Origin Energy puts a TAX on households with solar panels!

Discussion in 'Energy' started by Mark, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,469
    Likes Received:
    1,013
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    That's right - you read the heading correctly all customers of Origin Energy who have solar systems installed will now be subjected to a Solar energy tax as at the 1st January 2016!

    The tax (Origin calls it a charge) is starting at 7c per day or $25.55 per year and is supposed to offset the costs from the Australian Energy Regulator which has charged distributor fees to include separate
    solar meter charges.

    However, we all know the real reason for the solar energy TAX by electricity distributors in Australia is to wedge their way into our backyard and make us pay for electricity our own fully paid for (or paying off) solar panels produce!

    In the future, they will continue to increase this TAX until having solar is as expensive as buying electricity from the coal fired grid.

    In other words, we'll not only be paying for our own energy our own roof produces but we'll also be paying directly for the electricity infrustrure of the future instead of the electricity companies! It's a win win for the fat greedy utilities and our Governments have let this happen.

    Protest to your local members, protest on social media, share this on social media, and let them know we won't be scammed by this dreadful and deceitful SOLAR TAX on ordinary hard working Australians! :mad:

    Origin Solar Tax details below:
    https://www.originenergy.com.au/for-home/solar/plans-offers/solar-meter-charge-faq.html
     
  2. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    666
    Likes Received:
    283
    Location:
    Preston, QLD
    Climate:
    Temperate (all seasons)
    Preposterous. And it includes even those running off batteries (not feeding back to the grid) and using Origin as their backup supplier.
     
  3. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,738
    Likes Received:
    628
    Location:
    Clontarf, Qld
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    What a scam. Geesss there's gonna be some upset people over this one
     
  4. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,469
    Likes Received:
    1,013
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
  5. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,738
    Likes Received:
    628
    Location:
    Clontarf, Qld
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    They start up at 7 cents, they may not put it up for a year or two while they get a hard time from customers, but it'll go up. There's no way they're going to miss out, they just had to work out a way to make money from it.
     
  6. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,469
    Likes Received:
    1,013
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    That's exactly my point too.

    I've said the same thing before about Origin placing a "fee" on their 45kg gas cylinders. A few years ago the letter said something like... Origin is introducing a nominal (small) "maintenance" fee. It began at $16 per annum and now it's over $75! How can my gas cylinders cost that much to maintain? Yep it's another pure shameless money grab that's what this solar tax is...
     
  7. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,738
    Likes Received:
    628
    Location:
    Clontarf, Qld
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    I'm surprised I haven't seen or heard anything of it on the news or anywhere yet
     
  8. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    248
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    Shameful to say the least. What is this world coming to?
    Yeah, a guy at my work tells me he pays a 'tax' for having solar on his house. I'm guessing he's with Origin or else the may be others doing the same.
    On the point of gas cylinder fees I've decided to go with owning two 9kg bottles and swap them out myself. A little bit more effort on my part but I'll have minimal gas usage in my new house (cooktop and BBQ only) so it shouldn't be too bad. I asked the plumber about my idea and he applauded me and agreed the 'rent' and maintenance fee on bottles is just ridiculous and easily avoided through owning smaller bottles and swapping them out.
     
  9. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,469
    Likes Received:
    1,013
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Hmmm, I'm so close to doing that with my gas cylibders also @Steve it's interesting how your plumber is behind the idea. I drive past a place down the road from me who have two 9kg gas cylinders on their back wall nearly every day I think about ringing origin energy to tell them "come and get your 45s and piss off" but I'm still stalling only because of the convenience and the fall in gas prices.

    Origin sure have form in finding niches to charge their loyal customers!

    We're strongly considering additional panels on our solar system to get the maximum possible out of our roof space and current 5kw inverter.

    Our shed could probably fit another 12 panels at least and this savings from extra power would definitely more than offset the meter tax especially since we're still under the old scheme. Anyway we'll see. ..
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Kasalia

    Kasalia http://retired2006.blogspot.com.au/ Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2015
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    113
    Location:
    Mid North Coast
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    We swap out the small cylinders, there is about 5 floating around between BBQ, camper and house. Our oven is elec. but for the cooktop last about a month. We also have a roof full of solar and on old system so haven't paid a bill since, and I didn't know about the Tax, not good news.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    666
    Likes Received:
    283
    Location:
    Preston, QLD
    Climate:
    Temperate (all seasons)
    Have to let off some steam regarding this topic.
    I applied last year to have a PV system, approved only as a non-export system (Ergon won't have a bar of my desire to export, even at 7c/kWh) but still has to be downregulated to avoid some sore of risk to electrical shorting (I reckon it must have something to do with trying to avoid being reliant on the grid). Then I get sold a system by a guy from the SAE group who after seeing the power set up at home promised that I could get the panels to feed in on all the power-connected dwellings on the property, as well as have the battery backup to service all dwellings once the sun goes down. Since I cannot export, there is a vested interest in keeping some of the power generated during the day in batteries to use at night.

