SA electricity retailer feed-in tariff - review of regulatory arrangements
- Project Released: 18 Mar 2016
- Project Closes: Dec 2016
- Contact: Nathan Petrus
The Commission has a role under the Electricity Act 1996 and the ESC Act 2002 to decide whether or not to set a minimum price for the retailer feed-in tariff (R-FiT), which is paid to solar PV customers who export surplus electricity into the grid. A minimum price for the R-FiT has been set in each calendar year since 2012, taking into account the importance of facilitating consumer choice, structural change and adaption and the possible risks (in those contexts) of direct R-FiT price regulation.
The Commission has considered whether or not it is appropriate to set a minimum price for the R-Fit from 1 January, taking into account existing and possible future market conditions.
Current status is Final
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.
The Commission will publicly consult on the monitoring and reporting regime (including retailer disclosure requirements) in the first half of 2017.