United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

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United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby michigan_frog » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:14 pm

This is for anyone who is in the United Energy/Jemena power distribution area in South East Melbourne/Morning Peninsula.
A bit of background:
Back on the 1st April the Vic Govt imposed a moratorium against the imposing of time of use tariffs on residentail customers.
Two months ago I got a solar installation done (by EM - and you did a great job guys!). Last month I finally got the new interval meter installed.
Last Friday I got a letter from my retailer saying that they revised my energy tariffs "based on my meter type and/or zone" and the tariffs are clearly Time of Use (TOU) tariffs - the same ones there is supposedly a moratorium on.
When I questioned Origin (my retailer) they said there was nothing they could do - it was the distributor that had changed the tariff - triggered obviously by the meter change. Every retailer would have to 'wear' those distributor rates so a change of retailer wouldn't help me.
When I questioned the tariff change and mentioned the moratorium, they pointed me to United's website (found here http://www.unitedenergy.com.au/industry/network_tariffs/tariffReport.asp) where it states that they have an exemption to the moratorium for "embedded gereation" sites.

The TOU tariffs are as follows:
Peak (defined as 7.30am to 11pm weekdays)- 29.0191c/kWH
Offpeak (all other times) - 10.7998c/kWH

Previously i was on a "Peak Only" tariff (21.1838c/kWH) - which I was more than happy with.

Their new 'peak' seems far too aggressive to me - 7.30am to 11pm pretty much includes all of our weekday activity and with no electric hot water etc to move to off-peak, essentially it will mean that my electricity bills will increase!

I spoke to the Policy Manager at the ATA and he has a meeting already scheduled with the DPI Minister(Peter Batchelor)'s office to discuss this practice.

I felt i should alert anyone in this distribution area as to this practice - which is essentially disciminating against people doing the right thing and installing solar Photovoltaics. I have written to the Dept Pri Industries trying to clarify this 'exemption' but other's that have questioned it have just been told basically that you should have considered this before you installed your solar panels! (to see the actual reply look at the thread over in Whirlpool at: http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1464657&p=5#r94).

PS At no point did anybody mention this compulsory tariff change to me prior to the changeover of the meter.
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby president_ltd » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:11 pm

heh michigan_frog, fancy seeing you here too.

found the same thing with AGL (but an even higher peak tariff @ 32c Mon-Fri).

suggest you look at a different retailer. for a NMI starting with 64 (like yours will), here is what TRU will offer:

note that its standard to get 3% discount on this (pay on time). agree to a 2 year contract and pay on time and get 6% discount. (contact can be terminated for just $22 fee). service charge is less than what we pay today on AGL GD/GR.

tru2.png
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby michigan_frog » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:54 am

Thanks president_ltd,
But as was mentioned over in whirlpool it is only a matter of time before TRU change those rates as well when they find that they are losing money on the tariff they are getting from United. I have that quote from Tru as well, and I could switch over, but i get the impression that I will be fighting the same fight with them in 3 months time. Plus the reports on the solar invoicing (or lack thereof) from TruEnergy are a bit of a worry - it sounds like they are only offering those rates because their system could not handle the FTOD tariff.
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby president_ltd » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:51 am

michigan_frog wrote:Thanks president_ltd,
But as was mentioned over in whirlpool it is only a matter of time before TRU change those rates as well when they find that they are losing money on the tariff they are getting from United.


what makes you think they are losing money on it?

