The Victorian Coalition government recently announced changes to Victoria’s solar feed-in tariffs for new customers.
The falling cost of solar panels and the rising price of electricity means the old, higher subsidies are no longer needed to encourage solar take-up.
The old scheme adds $41 million a year to the electricity bills of all Victorians, meaning people who cannot afford solar are subsidising those who can.
The Coalition government wants to deliver a feed-in tariff that is fair for those who receive it and the electricity users who pay for it.
Importantly, these changes are not retrospective. Existing customers who access the Premium Feed-In Tariff or the Transitional Feed-In Tariff (TFIT) are not affected.
Any consumers who have recently paid a deposit or had a solar system installed may still be eligible for the current TFIT providing all their paperwork is correctly lodged with their electricity suppliers by September 30, 2012.
From next year, eligible applicants can receive eight cents per kilowatt hour for excess power they feed back into the grid. This reflects the adjusted wholesale electricity price which retailers pay to other generators.
For the first time, the tariff will be extended beyond solar to other low-emission energy sources. For more information on applying for feed-in tariffs, you can contact your solar panel supplier, or the Department of Primary Industries on 13 61 86 or visit www.dpi.vic.gov.au/feedintariffs.
Michael O’Brien, Minister for Energy and Resources