NSW nett FIT Issues

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Re: NSW nett FIT Issues

Postby Tracker » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:40 am

zzsstt wrote:If this is the case, then your system is not entitled to the SBS 20c FIT....


Irrespective of ANY dates,
the issue here is that AGL offered a written undertaking and then went back on it..
That's an offer of contract.. and they renigged AFTER the customer accepted (assumed to be within offer periods etc.).. :evil:
They must not be allowed to get away with it.. :!: or else we can ALL find that we can be changed to new and more suitable rates to suit the retailer, as they see fit.
This is the stuff of "60 Minutes" and "Today Tonight" but would they take it on for a profiteering money hungry PV generator. :o ripping off the unemployed and the frail who can't afford PV installations.. :lol:
..
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Re: NSW nett FIT Issues

Postby zzsstt » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:27 am

Tracker wrote:the issue here is that AGL offered a written undertaking and then went back on it..


I agree, but my comment is accurate - the system in question (I think it was hsvz's that I was referring to) is not entitled to the SBS FIT. This is important because some systems that were installed very late ARE entitled to the SBS FIT because the application was made far earlier than the install date - so two neighbours could have systems installed the same day (say in February 2012), with one being entitled to claim the FIT and the other not.

As I said earlier in the thread, this issue not about the SBS, it is about contracts and offers because the OP's system does not fall under the FIT. The only basis on which the OP can receive a 28c FIT is that he/she has a written offer from AGL, not because of any other entitlement.

AGL have apparently made written offers that they have later refused to abide by. Anyone wishing to pursue such an issue needs to talk to their solicitor, though there are several issues. If the offer is not "fixed", and is open to change (as are most non-regulated providers unless the contract says otherwise) then the only possible claim is of false or misleading advertising. That would require proof that it happened in sufficient numbers to not simply be an error, or proof that it was done with intent to deceive. If, however, it turned out that one or two people in AGL's telephone sales team had simply been working with outdated information, it would be unlikely to be seen as a deliberate attempt to deceive.

The second problem lies with the fact that the OP seems to have known that the system was not entitled to the FIT, hence the long discussions with utility companies that were mentioned at the beginning of the thread. I do not know how this would work in a court of law, but it would seem (no offence intended) that the OP knew when the offer was given that he/she was not entitled to that offer.

The next issue is that this problem is not material in financial terms. The system had already been purchased and installed and was not entitled to the 28c FIT. The only gain to be made by AGL by misleading the OP was the addition of a customer who could then leave at any time, and the only loss suffered by the OP was any cost involved in changing suppliers. The system was not installed on the basis of the offer, nor were any other costs incurred.

Another issue is that AGL seem to be paying some people the FIT, even though they are not entitled to it. That would seem to suggest it being a mistake, rather than a deliberate intent to deceive - if it were an intent to deceive, surely everyone would have been treated the same way? Yet what we seem to have is a situation where some people are offered and paid, some are offered and not paid and some are point blank refused. To me that would look like the sales team aren't all on the same page!

Overall, to me it looks like AGL have (or had?) a messy and inconsistent approach, whish is not entirely surprising given the various states have different schemes all of which seem to change every other week, and the OP is chasing a payment that he/she knows he is not entitled to, purely on the strength of an offer that we all know was made in error either by mistake or design. And it looks to me more like a mistake than anything else. If that written offer states the payment is fixed for a number of years, then a court of law might hold AGL to it and the OP might get a couple of thousand dollars FIT over those years. If the offer was not fixed, AGL can change the price whenever they like, so a court case would seem pointless.

I am not an AGL customer, nor on the 28c FIT, so it doesn't impact me at all and I have no axe to grind. I'm just saying what I see.

Another point, and not targetted at the OP in this thread, is that there are a large (and growing) number of people who have spent money on PV systems and now discover they are nowhere near as beneficial as they thought. We have seen at least one such person post on this forum recently, and I have met several others. Some of these people are very annoyed and/or embarrassed that they have spent large sums of cash with minimal return, and I have listen to much vitriol about power companies from them. Unfortunately in those cases the problem was with a purchase without research that was based, as we have discussed before, on the great results of those on a scheme which has since been closed!
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Re: NSW nett FIT Issues

Postby Buster » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:26 pm

Hi. I am a NSW AGL Customer.