"Network Tariffs" (what the distributor changes the retailer) are set by the ESC.

in the case of Jemena what they charge the retailers is documented at http://www.jemena.com.au/operations/dis ... hedule.pdf

"F10I" is the network tariff used for TOU with FIT:
A10I / F10I* Time of Use Interval Meter Available to customers with an interval meter
Peak: 7.00 AM to 11 PM "Mon - Fri" ; Off peak all other times
- Standing charge $/customer pa $19.800
- Peak Unit rate ¢/kWh 10.179
- Off Peak Unit rate ¢/kWh 1.957

for UED, see http://www.unitedenergy.com.au/industry ... Report.pdf page 38 onwards, tables A1 (Schedule of Distribution Use of System (DUoS) Tariffs) and A2 (Schedule of Transmission Use of Systems (TUoS) Tariffs).
adding those two together, one gets slightly different numbers from Jemena, likely because the cost of distribution/transmission is in fact different.

standing charge/day: A1 "FLVS1R*" tariff 4.887c/day
summer peak: A1 "FLVS1R*" distribution tariff 5.977c/kWh + A2 "FLVS1R*" transmission tariff 1.945c/kWh
non-summer peak: A1 "FLVS1R*" distribution tariff 3.847c/kWh + A2 "FLVS1R*" transmission tariff 1.625c/kWh

i assume that there is then the actual _purchasing_ of the electricity via prices set from AEMO (NEMMCO) on top of this - see http://www.aemo.com.au/data/avg_price/a ... main.shtml and http://www.aemo.com.au/data/GRAPH_30VIC1.html

but even so its well under the 'retail' rates and thus i don't see your point about "retailers would be losing money"

michigan_frog wrote:I have that quote from Tru as well, and I could switch over, but i get the impression that I will be fighting the same fight with them in 3 months time. Plus the reports on the solar invoicing (or lack thereof) from TruEnergy are a bit of a worry - it sounds like they are only offering those rates because their system could not handle the FTOD tariff.


if i remember the person on WP that stated the issue with TRU billing was not in VIC.
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby michigan_frog » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:17 am

I hope you are right on all counts... :D
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby president_ltd » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:34 pm

i think so.

if its just the Distribution + Transmission charges, then i'm off to start an energy retail company as you buy something at 10.1c peak / 1.9c offpeak and sell at 20c+ peak, 8c+ offpeak, total profit!

so i am pretty sure one then adds the AEMO actual cost of buying the power off generators onto those prices.

based on 'current' prices for that (http://www.aemo.com.au/data/GRAPH_30VIC1.html), its generally in the order of $40/MW ($0.04 per kWh) but does spike up to >$100/MW in 5pm-9pm timeframes (>$0.10 per kWh).

bear in mind that for a 'retail' tariff structure of peak being 7am-11pm they are getting that 20c+/kWh at retail when the 'cost' of providing it varies from ~13c/kWh to ~24c/kWh with the vast majority of it in the range of ~14-15c/kWh cost.
fantastic business to be in IMHO. wonder how one starts an energy retailer in VIC?
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby Sojin_Muneshi » Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:57 am

.
The ToU consumption tariff as a requirement of the PFiT tariff is a standard condition across most Victorian Distributors, it is not part of the Moratorium because the "customer" has chosen to move onto PFiT and therefore is accepting the conditions to do so. (Of course the Retailer may not inform the customer but that is a seperate issue).

Tru has had a billing problem with ToU interval tariffs for over 12 months, it doesnt matter which state, the problem is with their processing system, they have been waivering bills to customers in the EWOV including entire 12 month back bills.

Where Tru faces a ToU tariff from the Network, and offers a flat rate to the customer, they do risk reduced profitability depending on the customers load shape.

The UE ToU tariff is the same time periods used in the SECV's Winner tariff that has been around for over 23 years with thousands of residential customers on it.

It is a strange argument against ToU to have, if you install Solar Generation?

If you have high internal consumption during the day, you are facing a higher consumption tariff, but are avoiding some/all of that for 5 hours at least due to your own generation, the payback is actually better.

If you have low internal consumption during the day, you will be exporting and gaining the premium income, and unharmed by that high peak price during those 5 hours.

with at least 25 hours of the peak price period of 7-11 (ie 80 hours a week) being masked or offset by Generation the remaining consumption is spread across 55 hours of peak and 88 hours of off-peak.

Assuming a flat load (only for ease of modelling) then the consumption is either?

