AGL and Solar Off peak power

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AGL and Solar Off peak power

Postby Bill » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:03 pm

Hello Solar Community

I recently installed a 1kw solar system on my roof and my electrical retailer is AGL. I have an old gravity feed hot water system in the roof and I receive Off peak rates @ 8 cents to heat the water, 16 cents for peak power.

I began following the normal process of installing the smart meter only to be advised by AGL that I would loose the Off peak rate. AGL also advised me that they will not install the meter until I have an electrician install a timing switch, cost $300.

So I stopped the process and began to find out why I was to loose my cheap rates of electricity on the basis of installing solar panels? I contacted my Solar installer Eco-Kinectics who had not informed me that this would happen. They indicated I might get lucky and break even. Thanks for nothing. I expect they will still go ahead with the other 1000 installations in Victoria and leave people like me with the mess to sought out.

I then contacted the ESC and the Energy and Water Ombudsman, without success, a total waste of time. The Ombudsman after progressing my complaint said that AGL can do what they wont, but the good news is that they have agreed to waive your disconnection fee of $75 if you transfer to another retailer.

Next step letters to my beloved politicians Kevin, Malcolm, Peter, John Brumby, Bob Brown and others and to date have not received one single reply.

I have contacted Jemena my distributor, who indicate that they provide a tariff that incorporates Off peak rates.

I again contact AGL who advise me that: "due to a business decision" we are not passing on these rates. Although, in January 2010 we may introduce this tariff following a gazette notification, but you may not be eligible, as it will only be for customers who install solar PV systems on or after 1 January 2010.

Ok, so I turn to the other electrical providers, Origin, go away, come back when the meter is sorted out, TRU energy, no your NMI number is the A100 tariff, no soup for you! Red Energy, not sure, we will get back to you. Still waiting. Simply and the others, ridiculous prices and staff who are not sure, leaving you with no confidence at all. Also great fun to see how long the telephone calls take with automated systems and being transferred to other staff who don't have the answers either.

So my first electricity bill comes in and it is less than normal, about $60 less than the last bill. I still have no smart meter.

Q) Should I still go forth and seek a smart meter, or wait until AGL announce the new deal for Off peak next year, or transfer to another company?

ANY HELP APPRECIATED.
Bill
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Re: AGL and Solar Off peak power

Postby raedan » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:02 pm

Hi Bill,
AGL doesn't pay the buyback credits the Government does through them. It will be started in November 09 @ 66 cents a kWh credit for every kWh you put back into the grid. Why do you pay 16 cent peak for hot water unless you use heaps of hot water you should be able to heat enough on off peak at night @ 8 cents a kWh? I would tell AGL to stick their power were the sun doesn't shine; you surely would be no worse off with another provider. I really don't understand how with only a 1 kW system you would generate enough electricity to put back into the grid that your bill would be reduced by $60 over what period of time was that. I have a 1.7kW system and this last 86 day bill only saved $18.80 as the buyback rate was .235 cents a kWh. I’m with Origin and went through them to get the solar power system installed with $8000 rebate from Government I had 8 panel installed but could have had 9 as the inverter could handle 9 but was not told until the company came to install the system by then it was too late. Had to pay half cost upfront $3550 then pay the rest $3550 by credit card with no interest over 12 months, which is nearly paid for so all it cost me was $7100, will be interesting to see how much I'll save over 1 year. I was told by Origin the other day Thursday when I rang then that the buyback credit will be 66 cent starting in November originally to start January 2010 but has been brought forward. As for not be eligible for the buyback I think that's a load of crap as far a I understand if you installed a solar system this year or even earlier there would be no reason not to be paid the buyback credits. raedan. :arrow:
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Re: AGL and Solar Off peak power

Postby Bthree » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:34 pm

Welcome Bill,

The answer is shop around and be patient.

Red have a "SMART SOLAR TARIFF" which has peak and off peak with a 66cent FIT
Origin have a similar plan at very slightly higher rates.

Ring them and be very clear you need to talk to someone from the SOLAR team and you will be transferred to the group that knows what you want. Accept the call back option if they are busy, it works

It appears all solar plans come without frills, no discounts etc.

