Solar Market Awaits News of Victorian Feed-In Tariff Recommendations Following Queensland's Reduction

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A final report from the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC) could recommend a drop in the Feed-in Tariff rate payable to consumers who sell their electricity back to the grid.

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If the changes go ahead, it would mean the once generous rate payable to customers who sell their unused electricity back to the gird would become one of the worst in the country

On Friday, 27th July, the Victorian Government was handed a final report into Feed-in Tariff recommendations by the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC) which could mean a sharp drop in tariff rates much like what we’ve just seen in Queensland earlier in the month.

A draft report released in May 2012 by VCEC, and somewhat ironically titled ‘Power from the People’ recommended cutting the current 25c/kWh tariff down to around 6 – 8c/kWh. If the changes go ahead, it would mean the once generous rate payable to customers who sell their unused electricity back to the gird would become one of the worst in the country.

The Queensland Government, this year announced they were dropping their Feed-in Tariff from 44c/kWh down to 8c/kWh and said customers had until July 9 2012 to lock in the 44c rate if they went ahead and installed a solar system by July 2013. This move saw an extra 100,000 people rush to lodge an application with solar companies across the state to secure the higher tariff. Solar Market was flooded with customer enquiries from Queensland residents and expects a similar surge in Victoria should the government announce a substantial Feed-in Tariff cut and deadline to lock in the current 25c/kWh rate.

There have been many solar power rebate changes this year with the biggest being the Australian Federal Government’s cancellation of the Solar Hot Water Rebate. The latest Feed-in Tariff cuts have left solar companies fearful of the industry’s growth prospects and they expect job losses in the thousands as well.

While a Feed-in Tariff drop in Victoria is inevitable, and the final report now in the hands of the Victorian Government (which should take into consideration feedback from industry stakeholders), the wait is on to see by how much the rate will be reduced and whether there will be a window of opportunity for Victorians to secure the current 25c/kWh rate for a limited time. Currently, anyone in Victoria installing a solar system smaller than 5kW is entitled to the Transitional Feed-in Tariff rate of 25c. Acting now can sure up your chances of remaining on the higher tariff.

There are still some very good reasons to make the switch to solar energy, here are just some of them:

  • Beat further electricity price rises and Carbon Tax flow-on effects (many people across Australia have seen their bills rise by more than 60% in the past two years);
  • Solar power systems improve the re-sale value of your home – they can add thousands of dollars in value;
  • Make an environmental statement to friends, family and neighbours – reducing your family’s carbon footprint; and
  • Solar systems can pay for themselves in a few years meaning you can truly experience free electricity from the sun.

With the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming changes to Victoria’s Feed-in Tariff arrangements, now is the time to join the millions of Australians already enjoying free solar energy. Solar Market is a fully independent website offering unbiased information for anyone looking to go green with either a residential or commercial solar system. They also provide 3 free quotes from Clean Energy Accredited (CEC) solar installers in your area.

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