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Community retailer Enova lifts solar tariff to 16c/kWh

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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.

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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“Australia is reaching a pivotal point in the transition from old outdated fossil fuels to cleaner, greener energy sources, which poses some issues because over many years governments have lacked clarity, foresight and strong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.  

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  • Jo

    Based on average consumption of 3.5k from the grid and 2.5k exports, it’s almost $300 more expensive than others like Energy Locals and Origin.

    I wish Enova would have not put their prices up such a massive amount, and provided a fair deal to all their customers, rather than using those customer’s who can’t install solar (particularly those like me on a low income) to subsidise their solar customers so they can claim the ‘biggest swinging’ FIT number.

    Customers are yet again worse off overall with these guys!!

    • Melissa Mac Court

      Hello Jo, Enova is very concerned about customers experiencing any difficulty and keen to discuss with you – we’d like to check you are on the best plan. Companies across the state have increased rates by 19 – 22%. Most electricity companies have increased their costs to cover the more than doubling of wholesale energy costs which they’ve carried for over 6 months and certainly did not want to pass this on but we could n’t keep covering these additional costs. The average customer bill with Enova has increased 13 – 17%. True solar customers would be on the lower end of that, but Non solar customers don’t subsidise solar customers – energy rates are same. Enova also working with community to facilitate renewable energy for all. The Enova team would be very happy to look at your bill / plan and see if you are on the best arrangement. Also offer a free consultation with an energy coach to check how else you can reduce your costs. A call back to you can be arranged via our web or give the office a call. Am Enova shareholder and work for Enova. email me your details if you’d like us to call
      [email protected]
      p.s.s there are a few articles on website that explain pricing / energy ‘crisis’ .

      https://enovaenergy.com.au/growing-energy-crisis-affects-energy-bill/
      https://enovaenergy.com.au/transparent-pricing/
      https://enovaenergy.com.au/energy-transition-debate-affecting-prices/

      • Jo

        Thanks Melissa for the reply, I appreciate the time you have taken to reply. You are a great business compared to Origin, but I believe you can’t assist me located in Newcastle.

        Just to clarify, are you saying that in your price change you have not lifted everyone’s grid power prices an extra amount to allow you to offer such a high feed in tarriff?

        If not, where does the extra money come from?

        • Melissa Mac Court

          Hi Jo,
          thanks for your support. And yes pity about Newcastle, but Enova hopes to get there this financial year!
          Re pricing structure, we do have an economy plan which may suit others customers including non solar residential which focuses on providing the lowest power price.
          Our price rise is mainly to cover the increase in wholesale electricity which we had been covering/ protecting all customers from for over 6 months. The the overall mix of plans and various margins applied are holistic to our overall model, and of course we are aiming to make a profit that will allow us to return benefits to our communities. For example we also subsidise GreenPower options and other renewable plans. And we may choose to introduce some new plans during the year😉 . Our model also includes using 50% of our returns to Community projects via our NFP company arm.
          https://enovaenergy.com.au/not-for-profit/

          • Jo

            Hi Melissa,

            I’m really pleased to hear that you are coming to Newcastle. I’m sure lots of people here will support you.

            I’m pretty disappointed in some of the details of your answer though – frankly it’s starting to sound like the usual Electricity Industry spin.

            I completely understand that wholesale prices have risen. When your answer includes the words “mainly to cover the increase in wholesale” are you in fact confirming that your price rise does include an extra amount charged to all customers to fund your (extra) high feed in tariff?

            What exactly do you mean when you say “the overall mix of plans and various margins applied are holistic to our overall model”.

            I’m glad you have made clear that “of course we are aiming to make a profit” – I assume that returning benefits to your communities includes an investment return for your shareholders.

            Finally, I’d be very interested in how you “subsidise Greenpower options” I assume that you are confirming here that you have paid more than $56 per REC.

            Thanks for the reply – I think it’s great that you are making the effort to be on here explaining the work you’re doing.

  • howardpatr

    Meanwhile the ACT Government allows ActewAGL which it half owns to continue the RORT of paying as little as 6 cents a kWh for electricity from PV system.

    Chief Minister Barr remains silent on the discrepency with NSW and Victoria.

  • Rod

    FiTs will be very interesting to watch.
    With so many with PV now, a higher FiT is a great incentive to switch, although you need to do your sums.
    Just waiting for someone to offer more than AGL in SA.