Review of regulatory arrangements for the retailer feed-in tariff from 2017 - final decision - Archived

20 Dec 2016


Electricity retailers will have greater flexibility in the way that they purchase solar power from customers from the start of next year. While retailer feed-in tariffs (R-FiTs) will continue to be available, as mandated by law, a mandatory minimum rate will not be set.

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 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.

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