The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) has determined a mandatory solar feed-in tariff for customers in regional Queensland for 2019–20.
The feed-in tariff for regional customers in 2019–20 will be 7.842 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh).
QCA Chair Professor Menezes said that this value will give customers with solar panels a fair and reasonable return for the electricity they export to the grid.
"This rate is lower than last year's feed-in tariff of 9.369 c/kWh, primarily due to a reduction in wholesale energy costs. This reduction is mainly driven by the expected entry of approximately 5,200 megawatts of solar and wind generation into the National Electricity Market.
"Another factor that explains the reduction—according to ACIL Allen, the QCA's consultant—is the Queensland Government's directive to establish CleanCo, which is expected to place downward pressure on peak prices," Professor Menezes said.
Professor Menezes said when retailers buy energy from customers with solar panels, they avoid having to pay some of their normal business costs.
"Costs that the retailers do not pay are wholesale energy costs, certain fees levied by the Australian Energy Market Operator and the cost of energy losses associated with transporting electricity over long distances. The QCA estimates these avoided costs, and uses the estimates to calculate the solar feed-in tariff.
"However, retailers still incur most of their normal business costs, including retail operating costs and network charges. That is why the solar feed-in tariff is less than regulated electricity prices," he said.
Customers who receive the 44 c/kWh feed-in tariff under the Solar Bonus Scheme will not be affected by the new tariff. They will stay on the same feed-in tariff until 2028 as long as they maintain their eligibility.
Customers in south east Queensland (who are served on the Energex distribution network) can choose among feed-in tariffs offered by retailers. These tariff rates are published on the Australian Energy Regulator's price comparator website, www.energymadeeasy.gov.au.
Inquiries: Cole Lawson Communications, 07 3221 2220.