Solar feed-in tariff scheme

Consumer solar feed in tariff image

Under the provisions of the Electricity Act 1996, and following an extensive public review, the Essential Services Commission (Commission) has determined that it will not set a minimum amount for the purposes of the South Australian Retailer Feed-in Tariff (R-FiT) scheme from 1 January 2017.

Instead, each electricity retailer will be required to determine the R-FiT amount and structures it will pay to its solar customers for electricity fed into the distribution network. Retailers will be required to demonstrate publicly how their offers provide that benefit to solar customers.

This decision reflects the Commission’s view that the practice of setting a minimum price for the R-FiT no longer serves the best interests of consumers, who may be missing out on more beneficial arrangements: better total packages, time-of-use feed-in pricing arrangements or other innovations.

However, the Commission will maintain an active monitoring role in this area. If evidence arises to show that long-term interests of consumers has not been well served by this change, the Commission retains reserve powers to re-set a minimum price for the R-FiT under the Electricity Act.

Monitoring of retailer feed-in tariffs

In December 2016, the Commission published the SA electricity retailer feed-in tariff - review of regulatory arrangements. This announced the Commission's decision to not set a minimum retailer-paid feed-in tariff (R-FiT), paid for solar electricity fed into the grid by solar customers. The Commission decided that a monitoring regime would commence in 2017 to ensure that solar customers would continue to be able to access offers comparable with those of non-solar customers and reflect the benefits of solar exports. It would also provide the Commission with an evidence base to determine whether or not it should set a minimum price for the R-FiT in the future. The monitoring of retailer feed-in tariffs - fact sheet outlines that monitoring regime.

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