Sunday, February 27th, 2011
One of the nation’s leading solar energy retailers believes solar has been made the ‘scapegoat’ for the power industry, following the Australian Industry Group (AIG) report that revealed increasing electricity prices are not the result of solar rebates and incentives.

Tony Thornton, Chief Executive Officer of Solar Shop Australia, said various Government incentives, most notably the Solar Bonus Scheme in NSW, have been blamed for the increasing price of electricity however, this is not the case.

“The study has found the increasing price of wholesale electricity and rising network charges are the primary cost drivers and the various incentives have a minimal impact on long-term electricity prices,” Mr Thornton said.

“This is consistent with information provided by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal and the Australian Energy Regulatory.”

During the past four years alone, Australia’s retail electricity prices have risen by approximately 30 per cent and projections indicate electricity prices will increase in NSW and QLD by more than 100 per cent by 2015.

The wholesale price of electricity and network charges (approximately 40 per cent and 50 per cent of the entire cost respectively) determine the substantial price movements, however the Prime Minister’s recent announcement of a price on carbon may also have an additional impact.

“Much of Australia’s electrical generation capacity and electrical infrastructure is ageing and ill-equipped to deal with the rising demand for power,” Mr Thornton said.

“Everything will need to be replaced at some point and the cost of these replacements will be significant and are the real driver of power price increases. However, until a decision is made about the introduction of carbon pricing, investment will be withheld, prices will continue to rise and service levels will continue to decline.

“If the carbon price is introduced there will likely be government subsidies to support low-income households,” he said.

“However, there will be nothing to protect homeowners from the inevitable increases in the price of wholesale electricity and rising network charges.”

“Of course we believe this makes investing in solar electricity an extremely sensible option as it protects homeowners from the rapidly escalating power prices by generating energy from home.

“Initial upfront costs can be overcome through solar-specific loans and the long-term returns are extremely worthwhile,” Mr Thornton said.

For further details about the AIG Energy Shock: Confronting Higher Prices report visit

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Solar Shop Australia

Solar Shop Australia is the one of the nation’s leading providers of premium, quality solar power systems tailored specifically to household needs. With more than a decade’s experience in solar energy, SSA is passionate about the benefits of renewable energy and delivering on “The Power of Good” for individuals, communities and the environment.
For more information visit

Victoria Firth
P: 0415 194 095


Solar, Carbon Price, power, price rise



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