“This benchmark range is intended to provide a guide for customers as to the value of the electricity that their PV units export to the grid in 2012-13,” the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) said.
“However, retailers are not required to offer feed-in tariffs within this range; they are able to set their own feed-in tariffs.”
Retailers will publish their feed-in tariffs on the myenergyoffers.nsw.gov.au website so that customers can ‘shop around’ for the best offers, according to IPART.
IPART Chief Executive Jim Cox said that the 7.7 to 12.9 cents per kWh range is higher than previously estimated by IPART for 2011-12, due to the introduction of a carbon price, which increases the cost of wholesale electricity. The range for 2011-12 was from 5.2 to 10.3 cents per kWh.Article continues below…
“The benchmark range of 7.7 to 12.9 cents per kWh for 2012-13 is lower than the ‘1-for-1’ tariff that some of the solar industry has previously called for, where the customer would receive a payment equal to the full retail price,” IPART said.
“This is because electricity retailers still incur certain costs on the electricity exported to the grid by PV customers; for example, retailers are still required to pay network costs on that energy.”
Sustainable Energy Association of Australia Chief Adviser Ray Wills said “IPART contends that it has considered a range of factors [in this decision], and we have no doubt that it has, but it is not clear if IPART has considered the timing of electricity generation and the value of electricity at the time of generation.
“Any valuation must reflect the time of production and the realised value of that electricity in the market, and ‘fair and reasonable’ tariffs should move closer to this price point.”
IPART has also determined that retailers must contribute 7.7 cents per kWh in 2012-13 for each eligible kWh under the Solar Bonus Scheme, commencing on 1 July 2012.
Click here to read background information on this determination from the May/June 2012 edition of EcoGeneration magazine.