Vic govt changes solar tariff feed-in scheme

The Victorian Government has announced changes to the feed-in tariff scheme, including introducing multiple feed-in tariff rates based on the time of day.

Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio said the changes would enable renewable energy feed-in tariffs to be set in a fairer way.

“This is the first time the tariff has been increased in the last six years, rising approximately 20 per cent,” she said.

“Households will now be compensated through the most cost-effective and fairest system available, which is through a time-of-use feed-in tariff.”

The Final Report into the Energy Value of Distribution Generation by the Essential Services Commission’s , tabled in Parliament in September.

The annual minimum rates for feed-in tariffs will move from calendar years to financial years starting on July 1 next year, to allow retailers more time to adjust their systems.

The Australian Energy Council responded to the announcement saying it was a cost transfer from one group of consumers to another and would do little to drive transformation of the energy sector.

Chief executive Matthew Warren said the new tariffs appeared to be little more than a hotch-potch of excuses to pay more to solar customers, as the Federal Renewable Energy Target already rewards residential solar PV.

“Solar is an attractive proposition to thousands of Australian consumers each year without having to impose the cost of subsidies on other consumers,” said Mr Warren.

Mr Warren said Essential Services Commission highlighted a number of opportunities to drive uptake of solar in parts of the grid where it would deliver real benefit.

“The wholesale market offers a range of prices for electricity as demand changes to encourage generators to switch off and switch on,” he said.

“Rewarding solar customers in the same way has no effect because the solar will operate regardless of the price.

“It just ends up being another subsidy paid for by other consumers, without any real benefit.”