THOUSANDS of Gold Coast households with solar panels will no longer be guaranteed the eight cents feed-in tariff.
The Queensland Government will axe tariff in the south-east from July 1, a move it claims will help reduce electricity prices for those without solar energy.
It will affect almost 40,000 households throughout southeast Queensland, however the 284,090 households that receive the 44c tariff will not be affected.
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Consumers will now have to negotiate directly with retailers over a price for the energy they produce.
Energy and Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle said the government was committed to putting downward pressure on electricity prices for Queenslanders.
“Left unchecked, the 8 cent feed-in tariff would cost Queensland households and businesses an extra $110 million on their power bills over the next six years,” he said.
“The changes will lift the cost burden from the network businesses, making the scheme fairer for all Queensland consumers.
“These reforms will mean electricity retailers will pay any newly negotiated solar tariff direct to users.
“These are common-sense decisions that will produce a positive outcome for existing customers on the 8 cent rate, as well as new solar owners.
Solar advocates have slammed the decision saying it will be difficult for households with solar to negotiate fair deals with retailers.
“There are 40,000 homes that are about to lose the already too small financial return they receive from providing clean energy back into the grid,” Lindsay Soutar, the national director of Solar Citizens, told news.com.au.
“And there are thousands of families in Queensland who want to make the move to solar who will now be forced to negotiate directly with retailers for any sort of financial return.
“This is incredibly unfair. It is obvious that it will be difficult for individual households to get a good deal from their power company.
Due to different levels of competition between south east Queensland and regional areas there will be different tariff arrangements:
• Given the very limited competition outside the south east corner, Ergon Energy customers will continue to receive a tariff paid by Ergon Retail.
• This rate will be set by the Queensland Competition Authority until there is enough retail competition in regional areas to make solar more self-sufficient.
• Energex will no longer pay the 8 cent feed-in tariff.
• Customers will be able to negotiate a tariff with their retailer.
• The Government will not regulate a rate.