A solar system installer adjusts solar panels on the roof of a house.

Low feed-in rates for solar energy frustrate SA households

South Australian households have complained about diminishing returns on solar energy they contribute to the grid, with the electricity regulator saying it has “no value” to the market.

The incentive to move to renewable energy sources started in 2008 in SA.

The first households to install solar panels were rewarded with a feed-in tariff of 44 cents per kilowatt, which reduced the quarterly bill significantly.

Over the years, more households have installed solar panels and the feed-in tariff has become lower and lower.

Most energy suppliers in the state offer rates between 5 and 10 cents. But some companies offer less than 4 cents, which leads to frustration with customers.

What makes the rate low?

The state’s Essential Service Commission (ESCOSA) had previously set a minimum feed-in rate until 2017, after which energy companies could set their own rates.

ESCOSA chief executive Adam Wilson said having a regulated rate kept people from getting the best deal.

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