Solar power prices for South Australians
A new draft determination has recommended that solar power users in South Australia are secured a minimum retailer feed-in-tariff for a further year.
The draft determination comes from the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCoSA), an independent economic regulator with the responsibility of protecting the long term interests of the South Australian consumers.
Released on October 2, it stated it will make a further one-year price determination to set the minimum retailer feed-in-tariff at 7.6c/kWh, reducing it from the current level of 9.8c/kWh.
ESCoSA acknowledged that this price is at the lower end of the "reasonable range of fair and reasonable value to an electricity retailer of electricity fed-in to the distribution network".
This cautious approach is due to a fall in the value of wholesale electricity over the past 12 months. There is also uncertainty as to how competitive the market for solar PV customers is in South Australia.
The lower price of 7.6c will give solar users a safety net of revenue, while also encouraging retailers to compete with each other by offering higher voluntary feed-in payments.
Submissions are open on this Draft Price Determination, due by November 1 of this year. A Final Decision is scheduled for release in December of this year.
The Clean Energy Council (CEC) released a statement in response to these announcements on October 2.
CEC Policy Director, Russell Marsh, acknowledged that overall, the determinations are good news for households and small businesses. He said they will somewhat contribute towards protecting consumers who are trying to avoid the sting of electricity prices.
"South Australians investing in solar power systems deserve to be paid a fair value for the clean energy they provide to the power grid," said Mr Marsh.
"While ESCoSA’s recommended minimum price for solar doesn’t fully do this, the proposal by some electricity retailers to take away this minimum altogether had raised major concerns for consumer and industry groups. It could have been much worse."
Mr Marsh also advised customers to shop around to get the best deal, as competition in the market may increase which will be of great benefit to the consumer.
"We are extremely pleased to have the industry’s concerns acknowledged by the head of ESCoSA. Introducing a mandatory minimum price will help to ensure a fair go for solar customers," Mr Marsh concluded.
Posted by Charlie Moore