Laser Electric Lismore managing director Guy Cameron and finance manager Jeanine King are looking to retain staff by introducing their own tariff scheme.
Laser Electric Lismore managing director Guy Cameron and finance manager Jeanine King are looking to retain staff by introducing their own tariff scheme. Marc Stapelberg

Profit reduction to save jobs

WITH local solar rivals announcing job cuts, Laser Electrical Grid Connect is fighting back and reducing their profit margin rather than sack their trained staff.

As the Solar Industry Institute is warning of up to 73 job losses in the industry every day in NSW after the State Government refused to pay solar feed-in-tariffs, Laser Electrical has decided to offer its own tariff of 38 cents a kW.

“People want some certainty and we have been waiting for the government to do something,” director Guy Cameron said.

“We have a lot of skilled staff sitting around so we thought to keep them employed, we thought we would introduce something ourselves.”

“The end result is it comes off our profit. We are prepared to sacrifice that to keep our employees working. If we sit on our hands and do nothing, there is no industry and no jobs.”

The scheme is simple: Laser Electrical will calculate the net rebate amount due for each new customer and then transfer that amount into their bank accounts.

The net rebate is calculated by determining the amount of energy generated by the grid-connected system in kilowatt hours which is not used by the household, then multiplying it by $0.38.

“We could just concentrate on our electrical contracting side of the business and let go of solar but we believe in the industry and we have about a dozen trained and skilled staff in solar and we don’t want to let them go – its a dozen families we are talking about,” Mr Cameron said.

“Solar is a great thing but it’s been boom and bust because the government just tossed it around like it’s a political toy.”

Luckily, when the previous State Labour government introduced the 60 cent feed-in-tariff, Laser Electrical didn’t oversubscribe because they were concerned about the sustainability of the scheme.

Still, “people were lining up at the door to sign up. Now it has stopped dead and a lot of the solar companies around here are now looking to move into Queensland.

"We could do that, but many of our staff are married with families. They live here and want to stay living here”.



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