Solar Panel owners subsidising Power Companies


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Are Solar Panel owners subsidising Power Companies?

According to a Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) energy engineer, “Queenslanders with rooftop solar panels are effectively subsidising power companies”.

That was a statement that I heard on the news yesterday, with figures quoted being that Queenslanders with rooftop solar panels get paid around 7 cents per kWh for power sold to the power companies, although the average price for electricity, paid by electricity retailers in Queensland was 40 cents per kWh.

Are Solar Panel owners subsidising Power Companies?

In my opinion, Queenslanders with rooftop solar panels are actually subsidising all electricity users, and not increasing the profits of the electricity retailers or power companies.

My reasoning for that is the following, based on the above figures, and my own electricity bill.

  • Electricity retailers paid 40 cents per kWh from power companies.
  • Electricity retailers paid 7 cents per kWh from solar panel owners.
  • I paid 28 cents per kWh to my Electricity retailers.

The electricity retailers presumably average their total kWh cost using both costs, 40c and 7c, maybe coming out at an average cost of about 23 cents per kWh, then add their profit, and charge me 28 cents.


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Without all the solar panel owners, most of whom have used taxpayer grants to pay towards their systems, the electricity retailers would be charging me 45 cents, not 28 cents.

One comment on the news was that the amount paid to solar panel owners who had received taxpayer funds to buy their solar panels, was “pretty lousy”, they apear to expect that it is fair to get closer to the 40c that retailers pay.

Personally I am happy to sell my taxpayer subsidised excess electricity at 8c, and help keep overall electricity rates down to 28c, rather than all users paying nearer 45c per kWh.

How much do homeowners receive from taxpayers when buying solar panel systems?

A system that costs a householder $5,688, would actually cost $8,500 without the Solar panel rebate of $2,812.

We can thank the taxpayers for initially subsiding us, the solar panel owners, by inturn, helping to subsidise electricity prices for everyone else.

If someone buys a system themselves, with no help from the taxpayer, then by all means negotiate with your electricity retailer for a higher price, or refuse to sell it to them.

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