Battle over solar tax heats up as full hearing announced

Press release - February 1, 2017
An extra charge for solar users, deemed a “tax on solar”, will soon be challenged in a full hearing after an independent authority agreed it needed to be “fully tested”.

“But as the electricity industry has clearly stated it has no plans to build large-scale renewable generation anytime soon, solar is one of the only ways we can generate our own clean energy relatively cheaply.

“As we sit on the cusp of a solar boom, the outcome of this Electricity Rulings Panel hearing is important because it will shed light on whether the electricity system exists fundamentally to help households get clean, affordable energy or simply to make big profits for energy company CEOs.”

A date for the Electricity Rulings Panel hearing has yet to be set.

The hearing isn’t the first time the solar tax has been challenged through official channels.

Last December, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that a complaint about Greenpeace’s use of the word “tax” to describe the solar fee had no grounds to proceed. The ruling stated that although Unison’s network charges for solar don’t fit the legal definition of the word “tax”, the word is considered appropriate by some because the charges are compulsory and are a demand on people’s resources.