The Essential Services Commission has released a draft report recommending changes to how retailers compensate customers who have solar panels and feed energy back into the grid.

The Energy Value of Distributed Generation draft report recommends moving away from paying solar system owners a flat daily rate for the power they generate.

Instead, the Essential Services Commission recommends introducing flexible feed-in tariffs that reflect the time of day when the electricity is generated and fed into the grid, including peak, shoulder and off-peak times.

The draft report also recommends paying Victorians with solar systems, to recognise the environmental benefit of installing solar and other renewable technologies.

The report is a response to the Victorian Government’s commitment to investigate ways Victorians with solar panels could receive fair compensation for the power they generate, after the former Government changed the framework for solar tariffs, which cut the amount households receive.

Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources, Lily D’Ambrosio said,  “We welcome this draft report and will consider the Essential Services Commission’s final recommendations later this year.

“The former Coalition Government slashed the amount Victorian households receive for the solar power they produce.

“That’s why we established this inquiry to investigate options to promote renewable energy and ensure Victorians with solar panels get a fair deal.”

There are currently more than 245,000 solar systems installed in homes and businesses across the state.

The Essential Services Commission will now hold public consultations about the draft report with forums to be held in Mildura, Echuca, Bendigo, Warrnambool, Geelong, Bairnsdale, Traralgon, Cranbourne and Moonee Ponds.

The Government will consider the recommendations of the final report, which is due in August 2016.

Jessica Dickers is an experienced journalist, editor and content creator who is currently the Editor of Utility’s sister publication, Infrastructure. With a strong writing background, Jessica has experience in journalism, editing, print production, content marketing, event program creation, PR and editorial management. Her favourite part of her role as editor is collaborating with the sector to put together the best industry-leading content for the audience.

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