Solar PV rules change in Western Australia

18 August 2016

Solar PV system providers will be able to sell power to customers directly without a licence, under changes to Western Australia regulation announced on 17 August 2016.

The new rules will allow customers, such as households, to enter power purchase agreements (PPAs) with solar PV system suppliers, where the households purchase the power from the system for a term, rather than purchasing or renting the system.

Under the previous rules, solar PV system providers were required to have a retail licence under the Electricity Act in order to enter PPAs to sell power to customers from the systems.

Now, solar PV system providers will be able to apply to the WA Public Utilities Office for an exemption from the licence requirement, where they are selling power from a solar PV system.

If granted, the exemption will include conditions, including a requirement to provide customers with a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), and a requirement to lodge an annual report with the Public Utilities Office reporting on system installations and complaints received. This is different from the states regulated under the National Energy Retail Law, where these conditions are not yet imposed.

The Public Utilities Office of Western Australia has published Guidelines on the exemptions and the conditions attaching to them. The Guidelines are available here.

This article was written by Graeme Dennis, Partner.

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