Page 2577 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 2 July 2008

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As I indicated earlier, amendment No 3 replaces clause 6 of the bill. The new clause to be inserted confirms and clarifies the model under which the feed-in tariff will operate and aligns the roles of distributors and electricity suppliers under the national electricity market hierarchy and the national electricity ACT law. The effect of clause 6 is that, on application by an occupier, it is a condition of the distributor’s licence to connect a national electricity law compliant generator to the network. This remains a fundamental requirement to the success of the scheme.

The distributor must reimburse the electricity supplier to the premises the premium tariff relating to the total amount of electricity generated, less transitional franchise retail price in relation to electricity consumed. The distributor must pass on to the occupier any additional metering costs in relation to the electricity generated from the generator. It is a condition of the supplier’s licence that they buy electricity generated by an occupier at the premium rate set out in proposed clause 8.

Under this model occupiers receive payment from a supplier at the premium rate for all electricity generated by a compliant renewable energy generator. I felt it necessary to move this amendment as there appeared to be some confusion within the community that those who sign up to the scheme will only be paid for the net amount of electricity generated and supplied to the electricity network.

It is paramount to the success of the scheme that the premium rate be applied to the gross total amount of electricity supplied to the electricity network. The network will then pay the same supplier for all the electricity they have consumed, which is charged at the retail rate, which may be the transitional franchise tariff or an alternative rate as provided by the supplier and agreed to by the occupier under the competitive retail electricity market that exists in the ACT.

I have been advised through ICRC’s final decision and price direction for retail prices for non-contestable electricity customers—the report was released this month—that the total retail price for the TFT for 2008-09 will be set at $152.10 per megawatt hour or 15.2 cents per kilowatt hour. Much of the debate today has surrounded independent processes, and I am pleased to inform members that that is the rate set by the ICRC, which, of course, is an independent body.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (11.57): I support very strongly Mr Gentleman’s amendment No 2. It has been really interesting to see the evolution of this bill since it was first put into the public arena. We are now, all of us, talking about renewable energy—a much broader category than solar power—so I totally support the change to the title of the bill. I also support amendment No 3.

Again, I regret that the government and the opposition did not support my amendments. We will support these amendments.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.58): We will be supporting these amendments. The necessity for these amendments does highlight the problems which private members have in putting together legislation. The resources of one’s own office, the advice that one gets from outside and the resources of parliamentary counsel, as good as they are, sometimes are not enough to make sure that legislation works absolutely swimmingly the first time.

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