According to the Alternative Technology Association, an Australian not-for-profit organisation promoting sustainable technology and practice, the Victorian government’s proposed feed-in tariff will wipe thousands of dollars owed to homes with grid connect solar power installed.
As we reported last month, unlike other states with feed in tariff programs, the proposed Victorian feed in tariff scheme will see homes selling surplus electricity back to the state’s mains grid but not receiving a cash payment, rather a credit on their electricity bill that will be wiped every 12 months.
“For a modestly energy efficient household with a 3kW solar system, this perverse scheme could result in $1000 or more loss.”, states Damien Moyse, ATA’s Energy Policy Manager. “A use it or lose it scheme encourages homes to consume more energy, and is in complete contradiction to the need for Australia to decrease energy consumption and reduce emissions.”
The ATA is calling for the state government to bring Victoria’s scheme in line with other states as it believes under the proposed legislation the Victorian government “has completely missed the point of a feed-in tariff” .
In a joint submission from the ATA, Environment Victoria, Moreland Energy Foundation and the Electrical Trades Union, the group has called for business and community organisations be allowed to participate in Victoria’s scheme, the system size limit for the 60c kWh tariff be increased to 10kW, the tariff be payable on gross rather than net generation and cash payments be made instead of a time-limited credit.
The ATA has also been active in promoting a national, uniform gross feed in tariff program instead of the current fractured state-by-state system by supporting an online petition at FeedInTariff.com.au; an initiative led by Victorian based solar power company Energy Matters that has already attracted over 13,000 signatures.