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Adelaide City Council solar program to spark new wave of SA solar

Adelaide City Council solar program to spark new wave of SA solar

Solar Citizens today congratulates Adelaide City Council for the introduction of its new Sustainable City Incentives Scheme that will see households in Adelaide encouraged to take up rooftop solar.

The Adelaide City Council scheme includes:

$5000 for installing solar PV
$5000 for installing energy storage
$500 per electric vehicle charging controller
$5000 for apartment building energy efficiency upgrades
$1000 for changing out quartz halogen downlights to LED downlights

“Adelaide City Council should be congratulated on their new Solar City Incentives Scheme. This innovative scheme will help thousands of South Australian families make the transition to clean sun-powered electricity,” Ms O’Rourke said.

“These families will save money on their bills and will be able to generate clean power from the sun. They will be joining the existing 184,921 households in South Australia who have already made solar their number one choice for power.”

“Recent polling shows 71% of Australians believe solar power should be Australia’s number one form of energy.

“Just last night our Federal Senate passed legislation to slash our Renewable Energy Target. This move will see Australian jobs lost and investment moved overseas.

“It beggars belief that, with consistent and overwhelming public support, with state and local governments moving to invest and prominent world leaders all saying renewable energy is the future, the Abbott Government continues to try and haul our nation backwards.

“In recent weeks I have seen first hand the groundswell of support for clean power, with thousands of people from all walks of life signing up to our ‘Stand up for Solar’ pledge and calling for a national goal of at least 50% renewable energy including solar by 2030.

“The wave of support for clean energy is gaining momentum. If our political leaders don’t get on board with the revolution they face a very real risk of being left out in the cold,” said Ms O’Rourke.

Claire O’Rourke is available for comment

More on Stand Up for Solar: www.standupforsolar.org.au/

Media Contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

RET cuts shameful: Majority want a solar future

The passing in the Senate of legislation to slash the RET last night is an outrageous setback for the sector but there’s no stopping the momentum and public support for more solar in Australia’s energy mix, according to Solar Citizens.

National Director Claire O’Rourke said a recent survey of Solar Citizens members found that when it comes to energy issues 96% of people said the government was protecting the interest of big power companies over Australians.

With an overwhelming 92% of people saying it is important for Australia to be supporting the installation of household solar and 95% were more likely to vote for a party with good solar policies. 

“The slashing of the Renewable Energy Target has seen the Federal Government place the vested interests of the big power companies above sensible policy. We are demanding that our politicians look to a more ambitious future for clean energy, not put jobs, growth and investment in the shade,” Ms O’Rourke said.

“The relief for people who want to take control of their power bills is that there have been no changes to the household solar part of the RET, the SRES, which helps with the cost of installing a system.”

“Solar and renewables should be a non-partisan issue. Solar is supported by most Australians as the best way to take control over their bills and produce their own clean energy.

“Polls and surveys consistently demonstrate that Australians want more solar panels installed on suitable rooftops across the nation and fair reward for the energy generated by solar households. 

“As I travel around the country as part of our Stand Up for Solar campaign, I’m meeting people from all walks of life who are excited by the opportunities presented by rooftop solar, and storage technology.

“It’s time our politicians took strong action to turn this bright, shared vision for the future of solar into a reality,” Ms O’Rourke said.

Claire O’Rourke available for interview.

More on Stand Up for Solar: www.standupforsolar.org.au

Media contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

AGL unfairly slugs solar customers in ACT and NSW, locking out thousands from renewable energy

Solar Citizens has serious concerns about today’s reports that AGL plans to charge solar homeowners up to an extra $434 for solar smart meters in the ACT and NSW.

Only last month, AGL launched extensive TVC and digital advertising pushes its expertise in solar products with the tagline, “Not all solar is created equal”. Now, according to reports, the company is making it harder for solar homeowners to get a fair deal.

“A $434 price hike for installing home solar meters by AGL is an absurd attack on solar home owners in the ACT and NSW. They are penalising Australian families who want to go solar,” said Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke.

“This increase risks locking out thousands of people from going solar in the ACT and NSW - that is deeply disappointing.

“Solar households are most common in lower income suburbs - the main reason these families go solar is to control of their power bills.

“Recent polling shows that 71% of people think Australia should put more emphasis on solar power ahead of all other forms of electricity generation.

“With support for renewable energy at an all time high it’s a risky move by AGL to so blatantly go after solar homeowners in this blatantly discriminatory manner.

“Just last month we had an incredible turnout of solar homeowners all across the country at our Stand up for Solar forums.

“These homeowners pledged to support an end to unfair fees for solar owners, a national goal of at least 50% solar and renewable electricity generation by 2030 and to help all Australians who are struggling with the rising cost of electricity bills.

“AGL campaigned for reducing the Renewable Energy Target, now that it has been slashed they’re digging the knife further into clean energy to maximise profits.”

“Our big power companies need to realise they are way behind the eight ball on renewable energy and risk being left in the dust if they continue to attack the renewable energy industry,” said Ms O’Rourke.

