IT’S the great Keneally divide.
On the left, the house with a 1-kilowatt solar panel system where the owner has no bill because she generates more energy than she uses.
On the right, the house with no solar panels, the owner’s quarterly bill is usually between $600 and $700.
But thanks to the decision by the Keneally government to slash feed-in tariffs from 60¢ to 20¢ a kilowatt hour, incentives to install new panels have almost evaporated.
These two properties are in Lismore – the solar capital of NSW with more than 700 home solar units.
Vanessa Ekins, chairwoman of the city’s sustainable environment committee, who lives in the house with the panel, used to get a quarterly bill of about $150. Now Country Energy says she has earned a credit of $214.
She said: ”We have had conversations over the fence about it. I think the electricity companies should be funding the panels, not individuals.”
Her neighbour, Kylie Bensemann, said: ”I am disappointed that the tariff wasn’t reduced to a more reasonable amount. It is amazing how many people have said: ‘Put as many solar panels as you can on your roof.”’