NSW IPART slashes mum,dad & business solar revenue by 50%
IPART's decision today has taken a machete to the 'benchmark range' solar feed-in tariff that energy retailers have to pay people with solar panels on their roof. The report from
IPART released on Tuesday 3 July 2018 recommends a nearly 50% cut to the minimum range of prices for people feeding power back into the grid from their solar panels.
The dual argument IPART puts forward is that solar is being unfairly subsided by energy consumers and wholesale energy prices are down.This point of view conveniently disregards the facts - a percentage of anyone's power bill has always paid for energy infrastructure - whether it was transmission or distribution lines, transformers or power stations. However, it seems that solar is less deserving and is being penalized because it’s on the roofs of homes or businesses.
The argument that wholesale pieces are down is also bewildering. There has been widespread coverage in the last 12 months of the gaming of the wholesale price by NSW generators and the historical rise in pricing. Two days ago, the Australian Financial Review was quoting the Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg saying he "will ask regulators to investigate "gaming" of the National Electricity Market after a new report found it cost consumers $3.4 billion."
Century old systems and thinking is desperately seeking to undermine new thinking, new technology, new players and new solutions. Its time for new market settings to encourage prosumers.
What is most bewildering in regard to this decision is that IPART with one hand takes down the solar feed-in tariffs for the average person with a solar on their roof, and with the other hand gives large power retailers the right to increase their prices to these same people.
On Monday, Open Cities Alliance, our new peak association for next gen infrastructure and prosumer services, called for the opening up of Australian utility markets to new entrants. This would allow people and businesses to access a financial stake in the trillion-dollar prosumer market which is driving productivity, innovation and a new economy opportunities in Europe, China and around the world.
Australian markets must begin the transition to enable people to generate their own energy free from the sun, recycle their water and waste and receive a financial benefit, save on the second largest household expense of a car by sharing their mobility and access cheaper connected data networks.
Government needs to act now and not accept IPART's decision.
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