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Solar Meter Delay Adding Costs on Bills on Australian Households

There are worries that some solar owners in New South Wales could be unable to pay their electricity bills because of a metering issue that’s left consumers out of money.

A new study showed solar-powered households in New South Wales waiting for new smart meters to be installed could pay more than $500 extra for their electricity this year.

Surging complaints to the New South Wales Energy and Water Ombudsman have prompted calls for consumers to ask for credits to be added to their bills.

More than 275,000 homes were affected when the generous government solar tariffs stopped in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia last year.

Under the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme, about 146,000 households received $0.60 for each kilowatt hour of energy fed into the grid, designed to offset expensive panels and encourage solar uptake.

After the schemes ended, the households were supposed to receive the market rate of between 6% and 12% per kilowatt hour to feed into the grid. And to get the best value out of their solar panels, most people in New South Wales needed new meters installed by the time the scheme ended last December 31, 2016.

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