The Federal Labor party has just axed the solar panel rebate and replaced it with a less than encouraging solar credits scheme.
We got our panels through a solar nieghbourhood scheme in February. Our bill for this quarter was $74, and as you can see our emissions in the last two quarters have decreased at kick-arse speed (admittedly rising a tad for winter). But, so far we haven't been paid for what excess clean energy we have put back on the grid. We found out today that Powercor had lost our record of payment for the buyback meter ($160). Convenient. Supposedly everything is cool now.
We would never have been able to afford these panels without the government rebate. The role of governments should be to support us to make our lives more and more ethical and less and less destructive, and yet the opposite occurs – they allow themselves, and we put up with it, to be controlled by corporate lobbyists. In this case the coal industry. That's why the Federal government has axed this brilliant scheme as it was just getting off the ground. Under the new scheme I'm not sure we could have managed the extra costs. The old scheme has been far too successful and therefore is a big threat to the 'culture of make believe' (Jensen). The government says on its website:
Unprecedented growth under the Government's Solar Homes and Communities Plan has resulted in closure of this program...If you have panels already and haven't signed the petition for the Federal government to pay decent solar feed in tariffs, you can do so here. (Thanks O!)