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Victoria's Feed In Tariff Confusion Clarified


by Energy Matters

Victoria solar feed in tariff
Many home owners in Victoria looking to install grid connect solar power systems have been hearing conflicting messages regarding the state's solar feed in tariff program. Some solar power providers have been informing clients that the program is now in operation.
According to national solar power solutions company, Energy Matters, this isn't the case.
"We've had phone calls every day from people who have either been intentionally or accidentally misled by other companies; to the point that we started to question our own information, which is usually very up-to-date." states Max Sylvester, co-founder of the company.
The Victorian Department of Primary Industries site states the premium feed-in tariff for small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems was "expected to start in the second half of 2009".
"This information on the DPI site hasn't changed for some time and we've seen nothing to indicate the commencement of the program, so we contacted the Department last night. They replied this morning, stating that although a scheme start day has yet to be announced, it is expected that the program will commence in the final quarter of 2009. We'll be following up regularly with the DPI and will let people know via our feed in tariff information page and news section at www.energymatters.com.au when the scheme has officially launched." says Mr. Sylvester.
Under the program, Victorian residential grid connect system owners will be credited 60 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity exported to the state grid. The Victorian scheme has drawn a great deal of criticism as the program only offers as a credit on system owners' bill, rather than as a cash payment as in other states
Additionally, if the system owner generates credit over and above the cost of their electricity consumption during the billing period, the additional credit will then be rolled over to the next billing period, but only up to a maximum of 12 months from the generation date. Accumulated credit may then be voided after the 12 months, depending on the electricity retailer involved.
Given the inequity of the system compared to other states and the general fractured nature of feed in tariffs in Australia, Energy Matters has been lobbying for a national, uniform gross feed in tariff via a petition at FeedInTariff.com.au. The petition has attracted over 18,000 signatures so far and interim results were recently tabled in Australia's Senate by Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne.


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