Thousands of WA householders will get much less income from the power their rooftop solar panels generate following the Barnett Government slashed the quantity it will pay for surplus output.

Under 12 months soon after unveiling the initiative, the State Government revealed within the Budget that it was halving the feed-in tariff for households with photovoltaic cells.

The move will save the Government $18.eight million more than 5 years and “ensure the feed-in-tariff scheme remains sustainable within the long-term”, according to the Budget papers.

For individuals signing on for the scheme soon after June 30 or installing a program after September 30, the selection will wipe about $2000 – or $200 a year – off the amount the tariff pays.

Under existing arrangements, households are given 40¢ for each and every kilowatt hour of energy they export back in to the electricity grid.

The amount is on top rated with the 7¢ offered by State-owned retailers Synergy and Horizon.

But the rampant recognition of the scheme – combined with generous Federal Government rebates for solar panel installations – led to a 500 per cent blowout in its expense to $146 million.

Energy Minister Peter Collier conceded that the adjustments were an acknowledgment the scheme was becoming unaffordable, saying it was a “very, very costly exercise”.Mr Collier said that apart from clawing back the tariff, the Government would also seek to limit the scheme’s expense by imposing a 150MW generation cap.

It comes because the quantity of domestic-scale solar capacity quickly reaches 100MW, with almost 50,000 households subscribed across the State.

Mr Collier said that despite the fact that the Government was expecting unprecedented numbers of men and women to “move in for the kill” ahead of the June 30 deadline, this didn’t reflect a lack of planning or foresight.

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