Solar Feed-In Tariffs
Solar feed-in tariffs can sometimes be confused with solar rebates. A solar rebate is a discount you can get when you buy a solar power system. A solar feed-in tariff is a price or credit you get when your grid-connected solar power system sells electricity back to the grid for use by other customers on the grid.
The feed-in tariff rates were high to begin with to help create an incentive for home and business owners to install a solar power system and in turn help Australia meet its renewable energy targets to help reduce climate change. Back when the tariffs were introduced the price of a solar system was four times what it is today in 2016. The tariffs are now only a fraction of what they were and will soon disappear altogether.
feed-in tariff rates for each state
More comprehensive information of state by state feed-in tariffs and rates can be found in the list below:
- New South Wales
- South Australia
- Western Australia
- ACT Canberra
- Northern Territory
What is a feed-in tariff?
The feed-in tariff is the amount paid to clean energy system owners for the electricity they generate from a solar or wind system and feed into the grid, enabling that power to be sold to other customers. There are two types of feed-in tariffs in Australia: Net and Gross.
Net feed-in tariffs
When a solar power system makes electricity it is first used in the home or business, any excess power generated that is not used is sent to feed the grid. A NET feed-in tariff will only pay you for the electricity exported to the grid, all states in Australia now have a NET feed-in tariff.
The rate for exported electricity is 5-12c per kWh except for the NT. The price varies between electricity retailers.
Gross feed-in tariffs
Back in and up to 2011 in NSW had generous gross feed-in tariffs, the early adopters of this scheme until recently received 66 cents per kWh of power generated by their solar panels regardless of whether or not it went into the grid.
Feed-in tariff rates are now so low that exporting electricity and then having to repurchase it at a higher price is a bad outcome. If you have a grid connect solar power system installed the way to get the best value is to use as much solar power as you can during the day exporting as little as possible. Think outside the box a little. For example, you could put all your clothes in the washing machine before you go to work, then set the device up with a timer to start washing at midday. In other words, solar power only costs the price of buying and installing the system and goes down over time, coal-fired mains power goes up in price over time.
The recent rise of new technology in the home energy storage market is and will continue to shake up the old school power industry, and the ability to cheaply store solar energy for nighttime use coupled with the option of charging home batteries from the grid at low rate times means even more energy savings for homeowners.