Horizon Power is changing its renewable energy buyback offer to ensure all customers have the opportunity to invest in renewable energy and can do so for many years to come.
From 1 July 2012, Horizon Power will change the price it offers for electricity exported to the network by customers to align the rate more closely to the cost of generation in each town. At the same time, Horizon Power will begin to accept applications for 'generation managed' systems in towns where network limitations currently prohibit the approval of renewable energy systems.
Horizon Power Manager Sales, Marketing and Product Development, Scott Davis said there had been an unprecedented demand in the last two years from customers wishing to install a renewable energy system and Horizon Power was making these changes to support customers in their desire to be more environmentally friendly, manage their power bills and benefit from the financial subsidies still available.
"Customers understand their own energy requirements, the environmental benefits of renewable energy and are also keen to make use of the financial subsidies and incentives that help them fund their installation and manage their ongoing power costs," Mr Davis said.
Currently Horizon Power offers eligible customers a buyback rate equivalent to their tariff minus the GST component.
Mr Davis explained from 1 July 2012, the more remote towns and communities in Horizon Power's operational area will be offered higher prices for renewable energy they sell back into the system and the price will be reduced in some of the bigger towns where the cost of providing energy is lower. Customers in Meekatharra for example, will receive a buyback rate of 50 cents for every kilowatt hour exported, while customers in Broome will receive a buyback rate of 10 cents.
All customers, with the exception of customers already on a commercial buyback contract with Horizon Power, will be automatically transferred over to the new pricing structure from 1 July 2012 and their contracts updated to reflect this change. Payments received through the State Government's net Feed-in Tariff will not be impacted by this change.
"Our new pricing method will continue to reward customers for the energy they are producing and is more closely aligned to what it would have cost us to produce or purchase and in many towns, customers will receive double the buyback rate they get today.
"There is an obvious customer appetite for renewable energy and this product review will ensure that Horizon Power is able to continue to offer customers a buyback product for many years to come," he said.
In addition to changing the buyback rate, from 1 July 2012 Horizon Power will also be able to approve applications for 'generation managed' systems in towns where restrictions on renewable energy systems are currently in place. The generation managed systems will allow more customers to connect to the network without impacting on reliability or security of power supplies.
"Like many other utilities, Horizon Power has been grappling with the challenge of managing customer demand for renewable energy technology with the need to provide reliable and secure power supplies," Mr Davis said.
"I am thrilled to say that Horizon Power is well progressed to overcome this challenge and from 1 July 2012, customers will have the option, subject to an approvals process, of installing a generation managed system, that is a system where the output can either be stored or managed by Horizon Power, in towns where restrictions are currently in place."
Horizon Power will provide more information about the changes to the renewable energy buyback offer and how customers can install a generation managed system over the coming weeks. Customers on the existing buyback offer will receive a letter this week and community forums will also be held in Esperance, Carnarvon, Exmouth, Karratha, Port Hedland, Broome and Kununurra.
Details of community forums will be published in local media commencing this week.
For media enquires, contact 1800 799 745.
Horizon Power's current buyback rate for customers on the Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme is equivalent to their tariff, minus GST (for example, residential customers on the A2 tariff currently receive 19.88 cents per kilowatt hour). From 1 July 2012, a minimum buyback rate of 10 cents per kilowatt hour and a maximum of 50 cents per kilowatt hour will apply, depending on location.
A full list of buyback rates is available on our website at www.horizonpower.com.au