GRUMPY: Tony Blain is a 74-year-old pensioner and is not happy about extra charges for his solar panels.
GRUMPY: Tony Blain is a 74-year-old pensioner and is not happy about extra charges for his solar panels. Warren Lynam

Where’s the incentive for residents to install solar panels?

SHOULD there be more incentive for people to go solar?

Seventy-four-year-old Sippy Downs man Tony Blain reckons there should be.

He's particularly angered by the effect of a recent directive from the Australian Energy Regulator for suppliers to "unbundle" power charges, meaning solar meter charges are now incurred only by those with solar power, where previously the costs were spread across all users.

While it may only be an extra 6.767 cents per day or about $7 per quarter, that combined with the cost of solar panel maintenance, cleaning and a reduced monetary benefit to him as a second owner of the home, has Mr Blain questioning whether Australia is fair dinkum about solar power.

"There seems to be no interest in saving power in this country," the Hibiscus Retirement Village resident said.

Is there an incentive for you to install solar panels?

This poll ended on 05 December 2016.

Current Results

Yes, there is

13%

No, but there should be

75%

No, not for me

11%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mr Blain said he was at the point where, restricted by a fixed income, he was seriously considering scrapping his solar panels to try to save money.

"It cost $50 last year to clean them (solar panels) too. It's ridiculous," he said.

"Here we are we've got power generators selling it to the distributors, they're making money and we're footing the bill."

Mr Blain's latest bill from Origin Energy noted the change would be effective from January 1, although Mr Blain believed he was in a fixed contract until mid-April, 2016.

Origin Energy spokesman Ryan Auger explained the fees used to be included in the bundled price, paid by all power users, but under an AER directive, distributors had to unbundle the solar meter fees so they could be applied to only solar users.

An Australian Competition and Consumer Commission spokesman said the directive to have distributors split the fees was to ensure greater billing transparency.

"By separating out the various metering charges, customers are now paying their fair share of the particular metering services that they receive," he said.

"In other words, customers who do not have solar panels are not contributing towards the metering costs of customers who do."



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