McArdle misleads Queenslanders on the true cost of power hikes
31 May 2013
Solar Citizens, an advocacy group representing current and future solar users, is today refuting Queensland Energy Minister Mark McArdle’s assertions that the cost of solar is the reason for increasing electricity costs in Queensland.
Dr Geoff Evans, Campaign Manager for Solar Citizens, says that McArdle’s statement today blaming solar homes for network costs was unfair and misleading.
“The primary driver of rising energy bills in QLD is increasing network costs.”
“In fact, the Queensland Competition Authority recently released data that shows that solar users only amount to 7% of a family’s electricity cost—with nearly 70% of an electricity bill going to network and retail costs*,” Dr Evans says.
“The Queensland Government has a $13 billion dollar gap in their budget. And the State Government is desperately trying to find ways to get more money to prop up its budget bottom line.”
“Increasing revenue from state-owned energy assets is one way they can do this.”
“Mr McArdle is clearly trying to find a scapegoat for spiralling energy costs, and has chosen to blame QLD’s 300,000 solar homes,” Dr Evans continues.
“There are 300,000 solar users in Queensland who have invested over $2 billion dollars of their own money into reducing their electricity costs and doing their part to help our environment by installing solar on their rooftops. These are people and businesses across all income levels and household types who are all looking at how to take energy production into their own hands.”
“It’s obvious that Mr McArdle is using this as a way to blame solar owners in an attempt to hide from the truth - the government is trying to shore up its budget bottom line through extravagant network upgrades.
“By trying to penalise solar owners, they are ignoring the true solution for cheaper bills for QLD solar homes - solar and renewable energy and cutting energy use. These are cost effective measures that allow people to take control of their bills and of their energy use.” Dr Evans says.
“The QLD government should be helping every Queenslander to go solar, not trying to shift blame and slow the industry,” Dr Evans says.
* Queensland Competition Authority data from: http://www.qca.org.au/files/ER-QCA-FactSheet-ChangeResElecPrice1Jul2013-0213.pdf