From the start of 2017 mandatory minimum rates for the solar power purchased from consumers will no longer exist in South Australia.
However, in a recent press release explaining the changes, the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA) has said that it will require all retailers to publicly disclose and explain their feed-in tariff prices and structures. It also warns retailers that it may reintroduce price controls if it believes that consumers are being disadvantaged.
Prior to 2012, the value of fed-in electricity was generally not recognised in the form of payments to customers. In large part that was because the number of solar customers was still relatively small. This has changed over the past five years, not least because of the popularity of solar PV units in South Australia; around 25 percent of customers have become solar customers.
ESCOSA says that electricity retailers now need to deal with solar customers as matter of normal business practice and that means they need to attract and retain those customers on a competitive basis. ESCOSA Chief Executive, Adam Wilson added that, “customers who export solar energy to the grid provide benefits to retailers, and retailers must continue to pass those benefits back to their customers through feed-in tariffs."
ESCOSA will closely monitor the change during 2017 and will exercise its statutory powers under the Electricity Act to reintroduce a minimum feed-in tariff price if competitive forces fail to deliver value to consumers.
Read the full press release here: http://www.escosa.sa.gov.au/consumers/energy/solar-feed-in-tariff-scheme.