Solar households and businesses in NSW could receive higher prices for the power they feed-in to the grid, following today’s release of a new draft tariff by IPART.
Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin said the benchmark feed-in tariff will more than double, which will help customers negotiate a better deal from energy retailers.
“I have heard the concerns of solar households and asked IPART to update the benchmark tariff for the energy they feed into the grid,” Mr Harwin said.
“IPART’s draft determination of a fair value for solar more than doubles the previous tariff of 5.5 – 7.2 cents per kilowatt hour, proposing an increase to 11.6 – 14.6 c/kWh.
“The tariff is not subsidised by other energy users so it won’t increase power prices. It will help deliver lower energy bills for NSW’s 350,000 solar households,” he said.
Feed-in tariffs are a payment for generation fed into the grid, but are lower than the amount charged for electricity as they exclude distribution costs, metering and billing. The tariff reflects a changing market, including the higher wholesale electricity prices expected in 2017-18 due to national energy market conditions.
“It’s not mandatory for retailers to offer a feed-in tariff but I strongly urge retailers to offer one, and for consumers to shop around to get the best deal,” Mr Harwin said.
Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy and Northern NSW Ben Franklin said the financial benefit of solar goes beyond feed-in tariffs.
“Regional NSW and Western Sydney are leading the way with solar generation, which importantly is contributing to our energy security,” Mr Franklin said.
“The Government wants to expand access to solar power to help with bills, particularly for vulnerable households through our Home Energy Action Program.
“The CSIRO says 35 per cent of generation by 2050 could come from rooftop solar. Solar and batteries in homes and businesses are critical to future supply,” he said.
When shopping around customers should consider all aspects of a retailer’s offer, including charges, feed-in tariffs, discounts, late payment fees or early exit fees.
The final tariff determination will be issued in June. View IPART’s report here https://www.ipart.nsw.gov.au/Home/Industries/Energy/Reviews/Electricity/Solar-feed-in-tariffs-201718?qDh=0