New South Wales community-owned power retailer Enova is continuing its challenge to the incumbents, this week announcing a solar feed-in tariff of 16c/kWh for its customers in New South Wales, which is a 33 per cent increase on its former FiT, and between 1 to 5c/kWh higher than almost all competing offers.
Enova, which last month hit out at various failures of Australia’s energy market that had driven up wholesale electricity prices and consumer bills, and particularly the role of the big generators in pushing up prices, is to lift its 12c/kWh feed in tariff to 16c/kWh.
The offer goes beyond the July 2017 benchmark range set by state pricing regulator IPART – 11.6c/kWh – 14.6c/kWh – and beats out most other offers on the market, excluding Click Energy, which offered 17c/kWh before the July price rise.
According to recent Solar Choice data, Origin Energy also offered 15c/kWh in June 2017, with any increase by the gentailer yet to be announced.
The higher solar tariffs follow a near 20 per cent hike in retail electricity prices across numerous Australian states, which Enova – among other industry players – has blamed on a combination of poor policy making on renewables and large fossil fuel generators “gaming” the wholesale market.
Enova, which lifted its retail prices from 24.2c/kWh to 29c/kWh, or 26.6c to 31.9c/kWh including GST on July 1, said in a blog post in late June that “the greed of a few fossil fuel generators… together with a lack of government policy around future renewable energy targets has resulted in a major market failure for which electricity consumers are having to pay a heavy price.”
“Australia is reaching a pivotal point in the transition from old outdated fossil fuels to cleaner, greener energy sources, which poses some issues because over many years governments have lacked clarity, foresight and strong leadership on this issue,” the blog post said.
“It’s a complex area and the process of transition and lack of policy has undoubtedly contributed to issues we’re now facing regarding wholesale pricing, retail pricing and the future of our power supply.”
Enova has so far built up more than 3,000 customers in its Northern Rivers base, with plans to add customers elsewhere in the Essential Energy Network and then in other networks. It is also aims to be 100 per cent renewable, and has a strong community education program and focus on energy efficiency.