Win for SA solar: Court rejects 'solar tax'

The Federal Court has today ruled in favour of South Australia’s solar households, supporting the Australian Energy Regulator’s decision to stop SA Power Networks gouging solar rooftop owners.

Justice Mansfield dismissed the appeal from SAPN against the AER’s earlier decision to disallow the introduction of a new, higher tariff on solar owners. Solar Citizens supported the Total Environment Centre’s intervention in the case.

Solar Citizens Consumer Campaigner Reece Turner said South Australians clearly love solar and expect that they won’t be subjected to unfair charges.

“This court decision today protects solar homeowners from South Australian Power Networks trying to push unfair fees onto the solar community by any means possible,” Turner said.

“It’s a sensible outcome to stop SA Power Networks from charging solar households an average of $100 per year. South Australia is home to more than 190,000 solar homes with more families going solar every day.”

“These are households who have decided to beat the rising costs of electricity by taking power generation into their own hands. Solar households are most common in lower income suburbs. The main reason these families go solar is to help with the rising cost of power bills.”

"In the process these solar powered homes reduce the need for expensive new poles and wires, stimulate jobs in the renewable energy industry and create clean, cheap energy that helps all Australians.”

Mark Byrne, energy market advocate at the Total Environment Centre, explained that “This Federal Court decision places all electricity networks across Australia on notice that they cannot unfairly charge solar households more to cover the cost of their poor planning for a changing electricity network.”

Reece Turner from Solar Citizens is available for interview on 0450 466 040
Mark Byrne from TEC is available for interview on 0403070442.