Queensland businesses are being hit with daily service charges of more than $500 a day on their electricity bills, in a move the solar industry says is designed to kill the roll-out of commercial-scale rooftop solar across the state.
The charges were quietly unveiled by the Queensland Competition Authority and the state government in July. But their implications are only now being absorbed as business operators do the numbers on proposed solar installations.
The new tariffs affect a range of businesses, but the worst hit are those that use more than 100MWh of electricity a year, and are deemed to be “large energy” users.
In tariff 46, for instance, those daily charges for “service” – originally a charge for reading the meter – have jumped to $488 a day from $42 a day. The “energy” price on consumption is dropped to 10.4c/kWh from 11.6c/kWh. (See right, does not include GST)).
The fixed service charge replaces a “demand charge”, which could vary according to consumption. There is still a demand charge, but only if a customer uses more than a 400kW threshold in any 30 minute interval.
This is how Ergon Energy has structured its tariff 46. With GST, the service charge rises to $537 a day.
The changes have horrified members of the solar industry, businesses looking to install solar, and those who have invested tens of thousands of dollar in energy efficiency measures such as LEDs or upgraded machinery.
For full article please visit: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/the-500-a-day-service-charge-designed-to-kill-solar-71705