The Queensland government will remove the 8c/kWh solar feed-in tariff rate guaranteed to solar system owners who signed up after the state’s 44c/kWh was closed to new applicants. Solar households receiving the 44c/kWh feed-in tariff rate will be unaffected by the change, but those receiving the 8c/kWh rate will need to shop around for an electricity retailer who will offer them a comparable amount for their excess solar power.
The 8c/kWh rate that will disappear as of 1 July was originally put in place to replace the generous 44c/kWh Solar Bonus Scheme rate that had been on offer for some time. From the start, the government said that the guaranteed 8c/kWh (which could hardly be described as generous and which was comparable to what was on offer in most other states at that point) would be a transitional rate to be in place until the end of financial year 2014. It was unclear what would happen after that.
When the 8c/kWh rate was first introduced it was unclear what it would be replaced with, but the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) recently clarified this with the release of its final report on the Solar Bonus Scheme’s future. In its report, the QCA said that the new rate would be determined by the market in Brisbane and surrounds and set by the QCA in areas where there was an effective monopoly–i.e. most of the state outside of the greater Brisbane area.
For Queensland households thinking about having a system installed, the case for going solar changes very little with this news–indeed, it remains an attractive proposition for the right homes.
© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd