huge profits, Australians have taken matters into their own hands by installing solar to produce their own cheap, clean energy.
"1.9 million households and businesses can't be wrong, solar is the best way for people to reduce their electricity bills."
In the first half of this year, EnergyAustralia made headlines after nearly trebling their earnings, largely due to the higher wholesale electricity prices. In a speech yesterday, Energy Australia’s head of energy Mark Collette claimed that their opposition to the SRES was based on helping low-income families.
“If the Federal Government and the big energy companies were serious about helping low-income households, they would keep schemes like the SRES that help more people go solar,” said Mr Scales.
“Low-income households have been at the mercy of Australia’s big three energy gentailers for too long – scrapping the SRES will only make the upfront cost of solar a bigger hurdle for people that are doing it tough.
“It’s obvious the only reason EnergyAustralia and Origin want to axe support for solar is because it is competition to their soaring profits, putting power back in the hands of the consumer.
“If big energy companies were serious about the energy transition, they would be talking about how we manage the grid not how to slow down solar uptake.
“For too long big energy companies have enjoyed control over consumers – now that everyday people are taking back control, they want to slam on the brakes.
“Slowing down the transition by axing solar schemes will do nothing to reduce energy bills.”
Despite the rhetoric from the big energy players, rooftop solar helps all energy consumers. A report commissioned by Solar Citizens found that in just one year NSW solar owners slashed the state's wholesale price of power by $2.2-3.3 billion, largely by reducing peak demand.
Media contact: Stephanie Gray 0425543006
Release in response to the comments made by Origin and EnergyAustralia spokespeople at the AFR National Energy Summit.