Finally some good news for the solar industry; despite earlier promises to implement the ACCC’s recommendations on scrapping the small-scale renewable energy scheme (SRES), energy minister Angus Taylor announced yesterday that there are “no plans to change the SRES” in an interview with the Guardian.
The Liberals performed worse than expected in the Wentworth by-election (prompted by Malcolm Turnbull’s resignation from Parliament), which may have played a part in this decision.
A survey of over 1,000 by-election voters revealed that 33% of respondents nominated climate change as the most important issue in their decision, with 47% stating it has a lot of influence and 78% claiming it has impacted their vote to some extent.
Since the by-election, the government has released a media statement outlining the “price safety net” it will impose via the Australian Energy Regulator on big power companies. It also commits to stopping price gouging, backing investment in new generation and supporting reliable power, which it does so by requiring energy companies to sign contracts in order to guarantee demand is met.
The statement does not address the SRES, so it may come as a surprise to many players in the renewable energy industry that there is a firm statement from government to retain its current form. According to Angus Taylor, there is no plan to scale it back; “the deeming rates fall every year between now and 2030. We are not proposing to change that. That’s designed to ensure the subsidy comes off as technology continues to improve.”
The rebate has been key to Australia’s uptake of solar since its implementation. It offers those looking to reduce their rising energy bills by installing solar systems under 100kW up to 30% upfront off the cost of installing solar.
Given that Labor has also committed to keeping the SRES in place, the rebate now looks safe despite months of uncertainty.
If you are planning to proceed with a solar system, we recommend contacting us as soon as possible in order to lock in the 2019 rate available under the SRES, which depreciates each year.
Image source: The Guardian