back to article Queensland to appropriate household PV

Queensland’s new state government has put forward a proposal that will startle homeowners with solar PV electricity installed: the homeowner will be forced to sell all of the power generated on their roofs to the grid at a reduced rate, and will buy all the power the consume from the grid at full retail prices. The proposal …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so what?

    I'm in Canberra and we have gross metering here with 1:1 tariff, and guess what: it's still worth installing solar PV. All my consumption is measured by one meter, and all my panel's production is measured by another meter, and the total quarterly consumption - total quarterly production is how my bill is calculated. I don't see any problem with this.

    1. Robert Heffernan

      Re: so what?

      Problem being Queensland wants to rip the consumer off by not paying a 1:1 tarrif, more like for every kw/h generated they will pay 50% of the retail price the consumer pays for power.

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Re: so what?

        Why is that a problem? The electricity distributers buy electricity at the market price add a markup and sell it at the retail price. That's how the business works. Explicit government subsidies aside (and if there are going to be subsidies they should be explicit) why should the consumer expect to sell their electricity at more than the market rate?

        1. Mark 65

          Re: so what?

          Hmmm, I may be missing something but I believe the "so what" is that you've paid thousands for a PV system to save money long term and they're saying "fuck you, we won't invest in power infrastructure so we'll let you do it and appropriate the spoils".

          I'm not sure about the legality of all this though.

          At some point it will become effective to be off grid then they can't take your power - prices have doubled in 5 years.

          1. Mark 65

            Re: so what?

            How would you enact the change? To do it retrospectively would be grossly unfair but any other way creates a two-tier system. Then what, need a new inverter or panel replacement and you're on the new method? Seem unworkable and highlights electricity is all about profits not utility.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: so what?

          Except you are *forced* to sell at spot price. Even if you don't want to. Want to sell what belongs to you. That you have earned by buying expensive gear.

          Making short sentences on purpose. So the ridiculous of the idea becomes obvious.

          If that's not enough, how about you have to sell all your garden's carrots at farm prices, and buy carrots from the supermaket at retail price?

          Something similarly bizarre happened in Auckland in old backward NZ. Watercare encouraged people to save water. A year later water consumption had dropped a few %. Watercare complained that they had lower income and had to increase water price to catch-up, coz you know, revenue should only ever go up, right?

          1. Best Before:
            Thumb Down

            Re: so what?

            Add to that the Carbon Tax which will be feed downstream to consumers and Queenslanders are royally f'ed. My folks spent quite a bit of cash on getting their panels in place and whilst they initially noticed a downward trend on their leccy bill it has of late moved back up to pre-panel figures.

            Combine all of the above with the terrible outlay of costs in other areas that the previous QLD govt have made (desalination plant anyone?) then I am not overly surprised that the state govt have had their credit rating downgraded, its just a shame that the only way they can see to crawl themselves out of this hole is by screwing the populace but admitedlly that is the default position of any Aussie govt state or federal..

    2. david 12

      Re: so what?

      NSW is on gross metering too. NSW pays at above market average rate for PV. It appears that Q wishes to pay below market peak rates for peak power.

      There is discussion about the structural pricing problem for suppliers, but that has not yet been clearly described.

      The main structural problem is that suppliers have to build and fund peak power requirements, but charge average power. However, PV supplies peak power, which would seem to reduce peak power construction and funding requirements. So PV may be solving some of the structural pricing problems caused by more efficient lights / refridgeration / standby.

      It will be interesting to see if this discussion evolves in a rational way.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Banana Benders...

    Bend over...


  3. mordac

    compare like with like

    Isn't the point that at the time when PV is generating electric, there's a surplus of production, so it's worth bugger all, and at the time when consumers *want* their leccy, then sun has gone down and it's all non-solar...

    Presumably there's nothing to stop individuals from storing their generated electric (batteries, pumped hydro, molten salt etc) so that they are self-sufficient and can go off-grid. But I'm guessing that that's not economically viable (yet), so maybe they should just accept that electricity at 10am is not worth the same as electricity at 10pm.

    1. Captain TickTock

      Re: compare like with like

      Store the PV generated electricity in batteries, and feed it into the grid at peak time when you will get more for it.


    2. Cpt Blue Bear

      Re: compare like with like

      Except that's not what the article says. Quite the opposite.

      This is Queensland where the major demand is to run air-conditioning, with demand peaking mid-afternoon in step with solar production. The generators (private) and distributors (gov) are complaining that it takes the edge of their most profitable time of the day.

      And frankly, if one and a half percent can do that, I reckon they're gaming the market themselves by restricting supply. Unlike Enron, they're smart enough to only do it for a few hours a day and so far no one seems to have noticed.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shafted again

    "This approach could be considered more equitable ..."

    For whom? I suspect it's not for those with PV panels on their roof.

    As someone installed panels that should have payed themselves off over 4~5 years, I think I've just been doubly screwed.

  5. John Tserkezis

    I was wondering how long it was going to last...

    In NSW, you get taxpayer subsidised hardware, and then get paid more than market value when you pump power into the grid.

    It's a great deal for the PV owners who have effectively locked themselves into a 25+ year deal owing to the life of the product.

    Not so great for everyone else who has to fund it all though.

    This will *really* impress the PV owners once GovCo changes the rules because the power companies have run out of gouging options. I hope all that fancy hardware on your roof will pay for itself within its lifetime.

    Ask the Queenslanders how great it is now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I was wondering how long it was going to last...

      It is way cheaper to subsidise PV owners this way than to build power plants and buy fuel. That's why they do it, not out of insanity or charity to PV owners, and everybody wins.

  6. Just a Framer

    I told you so.....

    Well all the Green Do-Gooders have pushed for this solar stuff and coerced the previous Labor government to pay massive amount of my dough to "encourage" solar uptake.......

    Then the Laborite went around all the suburbs, advertised on TV and newspapers that for a miserable little sum they would sent somebody around and change all your globes, shower heads taps and the rest. The first casualty was the sewer system... not enough water in the system to flush it properly ( I told you so Chorus, and they had....) the Second was Ergon, winging that the system cant cope with power sent in reverse, ( I told you so ...again) Now the Gov needs money so the already 2 times conned PV owner paying for his system ( A lot of them borrowed money to put the stuff up) with my money, will end up subsidising everybody else!! The watermelons (Green Outside Red Inside) have achieved their objective: All equally poor!!

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