What are solar feed in tariffs?
Solar feed in tariffs are what you get paid for solar energy you produce, but do not use. When solar energy is produced, your home gets the full benefit of free solar power from the sun. But if you’re not at home, or not using much energy, the power is automatically sent to the power grid. You may get paid for the power which you send to the grid and this is called a solar feed in tariff.
While a normal electricity “tariff” is the rate you’re charged for power you use, a solar “feed in tariff” is the opposite – the rate you earn for solar energy you produce.
Most of the time, a solar feed in tariff is made up of:
- A contribution from the state government to encourage household uptake of solar power
- A contribution from the energy retailer to act as an incentive to choose their services
Most state government contributions to solar feed in tariffs are now very minimal or non-existent.
Are solar feed in tariffs different to solar rebates?
YES! Many people refer to solar feed in tariffs as “solar rebates”, but this is not accurate. Solar feed in tariffs are energy rates you get paid. Solar rebates are upfront discounts you receive in order to buy a solar system. While solar feed in tariffs have reduced dramatically in the past several years, solar rebates are still quite generous. Solar rebates may make up 25% or more of the total solar system cost.
Are solar feed in tariffs different across Australia?
YES! As stated above, solar feed in tariffs are usually a combination of state government and energy retailer incentives. State governments often have dramatic differences in what they offer. Energy retailers usually keep things simple and stick to 1 rate across Australia – but this is entirely up to the retailer.
What types of solar rebates/feed in tariffs are there in NSW?
Solar Feed In Tariffs NSW
Solar feed in tariffs in NSW are currently quite abysmal. Retailers will offer between $0.00 and $0.12. Usually $0.06/kWh is quite standard. So while many residents pay upwards of $0.30/kWh for power they use, they may only be able to get $0.06/kWh for power they produce. The good news is, it’s not nothing!
Energy use: 20kWh/day
Solar production: 21kWh/day
Energy use while solar is producing power: 9kWh/day
Energy use purchased from grid: 11kWh/day
Solar power sent to grid: 12kWh/day
Using the example above, the 12kWh/day sent to the grid would be an extra $262.80 off an annual electricity bill (on a 6c solar feed in tariff) – which is better than nothing!
Solar Rebates NSW
Solar rebates starting decreasing (again) at the beginning of 2017. Rebates for solar panel system purchases are legislated Australia-wide – but they vary based on zone (determined by the weather – potential energy production).
For a 5kW solar power system in Sydney NSW, you can expect to receive a rebate of around $3,648*
*Based on $38.00 STC value and 96 STCs
Sydney solar feed in tariffs
Solar feed in tariffs in Sydney are not fantastic. Since the NSW government decided not to offer anything for solar energy, many people thought it was the end for solar power in NSW. While you may still be able to get 6c or more for your solar feed in tariff in Sydney, it may be worthwhile considering a solar battery system as an alternative.
Solar batteries – the solution to poor solar feed in tariffs?
A solar battery system using a solar battery such as Powerwall 2 is an excellent alternative to sending energy to the grid for a pittance in return. A battery system allows you to store excess energy to use later on instead of sending energy to the grid @ 6c and buying it back later @30c +!
Solar feed in tariff changes
Although recent changes to solar feed in tariffs in Victoria mean they will enjoy more than double their current rate shortly