Thursday, September 15th, 2011 - National Electrical and Communications Association - NECA
Today, peak Australian electrical industry body, the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA), called on both State and Australian governments to commit to stable policies to assist the flagging solar industry.

General Manager of NECA Western Australia, Mr Kyle Kutasi, said the constant fluctuations in rebates and tariffs that have been imposed by government over the past few years, and in particular recent weeks, are the chief cause of the recent spate of solar businesses going into external administration in Western Australia.

“Solar installation businesses cannot sell a product when the consumer themselves have little certainty as to how much it is going to cost them,” Mr Kutasi said.

“For example, the feed-in tariff in Western Australia has effectively been changed three times in the last year. Everyone knows that most solar power systems are not cost-effective without the subsidies, so why would a consumer commit to purchase one when they can’t be sure of the subsidy they will be getting?”

“NECA is calling on both State and Australian governments to provide stability to the industry by committing to long-term policy positions in consultation with industry. There are too many jobs at stake to make policy on the run.”

The Australian Government issues Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to consumers who install solar systems. RECs will only be issued where the installing electrician is accredited by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) who is a private organisation that sets their own rules and standards with minimal consultation with industry.

The State Government, through its retailer Synergy, provides persons who install small-scale renewable energy systems (SSRES) with inverters which aggregate less than 5MW with a ‘feed-in tariff’ that reduces their power bills if they feed excess generation back onto the Western Power grid. This feed-in tariff has fallen from 60c per KWh last year to zero today.

Large solar installation businesses like Solar Shop have just this week placed themselves into external administration.

“As a consequence of all the policy confusion, jobs are now being lost. Sales in the industry have fallen by over 50% since the State Government announced the end of the feed-in tariff.”

“Inconsistent and changing Government policy contributes heavily to these people’s job losses.,” Mr Kutasi said.

-ENDS-

NECA WA General Manager Mr Kyle Kutasi is available for interviews.

Contact Profile

National Electrical and Communications Association - NECA


NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide.
Kyle Kutasi - NECA WA General Manager
P: 0433 123 865
W: wa.neca.asn.au

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solar industry jobs NECA national electrical communications association government feed-in tariff

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