1 kWh x 29c x 55 h + 1 kWh x 10c x 88h = $24.75
1 kWh x 19c x 143h = $27.17

To pay the same or more than the flat rate in the example above, the average ToU peak load would need to be 44% larger than the ToU offpeak load continuously across the peak period. (this can be modelled by simultaneous equations and goal seek in Excel ie (1.18kW versus 0.82kW)



Your base load of std-by, fridge, freezer etc are all then getting overnight and all weekend consumption at off-peak?

I can see concerns for stay at home customers with high loads and no generation, but I cant see the real economic argument that flat rate is better? for a solar customer? it really depends on the remaining load consumption levels outside the generation period?


Regards

Sojin
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby president_ltd » Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:17 am

Sojin,

there are a number of errors in what you posted here.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:The ToU consumption tariff as a requirement of the PFiT tariff is a standard condition across most Victorian Distributors, it is not part of the Moratorium because the "customer" has chosen to move onto PFiT and therefore is accepting the conditions to do so. (Of course the Retailer may not inform the customer but that is a seperate issue).


as one who has spoken to the energy retailers, our energy distributor, the energy ombudsman (EWOV) and the 'policy people' within the department of primary industries (energy unit), i can categorically state you are incorrect.

it is the policy of the victorian govt.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:Tru has had a billing problem with ToU interval tariffs for over 12 months, it doesnt matter which state, the problem is with their processing system, they have been waivering bills to customers in the EWOV including entire 12 month back bills.


this seems orthogonal to the original issue. lets say that TRU cannot get bills out. so what?

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:Where Tru faces a ToU tariff from the Network, and offers a flat rate to the customer, they do risk reduced profitability depending on the customers load shape.


per above document scanned in, they are NOT offering a flat rate in UE/Jemena area.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:1 kWh x 29c x 55 h + 1 kWh x 10c x 88h = $24.75


you're modelling on a tariff that is NOT being offered here. note the prices above.

peak is in fact 21.1c/kWh (inc GST) with either 3% or 6% discount. lets call it 6% discount, that makes it 19.834c/kWh peak.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:To pay the same or more than the flat rate in the example above, the average ToU peak load would need to be 44% larger than the ToU offpeak load continuously across the peak period. (this can be modelled by simultaneous equations and goal seek in Excel ie (1.18kW versus 0.82kW)


rather than assumptions, in our case, we've had a 'Watts Clever' energy meter on our mains for a few months so we have realistic energy consumption data to go on.
in our case the above tariff structure from TRU is one of the most competitive in the marketplace.
AGL are comprehensively the worst. with Origin runner up 2nd worst.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:I can see concerns for stay at home customers with high loads and no generation, but I cant see the real economic argument that flat rate is better? for a solar customer? it really depends on the remaining load consumption levels outside the generation period?


the real issue is one of choice. people doing the right thing for the environment are being forced into a structure that those that cannot/haven't done PV solar don't have to.
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby Sojin_Muneshi » Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:50 am

President,

you have your opinion, and I have mine, and you are certainly not the only one to be in contact with those parties.

there are a number of errors in what you posted here.


I'm sorry, but I still think I am correct, and in fact consider you are the one who is wrong in a number of instances.

You simply make that statement, but provide no real evidence of my errors other than your opinion and claims of "being in the know", yet most of your counter argument is full of errors itself, I have provided copy/pastes and linked sources to now evidence my claims?,

Please provide evidence of my errors, rather than simply making a claim to your contacts in the industry, I work in it and have the same contacts on a daily basis.