If your meter has not been changed yet, by accepting a plan from the retailer will automatically trigger a meter change in Vic.

Sometimes I wish I had just installed the system and watched the old meter go backwards and not told anyone, less complication, but then I would not have got my $8000 rebate.
Network = Powercor .. Retailer = Origin .. Installed Christmas 2008
Latronics PV-1200 feed by 8xTrina TSM DC-01 .. 170watt = 1360watts DC in .. 1096watts AC out .. 5+years later 990watts ac out
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Re: AGL and Solar Off peak power

Postby KarenS » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:39 pm

Bthree wrote:Welcome Bill,

The answer is shop around and be patient.

Red have a "SMART SOLAR TARIFF" which has peak and off peak with a 66cent FIT
Origin have a similar plan at very slightly higher rates.

Ring them and be very clear you need to talk to someone from the SOLAR team and you will be transferred to the group that knows what you want. Accept the call back option if they are busy, it works

It appears all solar plans come without frills, no discounts etc.

If your meter has not been changed yet, by accepting a plan from the retailer will automatically trigger a meter change in Vic.

Sometimes I wish I had just installed the system and watched the old meter go backwards and not told anyone, less complication, but then I would not have got my $8000 rebate.


Ho, Ho, Ho, ain't it all fun????

Bill, part of what tariff you may be able to get is decided by your DISTRIBUTOR, not your retailer. If you had looked at various retailer websites prior to the 60c stuff, you would have seen that FiTs were different according to who your distributor is. You have no choice of distributor, unless you move house!!!

Bthree, mine is a long and complicated story, parts of which are told elsewhere in these fora, but my panels were installed and working in Feb or March 2009 (so long ago now, I can hardly remember), I received my $8 grand back from the Feds in June, and my meter STILL hasn't been changed!! I'm not complaining - I have a ToU tariff (and I'm in a United area!!), and lots of discounts (both gas & elec; direct debit payment; loyalty discount), and it appears that the discounts will go west, and I will probably lose or at least have a different ToU tariff if/when I get a new meter.

With all the stuff in Victoria going on just now, like the new FiT, along with the reports saying the State Govt has the costings and cost-benefit analysis of the Smart meter introduction seriously wrong, and the outrageous threats and lobbying by the coal interests, I'm not going to do anything to upset my current applecart! I'm still with Simpleton Enargy, but they email my bills, so I don't get slugged the $7.15/bill.

Happy daze,

KarenS.
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Re: AGL and Solar Off peak power

Postby Bill » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:51 pm

Thanks for your replies.

We are thinking of Red Energy as they seem to have some idea, although it is a big difference between 16 c for peak and 24c with Red, but what can you do? The Red Energy plan according to what the corresponding Jemena tarrif is 10 c for off peak and 24 c for peak, plus a couple of other charges, like 44c a day. So my quick sums suggest higher electricity bills, maybe compensated somewhat by the 66c feed in tarrif?

So geeting solar panels does not reduce your electricty bill because the power reatiler and districutor rob you of your savings by forcing you onto higher reates for your electricity. This is wrong!
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Re: AGL and Solar Off peak power

Postby relaxedcamper » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:56 pm

By installing PV and SHW we produce RECS. We onsell them and prop up a system that allows industries to 'Pay to pollute'. And now once we have installed our PV and SHW we continue to 'Pay to protect our planet' by being penalised with no Off Peak, Higher Peak Rates, no pay on time discounts, no combined service discounts and finally in most states a crappy FIT that probuce useless meangingless "Credits'.

It would appear that we all (inc the World) would have been better keeping our money in our pockets, made industries actually have to invest in real physical things that produce green energy to get their mandated total, and then the world would win.

