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IPART recommendation 'may be unfair' to electricity customers

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) has expressed concern that the recommendations of the November draft report released by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of New South Wales (IPART) will result in households who invest in solar power being disadvantaged.

Solar power is considered to be good value because after the installation costs, the user pays nothing for the energy that is generated.

Any excess energy that has been generated can be exported to the electricity grid.

But while the IPART report recommends that the fair value for this solar power is between eight and ten cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), the CEC disagrees.

Citing independent analysis conducted by consulting firm Sinclair Knight Merz, it suggests that this value may in fact be closer to between 12 and 16 cents per kWh.

Kane Thornton, director of the Clean Energy Council, said that the full benefits of solar power exported to the grid were not taken into account by IPART and suggested that the government would do well to introduce a guaranteed rate of return to customers.

''Electricity prices will continue to rise over the next decade due to the spiralling cost of replacing aging poles and wires,'' he said.

''It is important that we give people the option of installing solar power to protect themselves and their families.''

Regardless of whether you decide to carry out a solar photovoltaic (PV) installation on your own property, anyone who is interested in saving money on their electricity bill may wish to compare suppliers to ensure they are getting the best value.

A switching service can do the hard work and research for you and let you know if it might be possible to get a better deal.

Posted by Charlie Moore