A solar customer wants the Premium Feed-In Tariff that was mentioned in his welcome pack (December 2017)

Getting connected and changing energy company
Case Number 2017/14645
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

After installing a solar system on 5 March 2017, Mr A signed up for a new Feed-In Tariff offer. However, delays meant that the system wasn’t connected to Mr A’s meter until June 2017. By then, Mr A’s solar system had generated 2,500 kilowatt hours of electricity. Mr A wanted his electricity company to pay him the solar credits he would have earned for that power.

Noting that his welcome pack had listed the Premium Feed-In Tariff price of 66 cents per kilowatt hour alongside the much lower 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour General Feed-In Tariff, Mr A also believed that he was entitled to receive the Premium Feed-in Tariff rate.

When Mr A contacted EWOV, we raised an Assisted Referral. The company called Mr A and told him that he was only eligible for the General Feed-In Tariff. It offered a $400 goodwill credit to cover any missed solar credits and in recognition of the delay and the inconvenience experienced. Mr A wasn’t satisfied with this proposed resolution and returned to EWOV, so we opened an Investigation. 

The Investigation

EWOV’s conciliator reviewed the circumstances around the delay to the customer’s connection, and found that this was the result of an error in the paperwork submitted by the solar installer. Mr A would have received $282.50 in solar credits if not for the delay.

The conciliator asked the retailer to provide all the details of its agreement with Mr A, including call recordings, welcome pack, signed paperwork and a copy of the contract Terms & Conditions. 

The call recordings showed that before the agreement was made, the company repeatedly explained to Mr A that he would receive the General Feed-in Tariff. EWOV’s legal advisor also reviewed the signed Feed-In Tariff Application form and Terms & Conditions, which referred only to the General Feed-In Tariff. 

The Outcome

Our conciliator spoke with Mr A and explained that although the information in the Welcome Pack had been unclear, Mr A had been given accurate advice about the applicable tariff both over the phone and in the Terms & Conditions of his contract, which he had signed and agreed to orally.

Under those circumstances, the company’s resolution offer − a $400 credit, which more than covered any missed solar credits − was reasonable. The conciliator advised Mr A that he could pursue the matter further in another forum if he still wasn’t happy. Mr A accepted the company’s resolution offer and the case was closed. 

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