    Now I get told by the sparkies setting up the system that I have to dig a trench to run the cables back to the main power meters that all the dwellings run off (at my own cost - and I know I can't do it myself), and that the system will NOT feed back power from the batteries to the main house, let alone to the separate cottage on the property. They can only feed back to the shed where the batteries and inverter are - something to do with the one-phase setup and that it would overload the system tripping circuit breakers all the time if it were connected back to the central power board. I'm totally illiterate to all this but am disappointed that this was not mentioned to me at the start - perhaps it's a salesman's ploy to lure me into the sale, but the delivered product will be nowhere near what was promised. I will continue to have a substantial bill from Ergon despite the panels! It's a crock and I'm stuck in the middle of it.

    SAE haven't responded to my concerns and I'm figuring I'm going to end up spending a lot of money for such minimal gain. It seems the property is not well set up to allow for solar power, but I was too ignorant to know this until too late. :censored: salesmen...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    248
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    Sorry to hear Ash.
     
  13. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,469
    Likes Received:
    1,013
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Could you just hire a trench digger for the day... or won't it work as initially expected anyway?

    What size system and battery set up have you got?
     
  14. OskarDoLittle

    OskarDoLittle Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    129
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Ash what sort of documentation have you got from the sales guy? Consumer law states that the product you purchased must be fit to do the job for which you bought it...if you expressly bought the system on the basis that it feed back to your batteries, and it can't, then in theory, you should be able to ring them up and tell them to take the system away for a full refund. Of course it's probably not going to be quite that straight forward, as it sounds like there may be some issues with integrating the new into the old system. BUT the salesperson should have advised you what your minimum requirements were as far as the existing infrastructure you have to allow this to happen - they are after all deemed to be the "expert" - not the consumer.
    Usually a conversation with the appropriate ombudsman will get companies to move a little quicker...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    666
    Likes Received:
    283
    Location:
    Preston, QLD
    Climate:
    Temperate (all seasons)
    Yes I could Mark. But it's got existing power and Telstra cables in the area and I have to get a consultant in to map out exactly where they all are. Then we'd have to dig to avoid them. Costs over $400 per infrastructure damaged to repair, $200 to get them mapped out. Dial before you dig aren't exact enough with their location. The digging and backfilling have to be done on the same day to make it worthwhile. I'm not confident enough to do it myself so I'm just going to have to bring a guy in to dig and fill. Total cost about $600.

    I have asked for 4kWh capacity at this stage but as I understand it they can only take about 240W before they drop out. I wonder whether it can even take the load of the fridge and septic tank aerator overnight.
     
  16. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    666
    Likes Received:
    283
    Location:
    Preston, QLD
    Climate:
    Temperate (all seasons)
    That, I'm going to have to look into. The documents so far don't stipulate those exact terms but I do feel I have a case for the ombudsman. Is there a direct contact for one concerned with solar power systems?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. OskarDoLittle

    OskarDoLittle Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    129
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Hey Ash,
    There's quite a bit of info available on the Clean Energy Council's website (www.solaraccreditation.com.au) including some interesting comments on whose obligation it is to check whether the system can be connected to the grid. (My understanding is that the norm is for the supplier to ensure this...but it depends on whether they're accredited suppliers).
    For more info on consumer law and supplier's legal obligations (many of these cannot be negated, regardless of what some companies will try to add into their contracts) try the Office of Fair Trading (Qld number 13 7468) - this will be more general info though, rather than specific to solar supply. And if all that fails, the most likely ombudsman would be the Energy and Water Ombudsman (1800 662 837) but they like you to have had a go at resolving the issue with the supplier first. Putting in writing to the supplier that you will/have contacted the ombudsman may be enough to get them to at least respond to you.
    Good luck!
     
  18. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    666
    Likes Received:
    283
    Location:
    Preston, QLD
    Climate:
    Temperate (all seasons)
    Thank you very much Oskar. I appreciate your advice and will try and get something sorted out through the supplier before taking the matter further. At the moment I haven't yet gotten someone to dig the trench yet, and I'm also strongly encouraged to map out the existing wires in the area to save the disappointment of digging up an existing infrastructure. More money gone before even getting the system up and running. It's turning out to be much less cost effective than it's worth!
     
  19. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    666
    Likes Received:
    283
    Location:
    Preston, QLD
    Climate:
    Temperate (all seasons)
    Just an update: solar set up seems to have been completed, waiting for the Origin energy mob to change over some meters before I can even start to use it (beats me why). Sounds like they can delay this process as much as possible to get the most revenue from me before I can generate my own electricity.

    Unfortunately on the date of the install, the electricians made it clear that despite being told that the system should be able to service all dwellings with solar generated and battery backup storage, only the shed where the panels are located will be fully self-sufficient. The main residences where the power is most needed can only be run on battery power if I manually hook the appliances I need to keep running up with a lead from the shed.

    Origin are still going to be giving me a substantial bill at the end of the day despite the 6.24kW hybrid system with battery backup...
     
  20. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,738
    Likes Received:
    628
    Location:
    Clontarf, Qld
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    All sounds very complicated Ash. I think I'd need to see a picture to understand it better :oops:

    How far is it between the "powered shed" and the main house?

    Have you got a second opinion from a different electrician? I'm just thinking that maybe one day someone may come up with a solution.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
Loading...

Share This Page