Sojin_Muneshi wrote:
The ToU consumption tariff as a requirement of the PFiT tariff is a standard condition across most Victorian Distributors, it is not part of the Moratorium because the "customer" has chosen to move onto PFiT and therefore is accepting the conditions to do so. (Of course the Retailer may not inform the customer but that is a seperate issue).


as one who has spoken to the energy retailers, our energy distributor, the energy ombudsman (EWOV) and the 'policy people' within the department of primary industries (energy unit), i can categorically state you are incorrect.

it is the policy of the victorian govt.


michigan_frog wrote:
Last Friday I got a letter from my retailer saying that they revised my energy tariffs "based on my meter type and/or zone" and the tariffs are clearly Time of Use (TOU) tariffs - the same ones there is supposedly a moratorium on.
When I questioned Origin (my retailer) they said there was nothing they could do - it was the distributor that had changed the tariff - triggered obviously by the meter change. Every retailer would have to 'wear' those distributor rates so a change of retailer wouldn't help me.
When I questioned the tariff change and mentioned the moratorium, they pointed me to United's website (found here http://www.unitedenergy.com.au/industry ... Report.asp) where it states that they have an exemption to the moratorium for "embedded gereation" sites.



I am very sure of my facts above, and in fact michigan_frog's opening post in this thread refers to that exact same experience with UE? that in itself shows that you cannot "categorically" state I am incorrect!

I know of others, which Distributors are you able to show do NOT act as I have suggested? and where are you able to show those actions contravene the policy?

The Moratorium applies to mandatory change of tariffs by some Distributors to Roll out customers, that is not the situation being debated here (customers choosing to apply for a PFiT tariff).

http://www.originenergy.com.au/3215/FAQs

Frequently asked questions
Tariff FAQs
Why has the implementation of ToU tariffs been deferred?
The Government has delayed the introduction of ToU tariffs to ensure Victorian consumers fully understand the changes to pricing structures before they are introduced and to allow more work to be done to protect vulnerable customers.

What is a ToU tariff?
A Time of Use tariff (TOU) is a price structure that varies based on the time of the day or week. Time of Use charges are higher in peak periods and lower in off peak periods.

Smart meters support the application of Time of Use tariffs.

Once Time of Use tariffs become available, all energy used in off-peak times can be charged at off-peak rates. Currently only off-peak electric hot water and slab heating appliances attract an off-peak rate.

If the ToU tariffs are not going ahead in the short term, do I still have to pay the metering charges?
Yes. The roll out is still proceeding as planned and the existing charges relating to Service to Property and Metering Charges still apply. The Government announcement is related to network Time of Use tariff introduction for smart meters only.

When will ToU tariffs for smart meters be available?
The Government has announced a temporary moratorium on the introduction of network Time of Use tariffs.


http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/component/content/article/9853.html
Energy and Resources Minister Peter Batchelor announced the moratorium, which will be effective immediately, after this afternoon's meeting of the Customer Consultation Working Group.

“The roll-out of smart meters across Victoria is progressing well, but we are committed to ensuring the transition to a new pricing structure is managed carefully and sensibly,” Mr Batchelor said.

“Time-of-use pricing is where customers are charged different rates at different times of the day. This pricing structure will help Victorians control their energy costs but we need to make sure the changes are fully understood across the community before they are introduced.

“Electricity distribution businesses have agreed to delay the introduction of time-of-use pricing until more work is done to protect vulnerable Victorians.



DPI, and the Minister create government policy, and occasionally legislate, they do not regulate the industry, that is the role of the ESC and AER, the moratorium is "voluntary, and temporary".

If you really are in contact with DPI etc regularly then you would know it was actually government intention and policy was to do so, and the moratorium is a rather convenient and recent political reaction to media and customer backlash, well timed for an upcoming election.

Have a good look at the DPI's own submissions to both the ESC and AER pricing decisions for the Smart Meter rollout, and see who was calling for radical changes in metering and tariffs - as "policy".


Sojin_Muneshi wrote:
Tru has had a billing problem with ToU interval tariffs for over 12 months, it doesnt matter which state, the problem is with their processing system, they have been waivering bills to customers in the EWOV including entire 12 month back bills.


this seems orthogonal to the original issue. lets say that TRU cannot get bills out. so what?


michigan_frog wrote:
I have that quote from Tru as well, and I could switch over, but i get the impression that I will be fighting the same fight with them in 3 months time. Plus the reports on the solar invoicing (or lack thereof) from TruEnergy are a bit of a worry - it sounds like they are only offering those rates because their system could not handle the FTOD tariff.


