On Monday 3 September 2012 the Victorian Government announced the end of its previous 25¢ per kwh feed-in tariff. This move brings Victoria in line with state level solar PV incentives across Australia, but with the new rate set at 8¢ per kwh–below current market value–is the government doing a diservice to everyday Victorians trying to reduce their energy bills?
While the move has received support from the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission’s (VCEC) whos research has suggested that offering inflated feed-in tariffs (FiT) to new solar customers will result in increase in standard energy bills to subsidise households with rooftop solar. One of the major components of energy bills is distribution, or the cost of using the grid to get energy where it’s needed, this means if fewer customers are relying on the grid as well as reducing their peak time energy usage – the time when utilities traditionally make their money.
The Clean Energy Council has voiced their disappointment at the reduction in the feed-in tariff to below the current market value:
“It is appropriate that the Victorian government reduces the level of its support scheme, given the recent reduction in the cost of solar power systems. However, the proposed FiT of 8 cents per kW hour is too low and does not reflect the fair and reasonable value of the electricity and other benefits that solar power systems provide to our energy system.”
The Victorian Government, in a bid to avoid the the same rush the changes to the Queensland feed-in tariff caused, have stipulated that only solar PV systems that have been fully-installed, signed-off by a licensed electrical inspector and have submitted all paperwork to their electricity suppliers by 30 September 2012 will receive the 25¢ per kwh rate. Paperwork includes: a Solar Connection Form; an Electrical Work Request; a Certificate of Electrical Safety; and a feed-in tariff contract application.
In addition to meeting the paperwork deadline, customers will also need to have their meters upgraded and be receiving credits from the feed-in tariff by 31 December 2012. There have been suggestions, most notably by Victorias Energy and Resources Minister – Michael O’Brien, that if you have paid a deposit and have all the other paperwork completed by 30 September that you may still eligible for the higher rate but information from Solar Choices’ Team of Solar Brokers and our extensive network of suppliers has discredited this information.
© 2012 Solar Choice Pty Ltd
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