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Public consultation on feed in tariff

Thu 16 May 2013

Bryan Green

Deputy Premier

The Tasmanian Government is committed to a fair outcome for all Tasmanian electricity consumers in determining the rates for future feed-in tariffs.

Energy Minister Bryan Green today released an Issues Paper for public consultation detailing new and transitional feed in tariff arrangements the Government is considering for when Tasmania’s electricity market opens to competition next year.

“We welcome input into this important issue as part of our open and transparent approach to the reform of Tasmania’s electricity industry,” Mr Green said.

Mr Green said the Government wanted to strike the right balance between a fair tariff and the cost of electricity for all other customers, making sure they were not penalised through higher electricity bills to fund the scheme.

“We will be listening to the views of customers, the solar industry,  stakeholders and the broader Tasmanian community.

“The Government wants to provide certainty for Tasmania’s solar customers and industry and is committed to establishing supporting arrangements that ensure any transition is managed in a sensible and equitable way.

Mr Green said the Issues Paper suggested that the future feed in tariff would be set by the independent Economic Regulator after further public and stakeholder consultation.

“Existing feed in tariff rates should be guaranteed for current solar customers for three years and the obligation for paying rates set by the Independent Regulator would be mandated in legislation.

“Retailers who purchase the Aurora customer base would be required pay the minimum tariff determined by the Regulator.

“The Regulator’s determination will not stop retailers offering higher feed-in rates in an effort to win customers when our electricity market opens to competition on January 1 next year.

“Regardless of any changes to the feed in tariff rate, significant financial benefits will still be there for those with solar panels because they will continue to save on cost of the electricity. 

 “These arrangements will also be fair to the broader customer base, many of whom simply can’t afford to invest in technology like solar,” Mr Green said.

An important issue that requires further consideration is the way in which the current scheme is closed with Aurora’s exit from the market.

Specific comments on this issue and others raised in the paper are welcome until 7 June 2013.

The Issues Paper is available on the Electricity Reform Project website: www.electricity.tas.gov.au.