HOMEOWNERS wishing to go green will have less of an incentive after the State Government announced it would slash solar power rebates.
Currently, solar power users are provided with a 44 cent per kilowatt hour rebate from the Queensland Government for energy fed back into the electricity grid. In two weeks time, the rebate will be cut back to just eight cents per kilowatt.
In comparison, power companies charge on average 22 cents per kilowatt hour to households. Energy and Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle said the Solar Bonus Scheme had met its objective of stimulating the solar industry and making the alternative energy more affordable.
"Rising future costs associated with delivering the scheme means change is essential to protect Queenslanders from significant power bill increases," he said.
Mr McArdle said the scheme would cost every household $54 by 2014-2015 and the state $1.8 billion by 2028 if the current rebate rate continued. Existing Solar Bonus Scheme households would continue to receive the 44 cent rebate but the Government will stop taking applications for the scheme on July 9.
A replacement feed-in tariff of eight cents per kilowatt hour will apply from July 10 and end on July 1, 2014.
The Clean Energy Council said the move could cost 4500 Queensland jobs.
"It is appropriate that the Queensland government reduces the level of its support scheme, given the great success of solar and the reduction in the cost of solar power systems in recent times," acting chief executive Kane Thornton said.
"However, this kind of sudden drop could have a serious negative impact on an industry that has been delivering major economic benefits to the state."
The Queensland Competition Authority will review the scheme and make recommendations for a feed-in tariff by early next year.
Mr McArdle fought back at the Opposition's criticism of the rebate cuts on Tuesday, claiming the changes would help prevent higher electricity prices for those who couldn't afford solar power.