Families burned by solar subsidies…
Quakers Hill father Steve Gross is one of 120,000 families across the state who thought he was onto a winner when he signed up to the then Labor government’s solar bonus scheme last September.
The maintenance fitter and his wife, Angelina, decided that with the government’s subsidy and the promise to buy the energy back at 60c per kilowatt hour, they could not only one day have their power bills paid for by the sun but do their bit for the planet.
So the family of five invested in a mighty six kilowatt solar panel system for $35,000, which was reduced to $28,000 with a government subsidy. They put down a $5500 deposit and took out a loan for $22,000, which would largely be paid for by the money generated by the system.
“We signed a contract with the government which stated that they would pay us 60c per kilowatt hour for the power we generated until 2017. We thought, ‘What could be more secure than a government-backed scheme?‘
UPDATE: More solar problems.
Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts has ordered the safety checks after an audit of panels installed in 55 homes in Port Macquarie revealed 16 were problematic.
Three were found to have “serious” flaws.
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Issues encountered included potentially dangerous wiring and signage defects.
Others were found to be non-compliant with building regulations.