Sunday, 28 July 2013

Capital's solar buyback slashed
13 Jun 2013

ActewAGL has been accused of not paying customers a reasonable price for solar power with a new scheme about to offer 10¢ a kW hour less than the current arrangement. However, other industry players have suggested the reduced price was inevitable and in line with what was happening in other jurisdictions.

Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury has also called on Labor to honour its parliamentary agreement with the ACT Greens which included a 20 year guaranteed payment for households and businesses installing solar power. Solar power providers are also bracing for a rush for the technology as consumers try to lock into the current ''generous'' solar buyback scheme which ends in the ACT on June 30.

ActewAGL has been buying solar power from customers at about 18¢ per kW through the current solar buyback scheme. Under the new system of net metering, to be introduced on July 1, ActewAGL Retail will buy excess electricity at 7.5¢ per kW hour.

Existing customers will continue their arrangement under the buyback scheme until June 20, 2020 when they will revert to net metering. New customers will be still subject to the buyback scheme if they submit special connect request forms, via an installer, to ActewAGL before the close of business on June 30. ActewAGL said there were 2357 active solar buyback customers in the ACT. There were 93 applications pending for entry to the scheme.

ActewAGL general manager retail Ayesha Razzaq said the change meant instead of ActewAGL paying a tariff for all solar power produced by customers, it would be paying for only the ''excess'' solar electricity exported to the network, taking into account the power used by the customer.

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