ESCOSA decision makes zero cents for renewables

ESCOSA decision makes zero cents for renewables

The decision by the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA), to remove the minimum price for solar exports is out of step with regulators nationally and shows an absolute lack of understanding in the South Australian electricity market.

“South Australian electricity companies will no longer have to pay households with solar panels for the excess power generated by their rooftop units,” said National Director of Solar Citizens, Claire O’Rourke.

“Tens of thousands of solar owners in South Australia will now be offered nothing for their excess solar sent to the grid and that is a loss for all electricity consumers in South Australia.

“The decision will affect the 197,500 households with solar in South Australia, particularly the 60,000 households due to come off the 16c Solar Bonus Scheme in October.

“The commission said their decision was based on its view that the market structures that facilitate electricity retail competition are ‘sound’ and continued regulation of the Feed in Tariff might ‘inhibit competition’ in the future.

“Either the ESCOSA has a real lack of understanding in the South Australian electricity market or an incredibly short memory.

“It is the lack of competition in the South Australian electricity market that has been widely identified as a major reason behind recent wholesale price spikes.

“The decision by the ESCOSA ignores the huge value of rooftop solar in South Australia that has helped provide reliable, cheaper electricity and reduce the price of electricity for all South Australians.

“If we want to encourage a smarter way of generating cheaper energy, we should be valuing solar electricity. Solar power, especially when coupled with battery storage, can provide the solution for higher electricity prices.

“When electricity prices in South Australia have only just last month risen by 10%, it’s incredible that the regulator now thinks a fair price for solar households is effectively zero cents.

“Both the Queensland Victorian state governments have inquiries underway examining what the fair price for solar electricity is.

“The Victorian Essential Services Commission draft report indicates that solar owners deserve a higher rate because of the huge benefits distributed solar brings to the electricity grid and it also recommends solar owners be paid more at peak times.

The report outlines solar’s benefits to the electricity grid:

  • Rooftop Solar is cleaner, produces no harmful air pollution and is more efficient as it doesn’t travel as far;
  • Rooftop solar produces maximum output when it’s needed most - during hot days in the middle of the day and in the afternoons when demand peaks due to air-conditioners straining the grid;
  • Rooftop solar power reduces the wholesale price of electricity which benefits all electricity consumers.

Media Contact: Sara Duddy P: 02 6689 5515 E: sara@helloword.net.au

Solar Citizens is an independent, community-based organisation bringing together millions of solar owners and supporters to grow and protect solar in Australia. Together, we take action to protect the rights of millions of Australians with solar to cut bills, create clean power and take energy generation back into our own hands.