Synergy’s secret solar deal with MacBank

by | Jun 5, 2018 | Despatch

Are electricity providers now getting kick-backs from Macquarie for providing leases on solar rooftop installations? It appears so if WA’s largest electricity provider Synergy is any guide. But they are tight-lipped. And will these costs be lumped on customers’ bills via the regulated returns to industry?

This from a contact in Western Australia:

A mail-out by the monopoly electricity retailer here in Harvey, Southwest WA.

As far as I could discover by following Synergy’s invitation to click through, Synergy is acting like your local car salesman and delivering customers to Macquarie Bank. I stopped at the sucker portal page: “Get an estimate”.

Either Synergy has plans to increase its 6-7 percent yearly hike, increase their price for buying from household solar banks, or Synergy thinks it’s fair to push people with very low electricity
consumption into financing stuff they will likely not amortise over less than eight years.

I’m happy to benefit from the enthusiastic uptake of rooftop solar in my region – not a single power-shedding outage in any of the previous three summer heatwaves when previous summers always had me keeping fridge and freezer running on the Honda genny – but the only way I’d look at including solar generation in my own
place is as a standalone backup for when the grid fails us in Harvey at just about every storm and car accident
event and the grid owner Western Power is no longer staffed well enough to make those events fixable by
fast response crews like they did up to about ten years ago.

A 12 hour outage is now almost the standard, when it was generally only two to three.

Why would I want to both contribute more than I already do to that kind of grid management?

Synergy was contacted for comment.

Question: what are the terms of the leasing deals?

Answer: Synergy are currently referring our customers onto Macquarie so we cannot discuss their plans and rates but we can refer you on to discuss directly with them.


Michael West

Michael West

Michael West established to focus on journalism of high public interest, particularly the rising power of corporations over democracy. Formerly a journalist and editor at Fairfax newspapers and a columnist at News Corp, West was appointed Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney’s School of Social and Political Sciences. You can follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelWestBiz.


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