3 July 2008

Solar Power Feed In Tariff gets the go ahead

| Jazz
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The Legislative Assembly finally got around to passing Mick Gentlemans Solar Power Feed in Tariff last night after numerous delays. ABC has the story here on what the Australian Conservation Council thinks and here is what the Comrade has released.

Now to start selling some power back to ActewAGL.

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Gungahlin Al4:30 pm 03 Jul 08

Fred: about $14,000 I believe.
LB: nothing on THAT promise mentioned in the budget – “non-core” promise perhaps?

Rebates are OK for people who have the cash available to pay the difference, which excludes most people. That’s the biggest barrier to entry IMO.

A low interest loan enables everyone to get on board and pay it off ‘according to their ability to pay’. That’s from the Labor website.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, the scheme has not been brought in yet (or talked about since the election). Hurry up Kev!

Loose Brown said :

A much better idea than a ‘rebate’ which could lead to increased prices.

Surely a loan is also as likely to increase prices as a rebate since manufacturers and installers would be aware of people being able to access a loan scheme.

I prefer a rebate. With this tariff thing, it would have been very tempting to install solar.

So how much does a basic system cost – or a super-duper, all singing, all dancing one for that matter?

Hey everyone! This is absolutely fantastic news!!! Don’t forget the Labor Party election promise for low interest loans of up to $10,000 per household for solar panels. A much better idea than a ‘rebate’ which could lead to increased prices.


The low interest loan + the feed in tariff could make Canberra the ‘solar city’ within a few years!! Yay! less guilt for being alive!!!

WMC – I’m in if I can own a whole “solar system” in ten years!

Does it come with planets or do I have to pay extra? What about a black hole – are they expensive? 🙂

Woody Mann-Caruso3:19 pm 03 Jul 08

With a ten-year payoff I was a sure thing for a solar system. Without the rebate, and with a twenty-year payback, meh.

Gungahlin Al3:06 pm 03 Jul 08

Yes it’s 3.88 times the normal tariff rate for the gross amount you generate. Any consumption is charged as per normal. It requires a “smart meter” – like one that reads each direction as separate figures rather than one net number.

The multiplier was based on being able to achieve a 10-year payback period, after the Federal subsidy. So the (immensely stupid) removal of that federal subsidy will mean a lot longer payback.

Kevin 24/7 clearly confused the need to means test welfare programs with this environmental program, and almost gutted a burgeoning industry…

One only needs to look at the serious problems that face WA after the gas plant blow-up to see that distributed generation has great benefits over concentrating it all in just a handful of big plants.

It’s like the internet – because it’s distributed, it’s virtually indestructible.

Anyone who’s interested may wish to read our Gungahlin Community Council submission on the draft bill for the feed-in tariff.

neanderthalsis2:41 pm 03 Jul 08

It all looks rather silly now that the Feds have effectively killed the solar rebate by means testing it, the Gentleman was probably kicking himself on budget night over that little line item. Now there will be very few new people going solar so very few people feeding back into the grid.

I believe this system is used in Germany (not sure if they have a 4:1 ratio though, but it’s higher than 2:1; and don’t think they pay on power generated, but on sold back to grid) but it has meant Germany has a much higher production of solar power than we do (Of course, they have the vast deserts and sunshine to boost their solar production as well)

sexynotsmart12:58 pm 03 Jul 08

Clarification of bad punctuation: my last power bill would have been about minus one hundred and fifty dollars.

sexynotsmart12:56 pm 03 Jul 08

CT says the amount paid is the gross power generated, NOT the net amount passed back to the grid. I think this means you get paid regardless of whether you actually feed power back into the grid or not. And the amount paid (apparently) is 4x the going grid rate.

I didn’t see this one coming. It’s a very pleasant surprise. IMHO it changes the investment calculation for solar panels substantially. Especially if (like me) you were only considering a bottom-of-the-line system, and would still need a bit of grid electricity.

The 4:1 differential pricing means I would be operating at a profit. My last power bill would have been about -$150! Instead of nil or minor electricity cost, it would make me money. And that probably tips the $15k investment decision, and any re-think of the federal installation subsidy only makes the deal sweeter.

I can’t wait to see more detail about the scheme. If anyone finds any useful links (ie no generic envirofluff), can you please post?

Although the legislation has passed, you can’t start selling power back into the grid until the regulations have been enacted. This will take a few months according to Gentleman (or at the longest, a year).

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