Government wind back solar rebate

IT’S been a big winner with Coffs Coast householders, but now the State Government is winding it back.

The changes to the Solar Bonus Scheme introduced to NSW Parliament mean people who order solar panels will now get only 20 cents a kilowatt hour for power generated, down from 60 cents.

Country Energy said the overhaul would not affect existing customers, who are already participating in the scheme.

“Customers who have purchased or leased a renewable energy system before midnight on October 27 have 21 days to lodge their applications to join the program and still be eligible to receive the 60 cents per kilowatt hour feed-in tariff,” a Country Energy spokeswoman said.

“The Solar Bonus Scheme has proven to be popular within the Country Energy network area, with thousands of households installing small-scale renewable energy systems and contributing green energy to the grid.

“The NSW Department of Industry and Investment will be updating their website regularly with information about changes to the scheme and customers are advised to regularly check updates –”

Premier Kristina Keneally said the solar panel scheme would have cost as much as $4 billion if left unchanged.

Some solar panel installers have claimed they will be bankrupted by the new regime.

The NSW Government is also reportedly slashing the capital spending plans of power companies to arrest escalating electricity prices ahead of the March state election.

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