Pen­sioner has so­lar prob­lems

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Tobi Loftus Tobi.Loftus@cnbtimes.com.au

WHEN Charles Hughes in­stalled so­lar pan­els at his home in 2012, he never ex­pected the process to be­come so com­pli­cated.

“The first year I put so­lar pan­els on the sales­man said I should get back $1000 to $1200,” Mr Hughes said.

“I re­ceived $793 for the first year, which was okay.

“The sec­ond year I got $748.59, the third year I got $587.89, the fourth year I got $550.85.”

Mr Hughes said when he ques­tioned Er­gon En­ergy as to why the the amount was go­ing down, it replied he must have read the me­ter wrong.

He said he kept ev­ery­thing he re­ceived from the state-owned en­ergy com­pany and he sent his me­ter read­ings to it via fax and post, as well as su­per­vis­ing Er­gon En­ergy vis­its.

A spokesman for Er­gon En­ergy said there could be a num­ber of fac­tors in­flu­enc­ing the re­duc­tion in feed-in tar­iff cred­its.

These in­clude the per­for­mance of the sys­tem, pat­tern of en­ergy use and higher cost of elec­tric­ity.

“Typ­i­cally, where cus­tomers re­port lower re­funds, it will be a com­bi­na­tion of these and other fac­tors, rather than a sin­gle fac­tor,” the spokesman said.

“As such, it is not al­ways pos­si­ble for Er­gon staff to im­me­di­ately iden­tify the cause for a lower re­fund in in­di­vid­ual cir­cum­stances.”

Mr Hughes said there was con­fu­sion around re­ceiv­ing pay­ments.

“In Oc­to­ber they owed me $524.65 for 12 month pe­riod, but they sent me a check for $181.92,” he said. “I rang up again on Oc­to­ber 27 and said I want my money, I said I want it and I want it now.”

Mr Hughes said all he wanted were some an­swers.

“I'm 75, I don't need all of this,” he said.

PHOTO: TOBI LOFTUS

AN­NOYED: Charles Hughes is still wait­ing to re­ceive his pay­ment from Er­gon.

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