The Tasmanian Renewable Energy Alliance today welcomed the arrival of a second competitor in the retail electricity market in Tasmania. The offers from 1st Energy, together with the introduction of the sonnen flat product last year mark the tentative beginning of a shake-up of electricity retailing.
1st Energy is offering tariffs which closely match those of Aurora but with a choice of one of two possible sweeteners. Customers can choose either a 5% pay-on-time discount or, for those with solar, an extra 5c on their feed-in tariff.
The sonnen flat product introduced last year is a more specialised offering providing fixed price electricity contracts for solar owners who purchase a sonnen battery.
As with any purchase, consumers will need to check if the offers make sense in their particular circumstances.
Households using the 5% discount plan would need to be spending over $3300 a year on electricity and be able to pay all their bills promptly to get the $150/year benefit claimed by 1st Energy.
The extra 5c feed-in tariff (which is added to either the legacy 8.5c tariff or the transitional 13.5c tariff) will be a welcome bonus for solar owners who export a significant proportion of their solar generation. But the best value from solar panels is always to maximise self-consumption.
With changing tariff structures and new battery and energy management technology there are many opportunities for retailers to offer innovative products and services to Tasmanian households. We look forward to more competition based on innovation and not just on price.