You could be slugged with higher electricity tariffs for using solar to save energy and the environment.

The Queensland Competition Authority is recommending the introduction of a new tariff scheme for people using solar power.

Carolina Otero reports.


Until now the feed-in tariff has allowed households to use the energy they generate for free and sell the excess power back to the grid.

But this could change if the QCA has its way, forcing Queenslanders to sell all of their home-produced energy to electricity providers and then buy back what they need at a much higher rate.

But the Australian Solar Council says that recommendation is completely outrageous.

John Grimes, Australian Solar Council CEO: “So the analogy we use is a bit like someone growing their own vegetables in their backward and then being compelled to sell those vegetables to Coles and Woolworths and then having to go and buy those vegetables back at a huge mark-up price.”

Mr Grimes says energy retailers’ interests are being put before consumers.

The QCA’s proposal could see households and solar panel companies take a hit to their hip-pocket.

But according to owners of green home like these, it’s the environment that could end up paying the highest price.

Consumers like Scott Baxter applied to install his panels before July, so he’d be locked into a higher sell back rate.

Scott Baxter, Solar power consumer: “It’d be extremely disappointing, I mean, it’s not going to encourage people to take up the technology and I think as it stands anyway after, it was the ninth of July. You’d be in that situation anyway.”

The Australian Solar Council has made a submission to have the recommendation removed from the Productivity Commission’s draft report and restore confidence in Queensland’s solar industry.

Carolina Otero, QUT News.