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    Qld govt urged to rule out solar feed-in charges

    March 16, 2023 - Marty Silk


      The Queensland government is being urged to rule out charging homeowners for feeding electricity from rooftop solar panels back into the grid.

      The Solar Citizens group says rooftop solar is one of the few things putting downward pressure on electricity prices, with coal and gas prices so high.

      Regional Queensland homeowners could be paid more for the solar energy they feed into the grid from July, under a proposal from the state regulator.

      However, in the southeast tariffs are set by retailers, with Solar Citizens saying that in many cases they pay homeowners "a pittance".

      Solar Citizens deputy director Stephanie Gray says the state government must rule out charging homeowners for selling solar back to the Sunshine State's grid, which is under consideration elsewhere.

      "The last thing that we want to see is for the Queensland government to allow solar export charging like we’re seeing being proposed right now in NSW," she said in a statement on Thursday.

      “In NSW network companies have proposals sitting with the Australian Energy Regulator to charge solar owners for putting cheap solar energy into the grid during the middle of the day.

      "It’s an outrageous sun tax and we’re calling on the state government to rule it out for Queensland.”

      The Queensland Competition Authority is set to allow retailers outside the southeast to lift household electricity bills by $432 to $1928 and business bills by $215 to $2334 in 2022/23.

      However, the regulator is mulling raising the feed-in tariff, the amount paid to regional homeowners with solar panels by state-owned Ergon Energy, from 9.3 cents to 12.95 cents per kilowatt hour.

      The Australian Energy Regulator is also considering allowing electricity retailers in the southeast to hike annual residential power bills by $321 to $1941 and small business bills by $669 to $4115 from next financial year.

      The regulator's draft determination would also allow retailers to hike bills by $383 to $2344 for households in the region, with separate meters for appliances such as hot water storage systems.

      Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said households and small businesses will be given rebates on their electricity bills in the upcoming state budget.

      The rebates will be determined by federal support and the regulator's final determination in May, but she has promised that they will be bigger than the $175 offered in the current financial year.


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