My comment is in direct response to a statement in regard to that issue in an earlier post in this same thread, that Tru couldnt bill such tariffs, again by michigan_frog? and therefore obviously relevent as a reply. I expect they will introduce ToU as soon as they can bill it properly.

If they cant get bills out, they cant get PFiT payments out either? which would seem very relevent to this forum, and it may also explain why a flat rate tariff is their default offering at this time.

I understand from my dealings with them that their billing problem relates to interval data processing and the ToU tariffs, I assume your contacts are giving you that same information?

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:
Where Tru faces a ToU tariff from the Network, and offers a flat rate to the customer, they do risk reduced profitability depending on the customers load shape.


per above document scanned in, they are NOT offering a flat rate in UE/Jemena area.


Actually President, I think you will find that is EXACTLY what they are offering! as the pricing you have scanned is "identical" to their published 2 rate (Flat rate) standing offer on the ESC choice website but with the PFiT pricing added in.

A "2 Rate" tariff is NOT a ToU tariff, and consists of a "flat rate" tariff sometimes erroneously labelled "peak" but actually applied 24h 7 days a week to general power and light circuits, (this is the old SECV "GD" tariff) and where applicable a second element or meter connects to a dedicated circuit controlled load which is charged at "off-peak". (this is the old SECV "Y8" tariff)

I suggest you contact Tru and ask them to confirm if you are on a "Time of Use" or a "2 Rate" tariff, as I expect you will find you are on a 2 rate tariff then the "1st Rate" or "peak" is then clearly a "Flat Rate" for your General Power and Light consumption ie I suspect your bill will only show "peak" consumption unless you have a second meter for off-peak hotwater?,

I look forward to your advice back as to what they advise? and its confirmation of "my" error or "yours".

http://www.yourchoice.vic.gov.au/choice_search.php?postcode=3194&retailer=19&type=residential&utility_type=electricity&meter_type=2

TRUenergy
Domestic - General plus hot water and heating

Tariff Unit Ex GST Inc GST
All Peak Consumption c/kWh 19.1800 21.0980
All Off Peak Consumption c/kWh 10.7000 11.7700
Supply Charge $/day 0.5160 0.5680


As compared with Tru Energy's ToU tariff below (that they have had trouble billingfor the last 18 months!)

TRUenergy
Domestic - Time of Use

Tariff Unit Ex GST Inc GST
All Peak Consumption c/kWh 25.3600 27.8960
All Off Peak Consumption c/kWh 10.1100 11.1210
Supply Charge $/day 0.5090 0.5600



My modelling was comparing that Tru Energy flat rate Tariff with a Time of Use tariff in a very simplistic situation, I made that clear, I used your flat rate pricing, and the ToU rates provided elsewhere in the thread.

rather than assumptions, in our case, we've had a 'Watts Clever' energy meter on our mains for a few months so we have realistic energy consumption data to go on.
in our case the above tariff structure from TRU is one of the most competitive in the marketplace.
AGL are comprehensively the worst. with Origin runner up 2nd worst.


I understand the Watts Clever unit simply does totalising of energy/costs on a YTD or MTD basis? and doesnt model ToU or Interval data? if it does you should be in a good position to model the flat rate versus ToU outcomes of your own load over 7 days and prove me right or wrong, if not then it doesnt present any better evidence that my simple mathematical model?

If your Watts Clever unit models price, how have you set up the Tru pricing in it, as flat rate? or ToU, if so does it agree with your billing and meter readings if they are as I suspect "Flat rate"?

In anycase your Tru Tariff is NOT the most competitive of the "flat rates", it is marginally better than Origin's "peak", but significantly more costly that AGL's "peak", in the "off-peak" rate it is the most expensive!

I suspect you are comparing apples with oranges, ie erroneously comparing a "2 rate" flat rate Tariff structure from Tru to ToU pricing from the other two retailers, and unless you model usage into the ToU pricing periods it is impossible to claim a flat rate price is better than a ToU, as shown by my simple mathematical model.

