Cheaper power for a big price

Big power companies want electricity tariffs

changed so households pay less every year, but at a price.

They are also lobbying State and Federal Energy Ministers to fight the rise of solar power by having anyone who uses it pay more.

Electricity networks say the current tariff system gives an advantage to solar users for the power they still take off the main grid.
“I don’t think they’re been getting it too good.. I think as a general rule solar owners have been discriminated against,” Solar Energy Consultant Nigel Morris said.

Both solar customers and those with air-conditioners are being heavily subsidised by the rest.

“Certainly we’d like to make sure we’ve got a system where solar and storage customers are meeting their fair share of the network service,” John Bradley from the Energy Networks Association said.

Tariff reforms they say they could save the average household $250 a year and 65 per cent of customers will pay less.

Other wise within 20 years, solar customers will be paying 40 per cent less for power.

Those without solar will be paying $655 in subsidies.

Some say customers making their own power are becoming a commercial threat.

“The networks are losing revenue to households and those that are putting solar systems on their roofs and they want to get the revenue back,” Electricity Economist Bruce Mountain said.

With more and more electric vehicles on the road and greater solar power storage in homes, networks say the need for pricing reform becomes more urgent.

Its calls for a tariff shake-up are set to be discussed by State and Federal Energy Ministers.

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