Master Electricians Australia (MEA) has called on the Federal Government to move cautiously on the clean energy policy. MEA warns that sudden changes could have a negative impact on businesses and be unfair to consumers.
MEA chief executive officer Malcolm Richards said the industry understood the need for current policy settings to be reviewed, as it was widely acknowledged the previous government had over-supported some clean energy options such as solar power. However, sudden changes by both state and federal governments had previously caused significant damage to businesses that had supported government clean energy programs.
For instance, the combination of federal and state incentives for solar power was not sustainable in the long term; MEA welcomed the decision of the Abbott Government to review the existing arrangements.
While Australians deserve clarity around the true costs of these programs, and how those are likely to escalate over the long term, the government needs to remember that there are thousands of businesses that have geared up to provide services to support the existing arrangements.
Mr Richards said the government needed to outline a long-term strategy that recognised the true cost and true value of solar power, based on how much power was generated at various times of the day. He also said the long-term settings needed to recognise the emerging role of energy storage, which was likely to be the area of greatest advancement in the renewable energy space in coming years.
However, the most important issue remains the need for industry consultation. MEA therefore requests the Government to introduce changes slowly, and with fair warning for both consumers and businesses.