Claire O’Rourke is available for comment

Media contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

You can find out more about Stand up for Solar here: http://www.standupforsolar.org.au/

SOLAR POWER: SENSIBLE CLEAN ENERGY FOR SA

The growing number of South Australians choosing to install solar panels on their rooftops are generating cleaner power and contributing to lowering power costs for all households in the state, according to Solar Citizens.

The Australian Energy Market Operator’s 2015 National Electricity Forecasting Report released today has confirmed rooftop PV will continue to offset grid demand in South Australia. This brings down the cost of electricity for all household electricity users in the state, not just those with solar installed, said Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke.

AEMO will also publish its inaugural Emerging Technology Information Paper later this month, investigating the viability of battery storage solutions for Australian residential consumers over the next 20 years and the impact this and other emerging technologies may have on electricity consumption from the grid.

“Solar power makes sense for South Australia,” Ms O’Rourke said.

“It is a great investment for households who want to cut their power bills and for all the other homeowners who benefits from cheaper power prices created by having solar as part of the electricity mix.

“More than 184,000 South Australian homes generate clean power from the sun, and thousands more are ready to join them.

“With or without renewable energy, Australia’s power networks will always need to spend money on replacing and upgrading infrastructure as technologies and demand change and grow.
“Australians are moving to solar PV and with battery storage set to be the next wave in the electricity generation transformation our networks need to adapt and invest in technology that recognises this inevitable shift.

“Solar Citizens’ new campaign ‘Stand up for Solar’ is calling for a national goal of at least 50% renewable energy by 2030.
“Recent polling by Essential Research shows that 59% of Australians support a 50% Renewable Energy Target by 2030. It’s clear that there is more leadership in the community when it comes to delivering the sun-powered future that people demand,” she said.

Media contact: Jane Garcia  0434 489 533

Pope Francis demands investment in renewable energy

Solar Citizens today welcomes Pope Francis’ call for stronger investment in renewable energy in his challenging Encyclical released last night in London.

The Pontiff wrote:

“There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, for example, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy.”1

National Director Claire O’Rourke said the declaration by the head of the Catholic Church was an opportune moment for Prime Minister Tony Abbott to end his attacks on renewables and shift to clean energy sources such as wind and solar.

“Pope Francis warns that countries wealthy enough to make a real difference mostly use their power to prevent real progress, rather than taking the immediate action needed. 

“Recent polling shows 71% of Australians believe solar power should be Australia’s number one form of energy.

“Yet Prime Minister Tony Abbott has put jobs, lower power bills and investment in the renewable energy sector at risk by undermining the Renewable Energy Target (RET).”

“A  poll conducted by The Australian Institute found 64% of Liberal voters support an increased Target, while 43% of Liberal voters would support a more ambitious Target of 50% or more renewables by 2030.

“In recent weeks we’ve seen thousands  of people from all walks of life sign up to our ‘Stand up for Solar’ pledge calling for a national goal of at least 50% renewable energy including solar by 2030.

“Our Federal Government is clearly out of touch with what Australians and the rest of the world on supporting the growth of solar power. The overwhelming consensus is that Australians are demanding investment in clean energy,” said Ms O’Rourke.

Claire O’Rourke is available for comment

 Media Contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

1 http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

 Read more about Stand up for Solar at: www.standupforsolar.org.au

WORLD ENERGY OUTLOOK URGES INVESTMENT OF BILLIONS IN CLEAN ENERGY, AUSTRALIA SHOULD STAKE ITS SHARE

The International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook Report launched last night in London highlights the urgent need to accelerate the development of emerging renewable technologies that will transform the global energy system.

Increasing investment in renewable energy technologies in the power sector from $270 billion in 2014 to $400 billion in 2030 is a vital measure to ensure global energy-related emissions can peak as early as 2020 and at no net economic cost.

Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke said Australia’s Federal Government was going against global trends with its push to slash investment in renewable energy such as solar through cuts to the Renewable Energy Target.

“The International Energy Agency is the latest reputable global organisation to highlight the overwhelming benefits of growing renewable energy sources including solar and the economic benefits that flow from it,” Ms O’Rourke said.

“It’s baffling as to why the Federal Government continues its ideologically-driven attacks on clean energy and remains a laggard on exploiting cleaner, cheaper renewable power that benefits all consumers.

“Australia has some of the best solar resources in the world. We should be investing in developing the technology and skills to make us a world leader in solar energy, not putting barriers on solar companies and people who want rooftop solar.

“This report shows there are billions of dollars in global investment in solar in the pipeline over coming decades.

“Australia will be left behind if it doesn’t set a national goal of at least 50% renewable energy by 2030.

“A national goal of at least 50% renewable energy by 2030 will help millions of families go solar, create tens of thousands of jobs and ensure billions in investment for our sunny country.

“A strong solar future is what Australians everywhere want to see. We need strong political leadership who will deliver it,” she said.

Media contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

IKEA shows leadership with $600 million investment in clean energy

IKEA shows leadership with $600 million investment in clean energy

Solar Citizens has welcomed today’s announcement by one of the world’s largest brands that it will invest $600 million in renewable energy, globally.