If your Watts Clever unit models flat rate and time of use I would be very interested to see the facts and results behind your claims?

TRUenergy
Domestic - General plus hot water and heating

Tariff Unit Ex GST Inc GST
All Peak Consumption c/kWh 19.1800 21.0980
All Off Peak Consumption c/kWh 10.7000 11.7700
Supply Charge $/day 0.5160 0.5680



Origin Energy
Domestic - General plus hot water and heating

Tariff Unit Ex GST Inc GST
Peak - All Consumption c/kWh 19.2580 21.1838
Off Peak - All Consumption c/kWh 10.3800 11.4180
Supply Charge $/day 0.3059 0.3365
Smart Meter Charge $/day 0.1938 0.2132

AGL
Domestic - general plus hot water and heating

Tariff Unit Ex GST Inc GST
Peak - All consumption c/kWh 17.6100 19.3710
Off-Peak All consumption c/kWh 10.3700 11.4070
Supply charge $/day 0.6137 0.6751



I believe I have shown above where there are a number of errors in your claims, and evidenced the statements I made previously, to be correct.

I am happy to be corrected with facts, but please, not just with opinions and claims of being "in the know".


Regards

Sojin
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby Sojin_Muneshi » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:39 am

there are a number of errors in what you posted here.


Sojin_Muneshi wrote:
The ToU consumption tariff as a requirement of the PFiT tariff is a standard condition across most Victorian Distributors, it is not part of the Moratorium because the "customer" has chosen to move onto PFiT and therefore is accepting the conditions to do so. (Of course the Retailer may not inform the customer but that is a seperate issue).


as one who has spoken to the energy retailers, our energy distributor, the energy ombudsman (EWOV) and the 'policy people' within the department of primary industries (energy unit), i can categorically state you are incorrect.

it is the policy of the victorian govt.


President,

In addition to my comments in the posts above, the other "evidence" in regards to my comments quoted above in relation to ToU tariffs being applied to Solar installations and the moratorium is in michigan_frog's post with the link to the whirlpool forum which contains a letter from the Ministers office:

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1464657&p=5#r94

Dear ...,

Further to your request to Minister Batchelor's office on Thursday, I have attached information regarding solar power, smart meters and the Premium Feed- In- Tariff. This information can be found on the Department of Primary Industries Website at http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au Another useful resource is the Consumer guide to buying household solar panels which can be found at http://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/ce ... arPV-guide

In relation to your enquiry regarding time-of-use tariffs, I can advise that the Minister has publicly said on a number of occasions that consumers will have the option to either go onto a time-of-use tariff when smart meters are introduced in the near future, or stay on a flat rate tariff similar to what they have now. This is for those customers who make no other change to their connection characteristics, meaning this may not always apply to Victorian consumers who have household renewable energy systems installed at their homes.


Those considering installing solar panels should be made aware that everything in terms of their current electricity rates, current terms and conditions and current metering may change, in opting for solar installation. This is because customers who have solar panels installed at their homes require access to tariffs, which are tailored to their particular type of connection




................Although customers with a smart meter (and not solar panels) will be able to opt to stay on a flat rate pricing structure, the installation of smart meters can not override the requisites of solar panel installation, which depending on your area, and retailer may require you to switch to a particular time of use contract.

The Victorian Government is pleased to advise that over 27,000 solar installations are already connected to the grid. The Victorian government encourages the installation of a solar photovoltaic panel system in taking action against climate change.

Please feel free to reply to this email with any further questions.

Kind Regards

Sandi Gatt
Office of Peter Batchelor MP
Minister for Arts
Minister for Energy and Resources
Tel: +61 3 9658 4636
Fax: +61 3 9658 4631
[/b][/u]


Perhaps your "policy people" at DPI haven't briefed the Minister's office properly on Victorian Government "Policy" as they seem to be clearly agreeing with me?


Smiles

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