Retroactive solar FiT cuts in Western Australia anger public, industry
Aug 9, 2013 - The Clean Energy Council (CEC) yesterday warned that the retroactive cuts to solar feed-in tariffs (FiTs) in Western Australia would hit the most the mortgage belt and retiree areas, while the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) reports on a planned lawsuit.
The state government recently decided to slash by half, between now and the middle of 2014, the FiTs for solar systems installed before August 2011. CEC, which is an Australian renewable energy industry association, explained that the move would hit 75,000 households, most of which have barely “scraped together the money” for a solar installation, hoping to cut their electricity bills.
The ABC said a few hours ago that callers to its Mornings Program have “vowed” to participate in a class action suit against the Western Australian government for breach of contract. All the affected households have struck 10-year power purchase contracts at the AUD-0.40-per kWh rates (USD 0.37/EUR 0.27). After the retroactive change the FiT will go down to AUD 0.20. The media cited Treasurer Troy Buswell as saying that the government’s move was “allowable within the constraints of the contracts”.
Western Australia decided to cut FiTs in an effort to save money on its budget.