For anyone whose had Solar Installed and has noticed the recent charges going up on their electricity bill. Below is an excerpt from an email, of a customer who made the enquiry as to why her Solar was not as effective as when it was installed. In most cases, the answers can be found in your electricity bills.
Due to the recent changes to Energex and the Energy Retailers pricing structure, supply charges have increased and there are new charges for Solar owners that have been introduced. This was effective from 01/07/2015 for Energex and was effective from 01/08/2015 for Energy Retailers.
Driftwind Electrical requested 3 recent power bills for evaluation and below is the end result.
Hi Lisa, I have attached your 3 bills that you sent and will explain the numbers that I have marked on them.
On the bill for April 14 2014. There are 1,2,3 and an = sign.
1. is the amount of kW hours that you are consuming from Origin/Energex. On this bill it is 543.
2. is your Service fee in April 2014 it was $44.69c
3. is your solar feed in. on this bill you fed back 849kW @ 50c per kW. Return $424.50 Of the 3 bills this was your best result, maybe you were on holidays or were extra careful with power as your usage was way down and your feed in was up.
The bill for July 2014 you have
1. is 2 x 1 figures as now you have an increase in per kW charge imported. From 02 April 2014 to 2 July 2014 you paid 26.73c per kW and from 1 July 2014 to 02 July 2014 it increased to 28.1c per kW. The total of this is up from 543kW to 961 kW a dramatic increase.
2. is again your service fee slightly increased because of an increase in service fee now. $45.20c
3. is again your feed in to the grid down from 849 to 627 so that return has decreased from $424.50 to $323.50
Your bill for March 2015.
1. was broken into 2 parts again. For what reason I am not sure but you have been charged from 06 Jan 2015 to 28 Feb 2015 for 568kW and then from 01 March to 31 March 2015 at the same rate of 25.378c per kW this is again another increase in usage from 961kW to 995kW. Not as dramatic as previous but still an increase.
2. Is again your service fee charge that has risen dramatically from $42.50 to $70.90 and that is where Origin and Energex are attacking Solar owners. They are not able to defeat us on kW usage so they are clawing back on service fees.
3. is again your solar export up slightly on last bill but down considerably on April. Again from 849 to 628. That represents over $100.00 and the addition of $25.00 on your service fee = a loss of $125.00 since April 14 as well as an additional import up from April 14 from Import of 543 to 961 = 418kW @ 25c per kW or $105.00. Total lost is $230.00
The sad news is that the bill that you have not sent has seen a further increase of Service fee to some customers of an additional $45.00 and is probably the reason why you are starting to become concerned.
I hope you understand what I am trying to explain here. I am probably starting to think that you may be becoming a bit complacent with the comfort of never having a power bill and maybe not being as cautious as before and possibly using power more during the daytime and a bit less during the evening. If that is the case remember we discussed using heavy power items at night and feeding as much as possible back into the grid during the day, this is where you win buy it at 25c and sell it for 50c. With the antics of Origin/ Energex you will not get back to the glory days but you will slow down their progress. The Solar health check and clean will lift your output by possibly up to 10%.
Kylie tells me that you are looking at a putting in a pool. I would suggest a 1kW upgrade if that is so and that will help keep that cost down. Unfortunately due to new regulations Inverters installed before July this year will not attract the CEC REC’s that were available when your system was installed so there will be no Govt. rebate as such. The cost to install another 1 kW will be $2,150.00 Inc. GST.
Give me a call if you need any further help. Cheers John
Lisa in reply wrote.
Wow! I have always thought the customer service at Driftwind was very good, but that email is exceptional!! Thanks so much for taking the time to go through everything and give such detailed feedback.
I have never taken much time to notice the increasing service fees and this is certainly highly annoying from a solar outputters point of view. You could also be right about an element of complacency creeping in, probably more so from my parents point of view who live downstairs and clearly enjoy their free power!! Also a handy reminder about the night time power usage, particularly when the pool is on its way.
I think we will probably go for an extra 1kw, but we will discuss this tomorrow. We also have solar heating on the roof to consider, in terms of space. Does your quote include "racking up"?
Thanks again John, will be in touch.
Sure Lisa we will rack it for that price if required. If you wish to proceed just let us know and we will book it in for a time that suits you. We all love our parents and it seems that you are sharing the love. (Free power in this day and age, that is a real luxury) well done.