NEWSFLASH – Changes To Victoria’s Solar Feed In Tariff Announced

It’s just been announced Victoria’s premium solar feed in tariff incentive program that currently pays 60c per kilowatt hour for surplus electricity exported to the mains grid will not be accepting applications after the end of this month. A new transitional system paying 25c per kilowatt hour is expected take its place from January.

The Victorian Coalition Government has stated it intends implementing a new Transitional Feed-in Tariff (TFIT) to replace the current Premium Feed-in Tariff (PFIT), which it says will soon reach its statutory capacity of 100 megawatts.

Minister for Energy and Resources Michael O’Brien said the new arrangement would provide a “fair and reasonable incentive” for Victorian households to install home solar power systems and the new rate will still allow for a reasonable payback time.

“Unlike many other states, which have closed down all feed-in tariff schemes, Victoria’s TFIT will provide a fairer, more sustainable approach which reduces the boom/bust cycle for the industry,” said Mr O’Brien.

The new TFIT will offer participants in the scheme 25 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity that is fed back into the grid from their rooftop solar panels. The new scheme is expected to be available from 1 January 2012 and will be applicable to systems with a capacity of five kilowatts or less. The Tariff will be available for five years from the scheme’s commencement.

Solar households already participating in the Premium Feed In Tariff scheme will not be affected by the changes.

Mr O’Brien stressed that people who have already paid a deposit or are currently having a system installed must ensure all the required paperwork has been submitted before September 30.

Minister O’Brien also stated people purchasing a solar power system from today would be “very unlikely” to have enough time to qualify for the current premium rate of 60c per kilowatt hour. However, Melbourne based Energy Matters is currently looking into possible avenues for helping people who put down a deposit on a solar power system within the next few days to access the more generous Premium FiT. The company invites Victorians interested in going solar to call the Energy Matters hotline on 1300 727 151 for further details.