Marion Riordan with her solar system at home.
Marion Riordan with her solar system at home. John Gass

Greens solar policy aims to slash power bills

GREENS federal candidate for Richmond Dawn Walker says her party's recently unveiled solar energy policy has the potential to slash $250 every year from local families' power bills.

The Greens are proposing that a new national Energy Savings Agency be established to find $1 billion in power savings through greater efficiency and lower network investment which it says will result in lower electricity bills and and a cleaner environment.

They also want the growing number of home owners investing in solar energy to be paid a fairer price for their contribution.

The Richmond electorate has the third highest uptake of solar energy in the country with 29,000 solar panels and hot-water systems.

Ms Walker said the Parliamentary Budget Office had estimated the policy would cost $405 million annually.

She said "for political purposes" the Coalition was blaming higher energy bills on the carbon tax when most of it was due to investment in the power infrastructure that was only needed to cater for peak periods of usage.

For every $100 of your power bill, only $9 was due to carbon pricing with many households receiving compensation for it, she said.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has promised to abolish Labor's carbon tax if he wins office at September's Federal election.

Condong resident Marion Riordan had solar electricity installed in 2008 and says she receives a $250 refund on her quarterly power bill or 60 cents per kilowatt.

But due to the dramatic fall in government subsidies and new arrangements with power companies, Ms Riordan said if she was to install a similar system today she would only receive six cents a kilowatt.

"Something has to be done," she said.

"They system at the moment... is discouraging people from going solar."


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