Rooftop solar feed-in charges 'unlikely' in Qld
Queensland is "unlikely" to charge homeowners for feeding solar power back to the grid, the government says, amid concerns it may follow similar proposals in NSW.
Solar Citizens wants the state government to rule out feed-in charges it says are being pushed by private electricity network operators over the border.
Energy Minister Mick de Brenni played down those concerns for Queensland, where transmission lines are publicly owned and operated, saying private investors call the shots in southern states.
"What we're seeing in other states in terms of those rules and those policies, we're unlikely to see changes here in Queensland, that will put a disincentive on the households or businesses to adopt solar," he told reporters on Thursday.
The minister's comments came after the Queensland regulator said regional homeowners could be paid more for the solar energy they fed into the grid from July.
In the heavily-populated southeast, feed-in tariffs are set and paid by retailers, with Solar Citizens saying that in many cases they pay homeowners "a pittance".
Earlier on Thursday, Solar Citizens deputy director Stephanie Gray called on the state government to rule out feed-in charges like those on the table in NSW.
"In NSW network companies have proposals sitting with the Australian Energy Regulator to charge solar owners for putting cheap solar energy into the grid during the middle of the day," she said.
"It's an outrageous sun tax and we're calling on the state government to rule it out for Queensland."
The Queensland Competition Authority is set to allow retailers outside the southeast to lift household electricity bills by $432 to $1928 and business bills by $215 to $2334 in 2022/23.
However, the regulator is mulling raising the feed-in tariff, the amount paid to regional homeowners with solar panels by state-owned Ergon Energy, from 9.3 cents to 12.95 cents per kilowatt hour.
The Australian Energy Regulator is also considering allowing electricity retailers in the southeast to hike annual residential power bills by $321 to $1941 and small business bills by $669 to $4115 from next financial year.
The regulator's draft determination would also allow retailers to hike bills by $383 to $2344 for households in the region, with separate meters for appliances such as hot water storage systems.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said households and small businesses would be given rebates on their electricity bills in the state budget.
The rebates will be determined by federal support and the regulator's final determination in May, but she has promised they will be bigger than the $175 offered in the current financial year.