Explaining the Pending 44c FiT Legislation Changes
An Amendment Bill related to the 44c Feed-in Tariff (FiT) was introduced to Queensland Parliament on 15 June 2017. This Bill is yet to be passed and it is likely to be debated in Parliament during October 2017. The Amendment Bill and the associated Explanatory Notes can be found on the Queensland Government website.
The following information is designed to assist you to understand the implications of this planned legislation change.
Batteries and additional generators
The intent of the legislation change is to ensure customers on the 44c FiT are free, if they wish, to install a battery. However, customers cannot use a battery or a second generating unit on the same electrical installation, i.e. same tariff, as the 44c-eligible FiT PV system to increase the volume of export beyond a level otherwise possible. The battery must be programmed to only discharge into the premises at night or during a grid outage. There must be no overlap of PV generation and battery discharge. More details will be provided once the legislation changes are finalised.
If an array upgrade on a 44c-eligible system occurs and results in the total array capacity exceeding the total inverter capacity, the 44c FiT will be forfeited.
The exemption to this is if a sales contract between the customer and the PV retailer/installer was entered into before 15 June 2017 and a copy of that sales contract can be provided to the distributor upon request.
If one or more panels of an array requires replacement and the proposed new array capacity is greater than the inverter capacity, then installers should ensure the total array capacity doesn’t exceed the original array capacity. This is irrespective of whether or not the replacement is under warranty.
Energex/Ergon apply complex algorithms to metering data to identify changes in both export and consumption levels that indicate unapproved changes to PV systems. They also access aerial imagery when necessary to calculate the approximate array capacity installed.
If an unapproved capacity increase is suspected, it will be investigated, and where relevant the 44c FiT will be removed, and they will seek to identify the installer involved.