This whole thing with retailers screwing with you once you have PV installed is totally wrong and SHOLD be formally investigated. But investigated by who?. I think the Aust Gov have a benifit in all of this...
Network = POWERCOR - Retailer = ORIGIN - 11 Sharp 180w Panels NUSOE3E - Fronius IG 20 IP45 Inverter - 1.98KW Grid Interactive System - DUX SunPro 415L 3 Flat Panels Solar Hot Water - 26,600 Lts Rain Water - 8 Chooks - North of Geelong Victoria
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Re: AGL and Solar Off peak power

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:53 pm

Relaxedcamper sums up well on how it seems a lot of people are far from happy with how they are being treated by electricity suppliers, and how the sale of RECs is allowing the big polluters to continue in a "business as usual" approach, spewing out vast quantities of CO2 and other pollutants instead of investing in non-polluting wind/solar/geothermal energy production.
A term springs to mind... off-grid! It's not compulsory to be grid connected (although I have heard that in Qld you have to have the grid connected if it runs past your property), but it does involve the extra expense of batteries. My off-grid power supply is more reliable than my neighbours, they have had quite a few blackouts lasting for many hours over recent years, due to storms and line works etc. Yes it costs more up-front, but you are independent and can forget about the govt seemingly randomly changing their policies, electricity retailers/wholesalers money grabbing plans etc. It does however remove any chance of making a profit from selling your power to the grid, but thats not why I am on solar anyway, so it doesnt concern me.

Gordon
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Re: AGL and Solar Off peak power

Postby relaxedcamper » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:48 pm

Bill, its sad that something that should be so simple to understand and do ends up leaving us all with a feeling that we have perhaps been had. I work in a area where I am respected by my ability to react on gut reaction and make good clinical descisions, and I have often been asked by my friends 'just tell me what to do'. But right away, even with me educated university trained mind, I can not give them a black and white answer.

So I guess all I can say is that generically there are a few simple and reliable problems that seem to always seem to come up and then we each as individuals will have our own 'stories' about getting connected to a valuable and efficient solar system.

I respect you for all the hard work that you have invested in getting the 'best' outcome for your own individual situation, and thanks for posting your results here.
Network = POWERCOR - Retailer = ORIGIN - 11 Sharp 180w Panels NUSOE3E - Fronius IG 20 IP45 Inverter - 1.98KW Grid Interactive System - DUX SunPro 415L 3 Flat Panels Solar Hot Water - 26,600 Lts Rain Water - 8 Chooks - North of Geelong Victoria
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Re: AGL and Solar Off peak power

Postby Smurf1976 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:16 pm

relaxedcamper wrote:By installing PV and SHW we produce RECS. We onsell them and prop up a system that allows industries to 'Pay to pollute'. And now once we have installed our PV and SHW we continue to 'Pay to protect our planet' by being penalised with no Off Peak, Higher Peak Rates, no pay on time discounts, no combined service discounts and finally in most states a crappy FIT that probuce useless meangingless "Credits'.

I don't work for them or anything like that, but I'll have to put a good word in for Aurora Energy (Tas) here.

All rates stay exactly the same. Same for Light & Power, same for space heating (which is metered separately to other power usage in most homes in Tas), same for both of the off-peak tariffs too. Same rate per kWh and same daily supply charges in all cases.

Bi-directional meter for the PV is installed completely free of charge.

FIT is the same as the Light & Power rate (the highest residential tariff) and is a direct $ payment for the kWh exported to the grid that is simply a negative amount shown on the bill. So If my PV generates 500 kWh then my bill drops by the exact same amount I'd otherwise pay to buy that 500 kWh from Aurora. Whether I used the power myself or exported it is irrelevant.

The only thing you "lose" is the option of having Pay As You Go electricity because the meters they use for that aren't compatible with solar - they can't register an export to the grid. But for those with normal meters and billing, you just put the PV in and everything else stays the same. :D

The whole thing seems incredibly complicated in Vic compared to this.
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Re: AGL and Solar Off peak power

Postby Bthree » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:23 pm

Sounds too simple, I like it but possibly will not be shifting to Tassie again.
Network = Powercor .. Retailer = Origin .. Installed Christmas 2008
Latronics PV-1200 feed by 8xTrina TSM DC-01 .. 170watt = 1360watts DC in .. 1096watts AC out .. 5+years later 990watts ac out
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