After reading some of the entries on this forum, I thought I would share the dealings I am having with AGL.

I decided to purchase my solar panels in July 2011 and a contract was signed with the solar panel provider. As the panels were not in stock I had to wait for them to arrive. Then I had problems with how the installer wanted to install and the basic design of my system. Once it was all sorted and agreed upon, the panels went on the roof in November 2011.

I was with Energy Australia at the time I decided to have my panels installed. However after the installation was complete I immediately contacted AGL, as I had heard they were offering the best deals for solar panel customers at the time. The AGL Rep advised me they would have to check my NMI number first before they could off me an amount for my Kilowatts that I would generate and feed back into the grid.

The checks were done by AGL and in December 2011 I received a letter from AGL (See Below) -
_______________________________________________________________________________________
"Confirmation of your electricity prices."
"Thank you for choosing AGL as your electricity retailer. When you joined us, the prices we quoted you were based on information available to us at the time, including any necessary assumptions about your meter type and its configuration.
In some cases, until your metering details are made available to AGL, we do not have access to all applicable information. We now have all applicable information and are therefore writing to confirm your Energy Plan prices."

Below are the Confirmed Prices.

Peak c/kWh 44.660 inc gst
Shoulder c/kWh 18.040 inc gst
Off Peak c/kWh 10.560 inc gst
Feed in Tariff# c/kWh 64.900

Plus the extra 0.080 c/kWh that AGL were offering at the time for kWh generated by my system.
______________________________________________________________________________________

Then in September 2012, I received the letter from AGL. The letter I received in September 2012 (See Below) -
______________________________________________________________________________________

Important information about your electricity account.

Dear Mr #*&^%%,

At AGL, we understand how important it is to have accurate billing information. We are writing to advise you of a change to the solar feed-in tariff you are currently receiving.

What has occurred.
At the time you installed your solar PV system or switched to AGL with a solar PV system already installed, you were placed on an incorrect solar feed-in tariff in our billing system. Due to the fact that our billing system did not have the functionality to credit you at the correct rate of 8 cents (excl. GST) per kWh, AGL chose to credit you at a higher feed-in tariff rate of 68 cents (excl. GST) per kWh.

AGL's billing system now has the ability to credit you the correct solar feed-in tariff amount of 8 cents (excl. GST) per kWh.

What happens now?
Your solar feed-in tariff will be reduced from 68 cents (excl. GST) per kWh to 8 cents (excl. GST) per kWh on 1 September 2012. This will be reflected on your future bills.

We will not be seeking to reclaim any over-credited amounts for the period in which AGL paid you a higher feed-in tariff.

We'd like to apologise for any inconvenience that this change may cause and thank you for being with AGL. We are committed to providing you with the best service possible. If you have any questions, please call 1300 135 245 (8am-6pm, Monday to Friday) and we will be happy to help.

Yours Sincerely
M&*^%%$ *&^%%%
General Manager Marketing & Retail Sales
______________________________________________________________________________________

Before I agreed to sign the contract I asked them exactly how much would I be paid? I made it very clear I wanted the correct figure (Hence they checked my NMI number). Also at no point did they advise me there was any problems with their billing system. The reason I was payed the 68 cents was because they checked my NMI and then offered 68c a kwh to me to which i accepted and then the contract began. It wasn't until the next billing cycle that AGL took up supplying my electricity, which was long after they checked and confirmed the pricing.

Is what happened to me, similar to others on this forum? And have you had any luck in getting AGL to come to the party of paying what they put in writing?

B
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Re: NSW nett FIT Issues

Postby Buster » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:15 pm

Hi Guys. Thanks for the feedback. If you read my original post you will see I have pasted part of my contract that I had with agl in the post. It states that they would pay me 68 cents per kw that I generated and fed back into the grid. I received that letter that they state forms part of the contract. When I signed up I asked them what they would pay and after they did their checks that is what I have in writing. I spoke with the ombudsmen and he was surprised when he seen my contract and said he believes they should honour it or see what their response is before he will act. I should have a response from agl by the 10th of this month. The ombudsmen was of the same opinion that agl said they would pay 68 cents and gave me a contract in writing that reflects that. I asked agl what "they" would pay me, not what the government or anyone else would. If I am not happy with their response the ombudsmen said he would act on it. I just was just wandering if anyone else had the same contract in writing and the same worded letter saying "our computers did not have the functionality to credit you at the correct rate of 8 cents (excl gst) per kWh, agl chose to credit you at the higher feed in tariff rate of 68 cents (excl gst) per kWh." Now if that was true at the time why didn't they tell me that when I was deciding wether or not to change providers? Does anyone else have contracts and the letter worded this way?
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Re: NSW nett FIT Issues

