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FAQ's

SOLAR BONUS SCHEME
 

For regularly updated information please click on the link below

http://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/energy/sustainable/renewable/solar/solar-scheme/faq

 

1. What has changed?

The NSW Government has announced changes to the Solar Bonus Scheme:

  • The Scheme will be closed to new applicants effective midnight 28 April 2011.
  • The 300 MW connected capacity limit will be abolished.
  • All applications received by the network businesses before 29 April 2011 will be assessed and if eligible will receive Solar Bonus Scheme tariff payments.
  • 20 cent tariff - Customers already receiving or who applied (but are not yet connected) for the 20 cent tariff rate before 29 April 2011 are not affected by the changes.
  • 60 cent tariff - Customers already receiving or who applied (but are not yet connected) for the 60 cent tariff will receive a 40 cent tariff rate from 1 July 2011 for the remainder of the Scheme.

Legislation will be introduced to Parliament as soon as possible to support these changes.

2. Why has the Scheme changed?

The changes are the result of the Government's Solar Bonus Scheme Summit Stage One. The Summit arrived at the consensus that the Scheme be wound up in a fair and equitable way, recognising the blown out costs of the Scheme that have been imposed on households not participating in the Scheme.

The NSW Government wants to limit the cost burden of the Solar Bonus Scheme.

These changes are necessary to reduce the burden of the Scheme on NSW taxpayers.

These changes will see about 160,000 customers eligible to participate in the Scheme providing about 365MW of renewable energy into the electricity grid.

These changes still provide industry with work as 40,000 customers are yet to be connected.

Customer category: 60 cent tariff reducing to 40 cents

3. I have a system connected to the grid on a 60 cent tariff, does this affect me?

Yes, customers eligible for the 60 cent Scheme will receive a new tariff rate of 40 cents per kilowatt hour from 1 July 2011.

4. I applied for the 60 cent scheme in 2010 but am not yet connected, does this affect me?

Yes, customers eligible for the 60 cent Scheme will receive a new tariff rate of 40 cents per kilowatt hour from 1 July 2011.

Applications received by the network businesses by 18 November 2010 but yet to be connected will have their applications assessed under the eligibility criteria. The key criteria are that a customer entered a binding agreement by 27 October 2010 and lodged their application by 18 November 2010.

5. When will the tariff rate drop from 60 cents to 40 cents?

1 July 2011.

6. My system won't receive payback, what should I do?

Payback will depend on a number of factors. A typical customer with a system size of 2kW and receiving the 40 cents gross tariff rate can still expect to receive payback of their system’s costs prior to the Scheme’s end in December 2016. The intention is for the Scheme to provide support for purchasing a solar system but not for windfall gains.

A solar system will continue to operate for much longer than the length of the Solar Bonus Scheme providing added benefits to customers.  

Customers can achieve savings through reduced electricity bills with net metering, and/or shop around for separate feed-in tariff payments offered by some retailers.

7. What if I can’t meet repayments on my system because of these changes?

If your system has not yet been installed or connected, you may wish to seek a refund.

The NSW Government can not provide advice on individual circumstances. Customers who are unsure about the legal status of their arrangements should immediately contact their installer/supplier and/or seek legal advice.

Customer category: 20 cent tariff

8. I have a system connected to the grid on a 20 cent tariff, does this affect me?

No.

9. I applied for the 20 cent scheme by 29 April 2011 but am not yet connected, does this affect me?

No.  Applications for the 20 cent Scheme received by the network businesses prior to 29 April 2011 but yet to be connected will have their applications assessed under the eligibility criteria.

10. I applied for the 20 cent scheme after 28 April 2011, does this affect me?

Yes. The Solar Bonus Scheme is closed to new applications effective midnight 28 April 2011.

Customers still have the right to connect a renewable energy generator to the grid however these customers will not be eligible to receive the Solar Bonus Scheme payments.

These customers can still receive separate retailer feed-in offers and Commonwealth incentives.

Customers with solar panels can also reduce their electricity bills by opting for net metering.

Customer category: Not eligible for Solar Bonus Scheme (applications after 28 April 2011)

11. I haven’t submitted an application to join the Scheme, can I join the now?

No.  The Solar Bonus Scheme is closed to new applications effective midnight 28 April 2011.

Customers still have the right to connect a renewable energy generator to the grid however these customers will not be eligible to receive the Solar Bonus Scheme payments.

These customers can still receive separate retailer feed-in offers and Commonwealth incentives.

Customers with solar panels can also reduce their electricity bills by opting for net metering.

12. Can I still connect a small scale renewable energy generator?

Yes.  Customers still have the right to connect a renewable energy generator to the grid however these customers will not be eligible to receive the Solar Bonus Scheme payments.

These customers can still receive separate retailer feed-in offers and Commonwealth incentives.

Customers with solar panels can also reduce their electricity bills by opting for net metering.

Other

13. What is the NSW Government doing about supporting renewable energy in NSW?

The NSW Government is committed to renewable energy with a focus on sensible, sustained and affordable progress for renewables.

The Solar Summit Stage One arrived at the consensus that the Solar Bonus Scheme be wound up in a fair and equitable way, recognising the blown out costs of the Scheme that have been imposed on NSW taxpayers.

Stage Two of the Summit will look for options to establish a sustainable future for the NSW solar industry and a broad range of energy policy matters, including peak demand and energy efficiency in addition to renewable at responsible energy policy.