Electrical contractors welcome solar energy tariff
The National Electrical and Communications Association, NECA, the peak national body representing contractors in the electrotechnology industry, today welcomed the NSW state government's decision to introduce a gross feed-in tariff for NSW households and small retail customers who install grid connected solar panels.
NECA NSW chief executive Lindsay Le Compte said, "This decision is a significant step in the right direction for the government.
"It will be a major catalyst for domestic and small retail energy consumers to move to grid connected solar systems and save on their energy bills.
“The decision by the government demonstrates that it recognises the imperative for energy consumers in the domestic market to take up renewable energy options.
"This will result in a significant economic boost to the renewable energy and electrotechnology industries, both struggling in the current economic climate," he said.
Mr Le Compte also called on the NSW government to further support the training of electrical contractors to install solar energy systems to speed up the installation of solar panels by qualified tradespeople.
“Currently NECA trains electricians through its EcoSmart Electricians initiative, but there is still a strong and urgent need for the government to support this initiative by injecting funds into the training sector," he said.
Mr Le Compte said to enable the community to take further advantage of the new tariff there is a need to reintroduce the licence that would permit electrical contractors to connect grid-based solar panels to hot water systems.
“At present there are only about two hundred electrical contractors in NSW who are permitted to disconnect and reconnect plumbing when working on electrically based hot water systems.
"The NSW Government must also follow the Federal Government’s lead in relation to insulation by preventing shonky operators from infiltrating the solar energy sector of the electrotechnology industry," Mr Le Compte said.