The Essential Services Commission of SA is the independent economic regulator of essential services in South Australia with the primary objective of protection of the long-term interests of consumers.
The Commission released, for public consultation, a Draft Price Determination in respect of the minimum electricity feed-in tariff payable by electricity retailers to customers with solar photovoltaic units.
The Commission’s draft determination proposes setting the minimum retailer feed-in tariff for 2015 at 5.3c/kWh (from the current 6.0c/kWh). The draft determination also proposes a 2 year regulatory period for the continued monitoring of the performance of the retailer feed-in tariff market. The value of the R-FiT for 2016 will be set towards the end of 2015.
The R-FiT should be considered as part of an overall electricity market offer. For example, a market offer with a higher feed-in tariff may also come with higher usage charges and such an offer may not necessarily lead to the best overall outcome for most PV customers. Customers should scrutinise and compare offers. The Australian Energy Regulator provides a free, independent and unbiased price comparison service at www.energymadeeasy.gov.au or by calling 1300 585 165.
The Commission invites submissions from all members of the community on this Draft Price Determination. Submissions are due on or before Thursday 30 October 2014.
The Commission has received public submissions in response to the Draft Report it released on 16 July 2014 as part of its Inquiry into Drinking Water and Sewerage Retail Service Pricing Reform.
All submissions received will be considered by the Commission in preparing its Final Report.
The Parliament of Australia has repealed the Clean Energy Act 2011, which abolishes the carbon price, effective from 1 July 2014. The 2014 minimum Retailer Feed-In Tariff (R-FiT) price determination incorporated a mechanism to allow the minimum R-FiT payment amount to be varied in the event of the carbon price being removed.
As this has now occurred, the carbon price component of that minimum R-FiT payment amount will no longer apply from 1 July 2014. From 1 July the minimum R-FiT payment amount will be 6.0 cents/kWh (it was 7.6 cents/kWh for the period that there was a carbon price)
All customers that export energy from qualifying solar photovoltaic (PV) generators are now entitled to receive at least 6.0 cents/kWh from 1 July 2014 until 31 December 2014. The Commission will be conducting a review of the R-FiT to apply from 1 January 2015 in the coming months.
The minimum R-FiT does not mean that electricity retailers are required to set the R-FiT at 6.0 cents/kWh – retailers can, and are encouraged to, offer payments above that amount.
South Australian consumers should compare offers from electricity retailers to ensure they have an energy contract that best suits their needs. The Australian Energy Regulator operates a free energy price comparison service (available online at www.energymadeeasy.gov.au or by calling 1300 585 165) that allows consumers to compare offers from electricity retailers in South Australia.
All documents associated with the Commission’s review of the 2014 R-FiT may be accessed from the Commission’s website (www.escosa.sa.gov.au).