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Qld solar industry racing before the sun sets on tariffs
06/07/2012 - Queensland solar equipment companies say they are doing all they can to remain viable before a cut in the solar feed-in tariff threatens to slash business. Nathan Paull
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From July 9, anyone who joins the state's solar bonus scheme will receive eight cents per kilowatt hour for providing energy to the grid, a sharp drop from 44 cents that is expected to slash demand in the industry.
One company, Jasmin Solar, is offering to sell and install its remaining 10,500 solar power units for $1 each.
In exchange, Jasmin Solar will receive the customer's federal government solar credits and any revenue generated from the feed-in tariff.
CEO Matthew Starr says the offer is "win-win", because it will help those who could not normally afford a solar system and cut their power bills.
It will also help the company make a profit after it pays off the cost of the system in four to five years.
Dr Starr says the biggest problem is that some customers think the offer is a scam.
"We find that absolutely tragic," he told reporters.
"We've made it clear what we get out of it, but we're also helping customers save, and helping the environment."
Matt Levey from consumer advocate group Choice said while some people, particularly low-income earners, could benefit from the deal, people needed to make up their own minds.
"This sort of deal is no substitute for doing your homework," he said.
"People shouldn't sign up on the spot because their eyes are lighting up."
Stuart Stratton of Green Initiatives said his company had installed four times as many systems it normally would in the lead-up to the July 9 deadline.
However he said it was "very concerning" to think what would happen to the industry.
"Come Tuesday, we expect the phones to go silent and everything to turn off for a while."
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sean mcnulty | 7/07/2012 21:30 1
If our government was serious about the countys carbon emissions and the reduction of greenhouse gasses, why have they slashed the feed in tarriffs on solar systems and the incentive for households to change to solar power, can anybody tell me?
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