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Energy Matters comment on proposed gross feed in tariff in Western Australia

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Norbert has asked Energy Matters a query on the proposed gross feed in tariff in Western Australia.
He asks, "If a gross tariff was to be introduced in WA then is it true that this would increase everyone’s power bill by approximately $100 a year. Whereas the proposed net tariff would result in an increase of only $ 10 per year or a tenth.

"If this is the case wouldn’t this suggest that the government expects only 10% of the generated electricity is actually fed back into the grid receiving the 60 cents premium and wouldn’t this contradict the 10 year pay back period?"

The response of Energy Matters was as follows:

The proposed gross feed in tariff in Western Australia will under no circumstances increase any power bill by $100 or not even $10. In Germany, after 7 years of a true gross feed in tariff, the increase of electricity prices attributed to the feed in tariff was approximately 1.5%, over the total 7 year period.

This means that if the German model is applied, allowing for an average household electricity bill in Western Australia at $800 per annum, the increase for each consumer will be $12 over 7 years. That is much less than increases for inflation, the future carbon trading scheme, infrastructure replacement programs, etc.

This is because the number of solar and wind systems commissioned is still so relatively small compared to the overall picture, that the cost increase will be negligible.

For example, now the Australian Government solar rebate program installations cover not even 1/4 of one percent of all the homes of Australia each year, meaning that on the current rate of solar installations it will take 400 years to cover all the homes of Australia with solar.

Also with solar and wind, there will be savings in regards to peak load demand management, as solar power will produce the most during the hours where appliances such as air conditioners operate and create the peak load problem.

The Government when they propose a net feed in tariff expects to pay much less for clean energy.
In the example mentioned by Norbert, Energy Matters feel that it seems that they only expect 10% to go back to the grid.
Based on the usage of a system, Energy Matters feel that approximately 1/3 of the overall generation is exported, which they feel is more realistic.

Whichever way feed in tariffs are examined, the gross feed in tariff is the one which makes solar power affordable for working families and the net feed in tariff is used when politicians want to look like the doing something - when in reality doing very little.

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