Page 2001 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 25 June 2008

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of solar hot water installation are in the marketing. Hence, if we were to install solar hot water on a grand scale we could reduce costs by something approaching 50 to 80 per cent. This would make it financially viable for most private householders, even without a government loan or a subsidy. Many landlords of private rentals might also consider it. Raper argues that governments should coordinate mass rollouts as was done with gas and broadband: “Solar hot water is being installed in your street in March.” This could achieve very real financial savings as well as greenhouse gas reductions.

Of course, some in the community are gearing up for feed-in tariff laws, such as the Macquarie SEE-Change bulk buy. I know that some other communities are looking at organising in that way to facilitate community members to install solar panels. There will be more of these if we can put the incentives in place. If economics help people to decide to install solar roof panels, perhaps we should also establish mechanisms that make it easy for people to invest in solar panels on other properties. Individuals who perhaps do not have their own appropriate roof space or perhaps would just like to invest in a few separate arrays could buy either outright or share in photovoltaic panels on other people’s roofs in a form of roof agistment.

Private rental houses are an issue. Tenants have no prospect of taking up this opportunity as you have to own and reside in a house to be eligible for the feed-in tariff and the federal government subsidy. While landlords may choose to use the roofs of properties they rent out for this purpose, I am interested in whether tenants who pay the bills can apply for the tariff on behalf of landlords if there has been agreement on this.

The Greens are convinced we need an integrated planning and development approach that includes massively improved efficiency in our houses and appliances, and that means revisiting the territory plan which currently allows overshadowing of adjoining houses so long as they get a minimum of three hours of sunlight in part of their living area. We have been contacted by someone who is having their whole roof area overshadowed and they will not be putting in any solar panels.

Planning for future solar PV capture has to be well enshrined in planning regulations and I have talked about that often in this place. Nonetheless, it is excellent to see this proposal come forward here and we would like to see other initiatives in the climate change strategy implemented, as mentioned earlier.

The Greens support Mr Gentleman’s bill and we expect support for our amendments, particularly the ones relating to concessions. While we support renewable energy feed-in laws, we also propose that they be extended to other renewable power generation technologies; that measures be introduced to ensure no-one is disadvantaged; that the feed-in legislation is accompanied by a program to retrofit houses and community organisations’ premises; that better efficiency for public and low-income households is achieved; and that stepped energy tariffs be introduced.

We are bound to have these debates again, but today we are only focusing on feed-in tariffs, which the Greens support.

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