IKEA plans to transition to 100% renewable energy on all their stores by 2020.

National Director of Solar Citizens Claire O’Rourke said IKEA was the latest global company to show how renewable energy made good business sense and the key role companies could play in growing clean energy sources including solar.

“Today’s announcement shows that the solar revolution is in full swing - $600 million worth of investment is an incredible step for showing the power of the business community in clean energy investment,” said Ms O’Rourke

“Companies like IKEA are leading on clean energy at a time when our government is taking us backwards.”

“It’s time our Government work up to the fact that business and community are 10 steps ahead of them.”

“Recent polling by Essential Research shows that 71% of Australians want more emphasis on solar power, not less.

“With business and communities around Australia and the globe supporting the transition to renewable energy, it beggars belief that the Government isn’t on board.

“IKEA has set a shining example of leadership on renewable energy. It’s time our Federal Government recognises Australia is being left behind and act immediately to set down a more ambitious solar and renewable energy goal of at least 50% by 2030,”said Ms O’Rourke.

 

Claire O’Rourke is available for comment

Media Contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

 

 

 

Policy holding back development of solar: new report

Solar Citizens welcomes the new report released by the Clean Energy Council which shows that while renewable energy is more popular than ever, more needs to be done to secure good policies to ensure solar can power Australia.

“It’s great to see so many people joining the solar revolution, but is a big concern to see that warnings made to the Federal Government about job losses and drops in investment now ringing true,” Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke said.

“There are now over 1.4 million solar homes in Australia and in 2014 thirteen percent of Australia’s electricity came from renewable sources,” said Ms O’Rourke

“South Australia and Tasmania generated 40% and 95% respectively from renewable energy sources - these figures are impressive.”

“But it’s not all good news last year we saw a drop of 8.5% on rooftop solar installed and while the industry employs 20,000 people we saw a loss of 1,000 jobs.”

“These losses were due to the uncertainty created by the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) review.”

“Time and time again Australian businesses and communities are saying they want more solar, not less.”

“The Government must accept that by attempting to block renewable energy investment it is refusing to accept the reality that Australian families will power their homes with renewables as their main source of electricity in the near future,” said Ms O’Rourke

Claire O’Rourke is available for comment

Media Contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

Solar the prefered electricity source for WA: more than 180,000 sun-powered homes

Media reports that new figures released by The Australian Bureau of Statistics show that Western Australian families are embracing solar, with more than 180,000 solar homes in Western Australia.

Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke said these numbers show that solar is quickly becoming the prefered choice of power for Australian families.

“With more than 180,000 solar homes in Western Australia it’s clear that Western Australians are embracing solar as their number one choice for electricity,” Ms O’Rourke said today.

“These households are enjoying the many benefits of solar, taking control of their power bills and generating clean energy from the sun.”

“Recent polling by Essential Polling backs this up with 71% of Australians believing solar power should be Australia’s number one form of energy.

“With numbers like these the recent slashing of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) defies belief.

“The Target has helped 1.4 million Australian homes go solar, has created 24,000 jobs and has allowed families to take control of their power bills.”

“The Federal Government has put jobs, growth and investment in the renewable energy sector at risk by undermining the Target.”

“Over the last month I have been visiting communities across the county as part of our Stand Up For Solar campaign.”

“The thousands of solar homeowners we visited pledged to support a national goal of at least 50% solar and renewable electricity generation by 2030, an end to unfair fees for solar owners and to help all Australians who are struggling with the rising cost of electricity bills.”

“It’s time the Federal government realised they’re swimming against public opinion.”

“Australians are turning to solar in droves and the Federal Government faces a real risk of being left behind,” said Ms O’Rourke.

Claire O’Rourke is available for comment.

Media Contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404

To find more information on Stand Up For Solar head to: www.standupforsolar.org.au

Victoria’s solar homeowners rorted: unfair charges from networks

Solar Citizens calls on the Australian Energy Regulator to urgently investigate media reports that Victoria power networks, Citipower and Powercor have slapped an unnecessary up to $300 charge on Victoria solar homeowners.

Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke said authorities must get to the bottom of the serious allegations of discriminatory practices and potential fees for services that were never rendered.

“These reports of unwarranted charges that Victorian power networks are charging solar households points to discrimination against hundreds of thousands of solar homes in Victoria with an outrageously unfair cost,” she said.

“Media reports suggest the power networks have been getting away with the up to $300 fee on solar homes for years. Thousands of solar families may have been hit with this charge, which could amount to millions of dollars.

“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.

“Just last month we had an incredible turnout of Victoria solar homeowners at our Stand up for Solar launch in Melbourne.

“These homeowners pledged to support an end to unfair fees for solar owners, a national goal of at least 50% solar and renewable electricity generation by 2030 and to help all Australians who are struggling with the rising cost of electricity bills.

“Victorians clearly love solar and expect that they won’t be subjected to unfair charges.

“The Australian Energy Regulator needs to ensure that they protect solar homeowners and must urgently investigate the reports of discriminatory fees,” said Ms O’Rourke.

Claire O’Rourke is available for comment

Media Contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404