Energy Minister Mike Nahan has confirmed that the State Government is backing down on plans to slug householders more to access the grid, saying they would have been too "crude".
Dr Nahan was responding yesterday to reports that the Government had shelved plans to recover the huge cost to the system of solar panels amid fears of a backlash from the tens of thousands of customers who have them.
A review of electricity tariffs had found increasing fixed charges - such as the supply charge - would have been unfair by disadvantaging small energy users as well as those with solar panels.
Dr Nahan said the Government would now look at other ways to adjust tariffs to ensure the system was sustainable, including allowing retailers to offer their own pricing structures.
Under the current tariff system, most of a householder's electricity bill stems from the amount of electricity used. Fixed costs, by comparison, make up about 15 per cent of the bill.
"The real issue here is we have major innovation with solar panels and smart meters coming on and there are other ways of achieving this in a less blunt manner," Dr Nahan said. "Really what we want to do is give them (households) an incentive to use electricity less at peak times."