Tasmanian households who are feeding solar power back in to the grid will hold on to their feed in tariff rate after privatisation of the state’s power supply.

In another solar victory following WA’s reversal of the feed in tariff cut, Tasmanian solar owners will keep the existing 27 cents per kilowatt hour rate for power they feed back in to the grid until 2019. This means that households who have made the investment will secure the rate after competition begins in the state; in many states with power supply competition, solar owners only get around 8 cents per kilowatt hour.

Primarily due to community backlash and pressure from the Greens, existing customers will retain the rate for a period of five years, up from the initial three years that was proposed. All existing households submitting feed in tariff applications before August 30 will continue to receive the existing 1:1 feed in tariff until the 1st January, 2019.

Energy Minister Bryan Green announced his compromise yesterday: “We understood the pay-back period was an issue for people, they’d planned for that, and five years was seen as a reasonable period, we listened and we made the change.” The Liberal party has also pledged to retain the feed in tariff extension until 2019.

Applications after August 30 will receive a transitional rate of 8 cents per kilowatt hour, which will be reviewed by the Economic Regulator at the end of the year.

12,500 Households have solar installed in Tasmania, and the Solar Citizens petition towards legislative protection of a fair pricing for feed in tariffs has gained over 1000 signatures.