The Courier-Mail reported this week that the Queensland Government recommended a fixed fee for households with solar power, citing that these fees would prevent solar households from passing on network ‘poles and wires’ costs on to other consumers.

In the latest move, Energy Minister Mark McArdle announced the government considered the fixed fee tariff but decided against it.

The report ordered by the Newman Government recommended a special tariff for all solar households, a blow for households that have shelled out for rooftop solar systems. The reasoning behind the tariff is the need for the electricity network to provide solar households with power during peak periods, whilst at the same time, solar households being able to avoid the majority of network costs. Network costs are estimated to be 50 per cent of an average power bill.

Power bills are expected to rise an additional $40 to cover the costs that are avoided by solar homes. Despite the announcement, however, Mr McArdle said the Government still wanted a more equitable system in the future where households are not subsidising those with solar panels.