AEMC’s Demand Management delay means more discrimination against solar homes - Solar Citizens

AEMC’s Demand Management delay means more discrimination against solar homes

The Australian Energy Market Commission has delayed energy bill savings for all consumers - including solar households - by deferring for four years the implementation of the Demand Management Incentive Scheme Rule Change.

Under the current AEMC rules, electricity network business can make profits on owning and building more poles and wires but lose money if consumers save energy or generate their own power with solar panels. This has led to a perverse incentive with networks trying to discourage solar take-up with ever-growing fixed charges.

The new rule means the networks are rewarded if they help solar households and other customers to reduce energy usage. Both network businesses would have higher profits and consumers would have lower bills as a result.

“Solar Citizens welcomes the rule change that will encourage networks to reward households that move to energy saving mechanisms including installing rooftop solar, batteries and home energy management systems,” said Dan Scaysbrook, Director of Campaigns and Organising at Solar Citizens.

“But they won’t be implemented by the Australian Energy Regulator until 2019 or 2020. It is an unacceptable to delay a commonsense rule change that helps with the cost of living for both solar and other households alike.

“The new rule rewards power companies for encouraging customers to save energy. It provides a fair incentive for power companies to support the installation of more solar with storage technology, helping to lower energy bills.

“The AEMC’s own research shows that household bills could be reduced by $120 to $500 a year by demand management.

“This delay to implementing the Demand Management Incentive Scheme rule means an unnecessary hit to family budgets in households that are making the sensible move to use less electricity at times where there is more strain on the grid.

“Australians overwhelmingly support renewable energy and energy saving both in terms of creating cleaner energy and its role in the future energy mix. We need the big power companies and our political leaders to support the thousands of Australians who want to install solar,” said Mr Scaysbrook.

Media contact: Jane Garcia 0434 489 533