Peter Batchelor,
Victoria Energy &
Resources Minister
 
Melbourne, Australia --- (METERING.COM) --- June 29, 2009 - Under new legislation passed by the Victorian government extra support is to be provided for the installation of solar panels with a premium solar feed-in tariff.

The premium feed-in tariff has been set at not less than Au$0.60 (US$0.48) per kilowatthour – about four times the current cost of electricity in Victoria.

The key objectives of the Bill are to reduce the cost barriers to Victorian households installing small scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and to encourage the continued uptake of solar PV as part of a greenhouse gas abatement strategy for Victoria, as well as to provide a modernized regulatory approach under which a premium feed-in tariff is credited to qualifying customers.

The Bill also aims to ensure certainty for owners of grid connected residential solar PV systems with respect to their right to receive a premium feed-in tariff credit, certainty for electricity retailers and distributors with respect to their obligation to credit the premium feed-in tariff to qualifying customers, and certainty for other potentially affected stakeholders.

The Bill also increases the size of qualifying systems to 5 kW installed capacity, which covers almost all of the systems installed in Victoria.

“Victoria is the only state to have passed through parliament a 60 cents per kilowatt hour scheme and it is the fairest and best in Australia,” said energy and resources minister Peter Batchelor.

“It’s also the only scheme in Australia that has built in safeguards to ensure the scheme’s cost to Victorians electricity consumers will not exceed $10 a year,” continued Batchelor, adding that Victorians with solar panels would receive an average Au$600 (US$480) annual benefit – $300 in savings from using the electricity these systems produce in their homes and $300 off power bills for energy sold back into the grid.

Households could expect to repay the cost of installing average sized solar panels within about 10 years.

The scheme is expected to be in place by the end of the year.