The state of New South Wales in Australia has defended a decision to introduce a levy for all electricity users to meet the cost of a solar power bonus scheme.

Under the scheme solar panel owners can sell their power to electricity retailers and buy it back at a third of the price.

Critics say the scheme forces struggling households and businesses to pay more, while rewarding those who are wealthy enough to be able to afford solar power, reports Australia’s ABC.

New South Wales Minister John Robertson has defended the levy, saying it is fair and small.

“The scheme means families who could never afford to install solar will now be able to do so,” Robertson told ABC.