The NSW Government has announced that some of the cost of the Solar Bonus Scheme, otherwise known as the feed-in tariff, will not be borne directly by households.
Good and bad decision.
I have posted on the Solar Bonus Scheme previously. Quickly, the issues are that renters and people on low-incomes disproportionately bear the cost; and that there are cheaper actions that the Government could take ($/tonne of carbon emissions) to reduce emissions.
This decision overcomes the first issue, not entirely but at least for part of the costs of the scheme. PIAC, through the Energy + Water Consumers’ Advocacy Program, have been rasing concerns about this since the scheme was first proposed (disclaimer: this is one of my current day jobs. Views on this blog are my own, not that of my employers).
However, it does not address the issue of feed-in tariffs being more expensive, dollar per tonne of carbon emissions saved, than other actions that the Government could take.
Further, the raiding of the Climate Change Fund to cover the cost of this decision ensures that there are less resources available through that program for more efficient ($/tonne) projects. The turning of the CCF into a slush fund does not bode well for the rest of the election campaign, which has started well before the umpire’s whistle has been blown.
What else will be raided, by both sides, in order to fund election promises?