Monday, August 12, 2013

New Building Codes Threaten Tasmania's Solar Industry

Tasmanian Solar Feed In Tariff Paper released (Mode Electrical)
Additional and pointless red tape threatens the solar industry in Tasmania say the Greens.
The Tasmanian Greens have called for the Minister for Workplace Standards to review proposed new building codes for solar installations that it says would increase the cost of installing solar - and ultimately lead to job losses in the industry.
Greens Energy Spokesperson Kim Booth MP says the proposed new regulations will see Councils requiring planning fees and an accredited builder to install a solar panel system - even though solar installations are already required to be engineered, installed and inspected according to Australian Standards.
The additional costs could add 25% - 100% on to the contracted value of solar installation.
Mr. Booth says the industry is concerned only accredited builders will be legally permitted to perform installs, while suitably accredited solar installation experts are "driven off the site."
"Ultimately, pointless red tape drives the price up for consumers and potentially drives companies out of business, something that the Property Council and the HIA should reflect on given their role in wrapping the building industry up in worthless over regulation."
The solar industry in Tasmania is facing a number challenges; including an uncertain future for the state's feed in tariff. However, for households that install solar  power systems before January 1, 2014, Tasmania's government has proposed to keep the state's 1:1 feed in tariff in place until 2017 - making the best time to go solar in Tasmania likely right now.
According to solar solutions provider Energy Matters, a good quality 3kW solar panel system installed in the Apple Isle can return a financial benefit of approximately $890 a year.
More than 12,500 households in Tasmania have already installed solar PV systems. In doing so, these households have not only slashed their own power bills, but have also generated employment, diversified electricity generation and allowed increased export of the state's hydropower to mainland states; providing additional revenue for Tasmania.

Syndicated from Energy Matters

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