Postby Buster » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:30 pm

My letter that formed part of my contract was dated Dec 2011. My letter saying there computer could not pay me 8 cents so they paid me 68 cents, but expect from my next bill to be paid only 8 cents on wards, was dated Aug 2012. That is pretty weird and does not sound right.
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Re: NSW nett FIT Issues

Postby scar59 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:08 pm

I also had a similar case, where i purchased my system through Energy Matters in june 2011 and it was installed on 9/9/2011, I was told at the time that the feed in tarriff was probably between 20c and 38c . They said it depended on what my electricity company gave. I am with AGL and they gave me 68c /kwh. I was stoked! unfortunately that only lasted about 10 months, then they said that there was a problem in their billing system and I should not have received 68c and they dropped me down to 8c and I was told to check the wording of the IPART agreement which stated that after 28 April you could only get between 7.7c and 12.9c /kwh for your power sent to the grid. So now I get a tiny return for my large Investment and I will be looking at a battery backup and a pure sinewave inverter and make a hybrid system. If I was told day one that I was only going to get 8c/kwh I probably would have put in a straight battery backup system and NO grid connect.
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Re: NSW nett FIT Issues

Postby Tracker » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:16 am

So now I get a tiny return for my large Investment and I will be looking at a battery backup and a pure sinewave inverter and make a hybrid system



Join the farQ. ..... brigade..

It is interesting that a number with similar concerns are busily working on off grid and semi grid systems..
Suppliers are gearing up for the sales...
AusieSolar will have one out soon... I only mention them because it is just so typical. A deliberate package for the home...

I wonder what the official response will be when profit hungry energy retailers, find people either disconnecting, or accepting the service charges, and using the grid as a battery charger for bad times..

You can imagine an upper level saying this is good both for the environment and the generators as they will have reduce pressure to upgrade. We know that solar has had a marked impact on wholesale prices with crazy spiking prices a thing of the past... the retailers will not be happy, because they bought the right to RIP us off..
..
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Re: NSW nett FIT Issues

Postby zzsstt » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:58 pm

These issues are all related to the existence (or not) of a contract. The systems were all installed after the SBS closed, and therefore they are eligible only to whatever the energy retailer has decided to pay. IF the customer has a contract that states a certain figure will be paid for a certain period of time, then that customer has a right to expect that payment and can contest it in court. On the other hand if the contract does not state both the fee and the duration, then the supplier can change the fee at any time. A letter of offer without a time-frame means only that a certain amount is the rate "at that point in time", and it is not reasonable to suppose that the rate will never be revised. Most quotations are valid for 30days.

The only thing that surprises me is that the retailers have chosen to blame the change on a mistake with the billing system, rather than simply saying "we are changing the rate". Perhaps they think that "a mistake" is more palatable to the customer? Or perhaps it genuinely was a mistake? In any case, unless the customer has a written contract that states that a rate is fixed for the duration of the contract (and that it is not open to change, which itself would be rare these days!) the retailer can do whatever they like.
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Re: NSW nett FIT Issues

Postby fairgoforsolar » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:58 pm

I switched to AGL in November 2011 and was given a written offer/contract for 2 years for 28c per KWh on net metering. When they confirmed my switch over in February 2012 they wrote to me and advised that the FIT was 8c.

After a very long battle/process through AGL's internal dispute system, then the Ombudsman, the NSW Energy Minister's office and the Dept. of Fair Trading, I finally lodged an application with the Consumer, Trader & Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT) to have the matter heard.

On the day of the hearing, in October 2012, AGL settled the matter and agreed to provide an advance payment of 20c per KWh calculated on my usage to date and multiplied for the 2 year period of the contract as well as continue to credit my bill with the 8c FIT.

We agreed that 50% of the advance would be paid to us and 50% would be applied to our bill as a credit.

As of our current bill we still have a $750 credit on the bill.

If you have a contract which you want enforces I urge you to lodge an application with the CTTT. Their decisions and directions are enforcable by the courts!!!
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