Energy dinosaurs a hindrance to a sustainable future

In today’s West Australian Western Power chief executive Paul Italiano accused households with solar panels of shirking their responsibility for network maintenance costs.

Mr Italiano said households with photovoltaic cells drew less energy from the grid and so had lower electricity bills despite requiring the same level of service as people without solar panels and that this ‘imbalance’ would have to be met by charging customers without solar panels more.

These statements came after the chief of electricity retailer Synergy, Trevor James, said 92,000 homes, or about one in 10, in Perth and the South West had solar panels.

Robin Chapple MLC, Greens WA spokesperson for energy today called these statements “utter hypocrisy” and had this to say about Mr Italiano’s claims.

“In a century where we should be moving away from fossil fuel energy sources, and towards 100% renewable energy, energy dinosaurs like Western Power are as much an ideological barrier to responsible energy generation as the archaic South West Interconnected System is a physical one.

Instead of congratulating the Western Australian people for investing in clean energy solutions, reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the need for new fossil fuel energy development, they are accused of shirking responsibility. Well I say Western Australians who invest in clean energy technologies deserve congratulations, and government entities with long term coal, oil and gas contracts which hinder renewable energy access to the grid do not.

The widespread uptake of renewable energy systems is proof positive that Western Australians are not adverse to putting their ‘hand in their pocket’ where the environment is concerned, and I resent the implication that making a greener choice is in any way ‘shirking responsibility’, said Chapple.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255

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