Friday, September 2nd, 2011 - National Electrical and Communications Association - NECA
Australia’s peak electrical industry body, the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA), today expressed its disappointment at the Victorian Government’s decision not to continue with the 60 cents per kilowatt hour Premium Feed-in Tariff (PFIT) for small scale solar systems.

NECA Victoria CEO, Mr Philip Green said the decision will affect the industry but the transitional measures announced will provide some level of comfort to electrical contracting business that have invested heavily in solar.

“It’s certainly disappointing from an industry perspective that the 60 cents feed in tariff will soon be closed to new applicants,” Mr Green said.

“However, NECA is pleased that the Minister has taken on board our views by introducing a Transitional Feed-in Tariff as this will certainly provide a softer landing for the solar industry and hopefully ensure its ongoing viability here in Victoria.”

NECA would have preferred that the Transitional Feed-in Tariff (TFIT) was higher than the announced 25 cents per kilowatt hour.

“It’s probable, at a time of rapidly rising electricity costs, that over the five year life of TFIT the 25 cents rate will slip below the average retail electricity price.

“While we welcome the review by the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission, we call on the Government to index the TFIT to ensure it remains a fair and reasonable incentive for consumers to install solar systems,” said Mr Green.

NECA is also pleased that the Victorian Government has listened to the advice which was provided to the Minister’s office and the Department of Primary Industries with respect to the phasing out of PFIT.

“NECA was very concerned that customers who have already signed up for, or in the process of having solar panels installed, might have been locked out of PFIT if the scheme was closed overnight”.

Customers who have already signed up or are in the process of having solar panels installed have until the 30 September deadline to have their solar systems installed and ensure that all the required paper work has been submitted.

“It’s extremely important that the Government works to ensure that the electricity distributors and retailers do their bit to ensure that customers are not delayed in meeting the 30 September deadline.

“The Government needs to hold distributors and retailers to account for their actions during this time as there has been a considerable level of dysfunction and delay regarding their handling of paperwork and connections to date,” Mr Green said.

While the Victorian Government’s handling of this matter has been far better than what we have seen from other state governments, there is no doubt that this decision will dampen demand. If there is to be any industry rationalisation, it is hoped that this is at the expense of the less scrupulous operators in the solar industry.

“Consumers should be mindful that the design, quality and performance of their solar system will greatly affect their returns over the life of a system at the end of the day. Solar systems are like anything else – you get what you pay for,” said Mr Green.

- ENDS -

Contact Profile

National Electrical and Communications Association - NECA


NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia wide. NECA Victoria CEO Mr Philip Green is available for interviews.
Philip Green - Chief Executive NECA Victoria
P: 03 9645 5533
M: 0412 657 337
W: www.neca.asn.au

Keywords

NECA solar tariff decision victorian government national electrical communications association

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