Government defends pension docking from solar windfalls

[quote]Pensioners who fix solar panels to their home and sell excess electricity back to the power company will have any credit or rebate counted as income and their pension payments cut.[/quote]



Where the hell are the Rudd lovers for this one? I am paying a

lot more, but the average pensioner was paying around $300/qtr

or $1200 P/A. This has already been tipped to rise by a minimum

of 20% this year BUT the joke of an electricity allowance of $130

P/A, yes, per annum, not per quarter, will be increased to $145

per year. Now, they have the audacity to state that that they will

cut the pension for every person who sells energy back to the

grid. If you turn off your power completely & sell the whole 1.5KW

back to the grid, you will earn around $7.20 per day or $50.40

per week. What happened to the $71 P/W that you can earn before

any effect on the pension? YES, I am angry, BLOODY angry. We will

vote this mob back in later this year. We deserve to be treated like

lab animals, because that is what we are !!!!!!

Not only will it effect pensions, but it will also be TAXABLE. I suspect however, that it can be easily be resolved by the Electricity Companies if they offset the power generated against the cost of power used by the consumer. The government might might want to argue that "income" is not being declared, but I believe that it could be argued that the consumer is merely returning power that was not required. I am no legal expert, but I think that would be a "no brainer" for any competent barrister in a "test case" scenario.

I'm afraid you are a little off, kfchugo, unless they change the Law.

If it is declared, by the ATO to be taxable, all costs will be deductable

& depreciation allowable, which will be very near, if not totally

income neutral. BUT, except in very odd cases, borrowings

against assets are NOT deductable, nor are costs of earning income,

nor is depreciation allowable where Centerlink is converned.

As the law stands, not only will the solar panels, batteries &

anciliaries be counted as a deemable asset but the Government

allowances are not deductable from the asset value.

In this scenario, it will NOT be a "no brainer" because the

present law is quite clear. The only deductable item that

I can think of, off the top of my head, is the Mortgage held

against an investment property. As I said before, we are being

treated like lab rats & it will remain so until we learn to vote

as one, just like most of the Greens

I wonder how many pensioners can afford to install the solar panels that generate enough to return power to the companies.

Surely I would think that only the wealthier pensioners would be able to, so I do not think the average poorer pensioner will be affected.

If a pensioner has an income from selling insurance I would expect that would affect the pension.

What is the difference from selling power or insurance or generating income by any other means ?

As I tried to explain above fwed. There are 2 Acts. The ATO & Centerlink.

The ATO has existing rules allowing costs & applying depreciation.

Centerlink rules DO NOT allow any deductions other than registered mortgage.

I re read the original item and there was no mention of the tax office or anything to do with taxes.

What it did say was that if you generated income by selling excess electricity back to the provider then your pension could be affected.

Why is that income to be treated differently than any other income ?

I remain of the opinion that this matter could be quickly solved by a cleverly worded contract established between the home owner and the electricity supply company., and would apply equally for pensioners and non-pensioners. The reality is that nobody is going to go to the expense of setting up the complex and expensive system necessary to generate electricity just to SELL it. The REAL objective is to reduce our individual power bills.

To my mind, we all MUST purchase electricity from the utility companies as the solar power we might produce cannot be used directly to power the appliances in our modern homes - it must go through the grid. We would therefore need a suitably worded contract with the power supplier to allow for the offset of power generated by the home against the cost of power used and reflect the fact that the home owner is actually using the power produced by their own home. That way, no income is produced.

The downside of this arrangement is that the cost of the solar system, borrowing costs, depreciation etc would not be tax deductable, BUT neither would the value the system adds to the home attract capital gains tax when you eventually sell. If you want to claim all the deductions, then you need to declare income to justify it.

If the government baulks at this kind of "accounting rationale", they are simply not serious about reducing carbon emissions and home generated electricity will probably not be viable.

kfchugo, you are correct. They can't be serious, otherwise they

would not have even raised the furthy that could have been

easily fixed with an amendment, as they did with the special

one off grant, Christmas before last. It is a political mind set.

All hell will break out over this & then they will do the simple

adjustment to fix. In the meantime, note that nobody has

mentioned carbon trading, insulation & hospitals etc since this

hit the news. Meanwhile the election is another day closer.

We are being treated like idiots, because we are.

I was shocked the other day when I heard this on the news, it doesn't encourage you to go green thats for sure

I really think the idiots who voted this government in deserve everything they get - problem is the 49% who didn't are suffering along with them.

Solar HWS tanks only guaranteed 10 years and may last that long if lucky - but if in a frost area the panels are able to receive enough damage to need replacement so no good for many homes. Not that type anyway.

New type is fine and inverters with no panels on the roof but I don't think these are covered by the rebates at all.

Hardest part if to get someone to call and tell you all about it who is not out to dud you like they did the insulation.

Also you may need roof reinforcing too which is costly.Solar HWS with tank on the roof is very heavy.

Stick to instant gas if you can get it or even electric which they just havent heard of seemingly down in Tasmania - only storage cylinders and put in biggest.

We had ours got - 20 years old - and put in a smaller one 125L for $950 in 2006. We had made enquiries by letter and email and phone for someone to come out and tell us which one etc - after repeats of email and phone calls and reassurance of a impending visit we gave up - and still waiting as no further contact except by fly by nights or flyers saying a team in your area which means to me - cowboys!

Always with solar you have to weight up the cost of installation over the savings on power bills even back when it cost $1100 in WA and power was cheap compared with today.

Wasn't that good a proposition back then 15+ years. Unless you stayed in the house for the whole 10 years plus and never had to replace tank or panels even Perth has frost South of the River.

Always with solar you have to weight up the cost of installation over the savings on power bills even back when it cost $1100 in WA and power was cheap compared with today.


Yes thats what I told my friend they are never going to get the saving with what they had to lay out--but some never listen

If you take into concideration, the fact that the Federal & the State

rebates are actually being paid out of your own pocket, you would

never buy a solar electric kit, because they will NEVER break even.

Why do you think the power Companies are not replacing the

coal fired generators with solar panels? Because it is not economical.

What I forgot to say about getting the smaller electric storage HWS cylinder was that it cut our HW cost in half which is good and small outlay compared with solar. Still not got a clue at the cost of even the old on the roof Solar HWS with panels and tank which was $1100 years back - but expect it has shot up and around $4-5K due to rebates and the talk of cutting your costs. Bit like changing your mortgage - many do and then maybe never realize how much the changeover costs and how long it actually takes to regain the outlay of change.

Plus had our firs cylinder gas today for the year - gone up to $123.40 from Origin. Still cheaper than electricity but no cheaper than mains gas which is in our village but up the other end in the Industrial area which is why it was rolled out in Tasmania - residential folk are lucky if it passes them as they can tap into it but like everything Labor does - it was big business who pay the donations for favours like this that got the gas.

Also getting the NBN broadband roll out and there I bet some of you looked at where it was going and thought it was for far away cut off villagers when it again was for big business which happened to be right there.

Cynical? No got past that years ago and to think we once had a laugh about the corruption of third world governments and how ours were there just for little old us!

All still on topic as power is the biggest item we all face today and that bill never stops rising over last 2 years and set to go up again in July.

How long before the solar rebate is knocked on the head I wonder.


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