Monday, 26 June 2017
NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has welcomed a decision of the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) last Friday to double to solar feed-in tariff benchmark across the State.
Mr Marshall said the decision meant more than 6,300 households and businesses with rooftop solar power systems in the Northern Tablelands would soon receive much higher prices for the power they feed-in to the grid.
A long-time advocate for renewables, Mr Marshall said the benchmark feed-in tariff would more than double and help customers negotiate a better deal from energy retailers.
“This outcome is brilliant news for solar customers in our region and will provide a boost for the industry across the board,” Mr Marshall said.
“The disparity between the current feed-in tariff and the retail energy price has been raised with me regularly over the last 12 months so I am delighted the Minister requested IPART to update the benchmark tariff for the energy locals feed into the grid.
“IPART’s determination of a fair value for solar more than doubles the previous tariff of 5.5 to 7.2 cents per kilowatt hour, up to 11.9 to 15 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 the State’s 350,000 solar households.”
Feed-in tariffs are a payment for excess generation fed into the grid. The benchmark range is lower than the amount charged for electricity by retailers as it excludes distribution costs as well as retail services, metering and billing.
Mr Marshall said the fairer tariff for local solar households and businesses would encourage retailers to offer a competitive deal to their customers, but also encourage more people to consider installing a rooftop solar system on their home or business.
“In the Northern Tablelands, there are already 6,352 households and businesses generating power from solar systems and this number is continuing to grow,” Mr Marshall said.
“More consumers are realising the benefit of installing solar to help keep bills down.
“Consumers can avoid costly energy by consuming as much from solar as possible, and the feed-in tariff rewards the excess power that goes back into the grid.”
Mr Marshall said the financial benefit of solar went beyond feed-in tariffs.
“The government wants to expanding access to solar power to help with bills, particularly for vulnerable households through our Home Energy Action Program,” he said.
“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.”
Mr Marshall urged consumers to do their own research to find the best deal from energy retailers.
“When shopping around, customers should consider all aspects of a retailer’s offer including usage charges, feed-in tariffs, and any other terms and conditions including ‘paid-on-time’ discounts, late payment fees, or early exit fees,” Mr Marshall said.
“While feed-in tariffs are not compulsory for electricity retailers, the NSW Government is calling on retailers to offer a feed-in tariff within this benchmark range.”
Solar customers can compare electricity offers on the Australian Government’s Energy Made Easy website www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/
IPART’s final determination on the solar feed-in tariff review is available online www.ipart.nsw.gov.au