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Energy company to correct solar bonus payments

26th Aug 2011

Endeavour Energy has committed to backdate payments to approximately 1,500 Solar Bonus Scheme customers in NSW.

The decision follows complaints from customers that alleged incorrect tariffs were being paid to eligible consumers.

The company has reviewed its business rules for the scheme following the feedback.

Chief executive officer Vince Graham has confirmed that Endeavour will take immediate action to rectify the problem.

Graham says: "We believe three per cent of the total 45,000 customers participating in the Scheme who are connected to our network are impacted."

A number of customers have been deemed eligible for a 60 cent tariff starting from the date that their generator was first connected to the grid.

Graham says: "Changes to the scheme in October 2010 required customers to demonstrate their eligibility for the more generous 60 cent tariff. The error has been in the backdating of payments where the customers did not establish their eligibility for the 60 cent tariff when their generator was first connected to our network."

The Solar Bonus Scheme has proven wildly successful with NSW consumers.

The tens of thousands of participants that Graham refers to will now all experience the benefits of a rebate for feeding excess electricity into the grid from solar panels installed on their rooftops.

Everyday Australians have used the scheme to offset the cost of energy within the home and have experienced a number of benefits.

Firstly, by installing solar power systems they become less reliant on utilities companies for electricity.

By generating the power at home, the cost of energy in the home drops.

The Solar Bonus Scheme has also provided a further financial incentive to those who entered into an agreement prior to October 27, with a 60 cent tariff for excess energy channelled into the grid.

NSW residents who didn't make the scheme's cut-off date are eagerly awaiting the announcement of further government initiatives.

Currently the government is awaiting recommendations from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW (IPART) before it creates any further policy concerning a feed-in tariff.

A decision is scheduled to be made by IPART in April, which is expected to deliver a fair and reasonable price on electricity generated by small-scale photovoltaic systems.

Rather than installing a system once a new scheme is open, consumers can benefit now by reducing their reliance on the grid and then apply for future schemes once they are opened.

-Mike Peacock: Solar Correspondent

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