Friday, July 11, 2008

Labor's feed-in tariff can still be fixed

Below is the third letter I have sent to Peter Batchelor; so far he has not bothered to answer my first two. I don't think he will bother to answer this one either. So much for accountable government "for the people".

I have also sent copies to all members of John Brumby's Cabinet, as they participated in the decision to implement a Clayton's feed-in tariff in Victoria.

Dear Minister Batchelor,

I am disappointed to have still received no response from your office to my suggestions and questions regarding the government's proposed feed-in tariff legislation (included below).

It should now be apparent to you and the rest of Cabinet that your proposed legislation has had a very detrimental effect on the uptake of solar panels and therefore comprised Victoria's opportunity to become a leader in the installation and even manufacturing of solar panels. This in turn compromises Victoria's ability to meet both State VRET and Federal MRET requirements.

The 100K household income means test on the solar rebate introduced by Peter Garrett has further exacerbated this situation, to the point where solar installations have plummeted when the very opposite should be occurring.

Your stated concerns about impacts on low income households can be addressed by providing them with an appropriate concession.

Also please note that net metering in fact favours high income households where nobody is home consuming power during the day (when a net output can be generated) and actually discriminates against working families where a parent is at home with children using appliances such as washing machines, lighting and cooking - which prevents them generating net output.

In the interests of transparent and accountable government, could you please answer the following questions?

1. When will your feed-in tariff legislation be introduced?

2. When can a copy of it be sent to me?

3. What is the purpose of the 2kw array size cap?

4. Why are you not able to model the tariff for gross metering similar to successful tariffs in place in Germany and elsewhere?

5. Why you have chosen to keep the economic modelling that you say your decisions were based on secret?

6. When can I meet with you to discuss these concerns?

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