NSW Government Guarantees Solar Power Net Metering

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The Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES) has confirmed the NSW Government will allow all new home solar power system connections in the state to occur on the basis of net metering.

Since the closure of the NSW feed in tariff initiative to new connections, New South Wales households wanting to make the switch to solar have been in limbo, confused as to whether they will receive any benefit from exporting surplus electricity generated to the mains grid – or if they will even be permitted to connect.

According to information provided by the NSW Government via AuSES

“Customers wishing to use the electricity from their renewable energy generator on site can do so via net metering. All electricity retailers have in the past week re-confirmed that they are continuing to accept and connect applications for net metering.”

Recently updated information on the NSW Government Trade & Investment, Regional Infrastructure & Services web site states:

“‘Net’ metering is where customers can use the electricity from their renewable energy generator on site, reducing the amount of electricity they need to purchase from their retailer. And if some of their renewable energy generated is fed into the grid, customers can still receive feed-in offers from their retailer for it.”

Some NSW energy retailers are offering feed-in tariffs; separate to the previous Solar Bonus Scheme, for surplus electricity fed into the grid by solar panels.

Over the last few weeks, AuSES says it was also receiving numerous reports some electricity retailers were not allowing new solar power system connection to the grid. The government have now reconfirmed their commitment to guarantee solar connection:

“The Electricity Supply Act requires an electricity network to connect a generator to the grid, provided it complies with relevant safety, technical and metering requirements.”

AuSES says that together with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), it will keep pressing for more progress, especially the need to pay a fair price for exported solar electricity under a net scheme. The two organisations have organised an industry led National Solar Summit for later this month to discuss the issue and develop a national strategy in order to ensure the ongoing viability of the solar sector; which has suffered a rain of blows in recent times from constantly changing solar rebate and incentive programs.