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South Australians to save more with new feed-in tariff

30th Jan 2012

A new solar feed-in tariff premium is to be introduced in South Australia, saving the average household more than $400 a year.

The premium - approved by the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA) - will allow households that missed the cut-off date for the last scheme to now be paid up to an extra 11.2 cents per kilowatt hour for energy put back into the grid.

The draft proposal presented by ESCOSA earlier in the month remained unchanged, with the final decision agreeing to a three-stage implementation of the new feed-in tariff.

A “bonus” rate of 7.1 cents per kilowatt hour in addition to the existing feed in tariff will be applicable between January 27 and June 30 this year and this will rise to a premium of 9.8 cents per kilowatt hour for the next financial year.

The full 11.2 cents per kilowatt hour premium will be available between July 1 2013 and June 30 2014.

According to the commission, the tariff - dubbed the FiT Premium - reflects the fair and reasonable value of fed‐in electricity to energy service providers.

"All electricity retailers are required to provide at least this minimum FiT Premium to solar customers but may choose to credit a higher amount," the ESCOSA report stated.

ESCOSA chief executive Paul Kerin explained that while each household rooftop solar panel system is different, the average unit would generate excess worth $147 in 2012-13 and $168 in 2013-14.

"For an average household which was qualified for the 44 cents per kilowatt hour deal (before it was abolished in October), they will still get about $660 and also the $168," Mr Kerin told News Limited publication AdelaideNow (January 27).

The new FiT Premium comes in addition to the existing feed-in credits available to households.

Electricity distributor ETSA Utilities is also required to provide a feed‐in tariff to solar customers for electricity fed into its network and this amount varies according to the date of connection.

For customers who have an installation or approval date of before October 2011, 44 cents per kilowatt hour plus the new premium will be credited until June 30 2028.

Newer customers connecting before September 30 2013 will be paid 16 cents per kilowatt hour plus the new premium until 2016.

According to the ESCOSA, the feed-in tariff amounts credited by ETSA Utilities to solar customers are funded by all electricity customers - adding approximately $65 to an average annual household electricity bill.

Posted by Bob Dawson - News editor

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