Energy and Resources Minister Peter Batchelor said that the Electricity Industry Amendment (Premium Solar Feed-In Tariff) legislation 2009 will ensure that the scheme’s cost to Victoria's electricity consumers will not exceed $10 a year, while helping householders repay the cost of installing average-sized solar panels within about ten years.

“Through our scheme, an average Victorian household with a 1.5 kW PV system will get around $300 off their power bill for energy sold back into the grid. This is on top of about $300 in savings Victorian households with solar systems will receive by using the electricity these systems produce in their own home.”

“We are pleased that the Opposition has finally realised our premium feed-in tariff scheme provided the right balance between promoting renewable energy and ensuring vulnerable Victorians would not be hit by high electricity rises,” added Mr Batchelor.

Origin and AGL have announced that they will provide cash or rollover credits after twelve months under the scheme, which is expected to be in place by the end of this year.

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The Alternative Technology Association welcomed the amendments to the Victorian FiT legislation, which includes an increase in the size of solar systems eligible to receive the payment, from 3.2 kW to 5.0 kW; the inclusion of community buildings and small businesses that use less than 100 MWh per year.

However, the ATA remained critical, saying that under a net scheme, the state will still only experience a limited increase in the uptake of solar power.

In contrast to the state government’s ten year estimate, ATA Energy Policy Manager Damien Moyse said that the majority of solar-homes will take between 15 and 20 years to pay off their solar installations “particularly when investors in roof-top solar will be relying on market sensitive Renewable Energy Certificates, supplied to them under the Federal Government’s Solar Credit Scheme, to provide the initial financial subsidy.”

The newly introduced New South Wales net FiT has received similar criticism from the ATA and the Greens.

"Only the ACT has got it right with a 'gross' tariff that pays the bonus on all the energy generated,” said New South Wales Greens MP John Kaye.

Meanwhile, the Independent Competition and Regulatory Authority has raised concerns about potentially high electricity prices for Canberra households and businesses as a result of the state’s gross FiT.