Monday, 29 March 2021 13:19

Energy switch a problem for governments not households

Tradesperson carrying new solar panel for installation on residential roof. Tradesperson carrying new solar panel for installation on residential roof.

Media release, 29 March 2021

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has expressed concern at the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) proposal to charge households for exporting solar energy, arguing this will undermine the shift to renewables.

WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “Households should not be penalised for a lack of national policy and planning for Australia’s future energy networks.

“We acknowledge the current problems regarding solar export to the grid must be addressed. However, we strongly disagree that residents who have invested in solar, and are doing the right thing by reducing emissions, should be penalised for their investment.

“As advocates for energy equity, WSROC also stresses that people unable to afford solar should not foot the bill for increased solar uptake. This would only drive energy poverty amongst our most vulnerable,” he said.

“The only real solution is a strong national policy leadership and strategic grid investment.

“The transition to renewables is far from unforeseen. Since 2007, the number of people whose electricity needs are partly met through rooftop solar power has risen from 0.2 to 20 per cent[i]. Unfortunately, over that same 13-year period, our energy grid has not been adequately upgraded to accommodate renewables,” said Clr Calvert.

“Approaches from power companies vary widely around Australia. Some are investing hundreds of millions in battery and other technology to allow more solar onto the system, others are not. This inconsistency must end. There is need for leadership and clear policy direction.

“We need a solution that supports all parts of the community – those moving to renewables, and those who are not yet able to. One of the first considerations should be investment in grid-scale battery technology to store excess solar household generation for re-sale at night.

“The time for integrated planning for this essential progression is long overdue. Failure to do so not only increases energy prices for households, but white-ants National and NSW policy commitments such as net-zero emissions targets, as well as individual council targets.

“If, as the AEMC states, by 2030 we are expecting 50 per cent of Australians to be using distributed energy resources, then we urgently need to address this inconsistency and get serious about strategic grid investment.

“WSROC calls for national coordination to ensure we forge an efficient pathway that delivers equitable outcomes for Australians. We are all in this together, let’s start planning as if we are,” said Clr Calvert.


Media contact: Kate O’Connell or Kelly Gee, 02 9671 4333 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


[i] Eacott, A. (2021, 25 March). Australians with rooftop solar panels could soon be charged for exporting power into the grid, under proposed changes. ABC News Online.

Last modified on Tuesday, 25 May 2021 13:32

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