Solar feed-in tariffs going up for south-east Queenslanders
A report by the Queensland Competition Authority shows households with rooftop solar are benefiting from higher Queensaland solar feed-in tariffs (FiTs) in 2018 more than previous years.
The report shows that the average FiT offered in the quarter to June 2018 was 11 cents per kWh. This is up from 9.8 cents in the first half of the 2017-18 year and 6.7 cents in June last year. This also represents a 64 per cent increase within 12 months.
The highest FiT during the quarter was 20 cents, offered by two retailers. This was around double what those same retailers were offering earlier in the year. By comparison, the highest FiT offered in 2016-17 was 11 cents.
Only one retailer out of the 17 listed reduced any of its FiT offers during the 2017-18 year.
What solar feed-in tariffs means for Queenslanders
When a household or business installs solar panels, its solar installation may generate more power than it can use during the day.
When this happens, the system owner has the option to feed their surplus power back to the grid. Electricity retailers offer payments (FiTs) to consumers for this power. That’s because it reduces how much wholesale electricity retailers need to buy on the market.
Retailers decide on the amount they are willing to pay customers per kWh. In south-east Queensland with large cities such as Brisbane and Gold Coast, this is a competitive market. This results in higher Queensland solar feed-in tariffs.
The amount a customer gets paid is deducted from any grid energy they consume. This explains why some solar power system owners end up with a bill in credit.
In effect they have generated more power from their solar installation than they have used from the grid.
Still important to shop around says Minister
According to State Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham, higher Queensland solar feed-in tariffs are now available because of rapid solar market growth.
Statistics show that around one-in-three Queensland households now have a solar installation. One installation is taking place every 15 minutes.
Lynham says this is creating a broader choice of FiTs for consumers. Electricity retailers are competing to buy this renewable energy, putting the choice in the hands of consumers.
However, the Minister also said it is important for consumers to “shop around”. That way they can find the best deal to suit their needs, in terms of both an energy plan and solar FiTs.