Planned Gross FIT reduction

The NSW Government is proposing to legislate a reduction to the feed in tariff from 60c per kWH to 40c per kWH. It’s reduction of one third of the rate that was legislated at the time we bought.

But what good is legislation if all it takes is a change in government and a submission to change it again?

Legislation doesn’t seem to be worth all the taxpayer dollars that goes into producing it when it’s so easily changed to the detriment of those who made investment decisions relying upon it.

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell introduced legislation that would prevent parliament from being shut down prior to January 26 (as part of NSW Labor’s shut down during the power sell off). What good is that legislation if it can merely be changed retrospectively?

Our governments aren’t very honest, yet we are all forced to obey and live within the confines of their legislation, or be penalised severely for it. I just don’t see it as being very democratic, it’s far more like a dictatorship – and the party in control dictates how you will live your life.

We can’t place any trust in any of the current enacted legislation, it could all be changed retrospectively. We can’t change our votes retrospectively. We can’t opt to not have a government either (I’d like this option at the moment, the whole lot are useless).

It’s bad enough that the rate was slashed to 20c for newer participants last year – it still represented an option for investment in solar, but to stab those who invested with one third slashed from the expected return on investment, why would anyone ever trust anything this government legislates?

Barry O’Farrell’s election propaganda actually included the words “Our Contract with NSW” – and the minister for energy actually stated that there would be no changes to the current users – only new users.

Well, not only have they broken their contract with NSW, they’ve also broken their promise that they would not change the rate retrospectively.

There are people out there who have invested heavily under the legislated guarantee of 60c per kWH, invested with significant amounts of money, and those will never be paid off under the scheme.

Fair enough, they probably shouldn’t have tried to use it as a cash machine, but they did operate within the confines of the scheme as legislated. It is not their fault that the previous government could not put figures into a forward perspective.

The rates of electricity to buy are likely to raise 17%, the current peak time of use rate is actually 40c, it’ll be around 48c after July, meaning the power generated is actually sold at a lower value than that of what we can buy it for.

I’m not making changes to our setup yet – it still will pay itself off, just in a longer time frame with less of a return on the investment put into it. I will look forward to see what the Stage 2 of the Summit reveals in the way of future plans for the solar industry (no one would buy a solar system in their right minds at the moment – 6c per kWH would take far too long to generate a return, if it even did).

I have two ideas in mind though (aside from leaving it as is as long as the feed in tariff covers costs):

– Off Grid – this would save us significant amounts and at the same time have the negative result that we would need to cut back our consumption during winter significantly.

– Net Feed in – Depends on the rate paid, but if it’s higher than gross, then it makes sense to simply go over to a Net Feed and use the power in the house before sending it to the grid. One would assume the Net Feed In would allow us to also make changes to the system too (the current scheme disallows any changes to the system, including selling the house – you would then lose the solar rebate, another retrospective change!).

Even with the possibilities above, it’s still a very dishonest act by this government.

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