Well South Australian solar customers can hold their heads high. A report released earlier this week by the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA) has found that around 80,000 electricity customers in the state will have installed rooftop solar systems by December of this year.
This accounts for around 10 percent of all small electricity customers in the state, says the report, as South Australians look for ways to offset their ever-increasing electricity bills.The ESCOSA report found that the average household energy bill in the state had risen from $1165 to $1680 in the past three years.
The study found that the take up rate of rooftop solar panels responded well to solar bonus feed-in tariff bonus schemes offered by the state government.
“The incidence of rooftop solar photo-voltaic (PV) electricity generators is increasing in South Australia, in response to government financial incentives.”
However this draws the big question: will South Australians still flock to solar energy now the government’s bonus tariff incentive is being phased out? As the report states: “The current feed in tariff will be phased out for new customers over the next two years. Customers who connected by 30 September 2011 will receive 44c per kWh until 30 June 2028. New customers who connect PV cells between 1 October 2011 and 30 September 2013 will receive 16c per kWh until 30 September 2016.”
Will South Australians take what’s left of the state’s solar financial assistance package, combine it with the federal moolah on offer as part of the passing of the carbon tax legislation and continue to put solar panels on their roofs? Or will they back away as the state’s feed-in tariff rides off into the sunset?
Guess we’ll all have to wait for the Commission’s next report.
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