According to Greens MLC Mark Parnell; Origin Energy and AGL in South Australia are saving $350,000 a year by not paying households with grid connect solar power systems an additional feed in tariff for surplus electricity they produce.
According to Mr. Parnell; grid connected system owners should now be receiving 2 payments:
1. for the surplus electricity households feed into the grid (paid for by the energy retailer)
2. A 44c per kW/h premium (paid for by all domestic electricity consumers)
Parnell has vowed to implement legislation to ensure that grid connect system owners are properly compensated for their efforts in contributing to renewable energy infrastructure in the sate.
Prior to July this year, Origin and AGL paid up to 24 cents per kilowatt hour. Since the implementation of a new 44c kW/h tariff paid by ETSA Utilities, both companies have stopped paying the additional rate. TRUenergy however, continues to pay its grid connect customers the incentive, bringing the total feed in tariff to 64 cents; which is in line with Germany’s program which has been incredibly successful.
Mr Parnell firmly believes the feed-in incentive should be in addition to, and not replace, what the electricity retailers were already paying prior to the new tariff scheme and has asked the Essential Services Commission to investigate further.