How To Get A Credit Refund From Your Electricity Company

Electricity retailer credit refund

If you expect your energy retailer to send you any money they owe you without you asking for it, you may be disappointed.

A reader’s email last week led me down too many rabbit holes, but I think it was worth it. The reader asked us to look into how electricity companies handle refunds of customer credits accumulated under solar feed-in tariffs (FiTs). Can customers get credit refunds automatically, and what happens to credits at the end of a contract?

Those questions bump up against a very common consumer protection issue: overly-complex consumer terms and conditions can make it hard to understand how things work, and as a consequence, consumers might miss out on their entitlements.

The amounts involved can definitely be non-trivial – as SolarQuotes Founder Finn Peacock mentioned to me:

“If you can’t get a credit on your bill as cash in the bank – then that will seriously mess up the payback of the solar for many people. For example with a big system it is not unusual to get a net $500+ credit in summer.”

So it’s worth knowing how a provider handles refunds.

What we found, looking through the feed-in tariff terms and conditions of 13 retailers, is credit refund policies either let customers register for automatic refund of credit balances (usually with a minimum balance applied to refunds); or the provider will offer refunds if requested.

Only one retailer, Alinta Energy, excludes refunds. In its solar terms and conditions document (here’s the PDF), we read:

“A Solar Electricity Credit has no value other than as prescribed in this Agreement, it is not transferable and we are not under any circumstances required to pay you any amount of money under the terms of this Agreement in respect of Solar Electricity Credits. Any Solar Electricity Credits which have accrued and, as at the date this Agreement terminates, have not been set-off against amounts payable by you under your Energy Agreement will be extinguished without compensation to you effective upon termination of this Agreement.”

Note to solar power system owners from Finn: A good reason to avoid Alinta like the coronavirus!

UPDATE: January 27, 2021 – another retailer that appears to not offer cash payments is Sumo Power. Its terms indicate only a credit against current and future bills will be applied and any credit left when the agreement terminates will be “extinguished”.

As for the rest of those we surveyed, where we were able to identify a retailer’s credit policy, we’ve provided a summary in the table below.

Selected Retailers’ Credit Policies

Provider Policy States identified in policy Minimum balance Auto? Details Notes
AGL On application NSW, SA and QLD $10 N Link Separate Vic policy here
Amaysim Energy Annual by request NSW, SA, QLD, Vic $100 N Link
Aurora Energy By request, phone or Web form Tas Not stated N Link
Click Energy Customers can register an account to receive credits NSW, SA, QLD, Vic Not stated Y Link
DC Power Co By phone or e-mail request NSW, SA, QLD, Vic $100 N Link
Discover Energy Customers can either register for periodic credits, or get credits by request NSW, SA, QLD, Vic $50 Y Link
Dodo On application, quarterly Victoria $100 N Link
Energy Australia By cheque, phone or e-mail request only Not stated Not stated N Link Offered to Power Response Program customers; not included in standard FiT terms
Energy Locals By request NSW $200 N Link
Origin Energy Customers can register an account to receive credits Not stated Not stated Y Link
Powershop By phone or e-mail request Not stated $100 N Link
ReAmped Energy By request Not stated Not stated N Link
Synergy Customers can register a refund account WA $75 Y Link

If a retailer is missing from this list, it’s because we couldn’t find any mention of credit refunds in their documentation – they may or may not offer credit refunds.

Retailers who let you choose to automatically get your credits

Only four of the retailers included in our table explicitly include automatic refunds to nominated accounts in their T&C documents (but you still have to register to receive them):

  • Click Energy
  • Discover Energy
  • Origin Energy
  • Western Australia’s Synergy.

All the rest only provide a refund if you:

(a) know you can ask for it, and

(b) remember to ask for it.

What happens if you’re in credit when you decide to move to another electricity company?

This is far less obvious in most providers’ terms and conditions – many don’t mention it at all.

For example: Origin Energy’s media office told us that if a customer had already registered an account for credit refunds, the final credit would automatically be paid into that account.

Alinta, as we’ve already discussed, extinguishes solar feed in tariff credits at the end of its contract.

For most of the retailers we looked at, an end-of-contract credit isn’t explicitly mentioned. However, since all the retailers allow you to request the refund of a credit balance, we suppose if your final bill showed a credit, you’d have the right to get your money under whatever other rules govern credit balances. Just make sure you ask for it before your account is closed.

About Richard Chirgwin

Richard Chirgwin is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience covering a wide range of technology topics, including electronics, telecommunications, computing and science.


  1. I’m currently with AGL, I was under the belief you can set up an auto credit to your bank account but maybe not and might have changed. I usually leave the credit there and draw it all out after Summer period then the Autumn period will have some credit to offset my Winter Bill. I know it makes more sense to have it all credited to a high interest account every 3 months if you can be bothered as they don’t pay interest on your money.

    I would contact the Police if any retailer tried to steal my money, then contact the Energy Ombudsman and have them investigate it. Then let everyone know about it.

    The money earned from FiT is yours that you generated as an Micro electricity generator. It’s not a rebate.

    Retailers are not above the law and their contracts can’t cancel out local consumer laws.

    • Stewart,
      Re your “I know it makes more sense to have it all credited to a high interest account every 3 months . . . . . “. Bloody hell, mate: who is offering this high interest account you refer to? Please! :>

      Keep smilin’

      • Greg,

        I have a couple. CUA “eSaver Reward Account” and a high interest Ubank (part of the National bank) Acc.

        Both offer somewhere between 2-3%, and are government guaranteed up to a certain limit. There are generally certain conditions such as making regular deposits, minimum balance, keep balance under a certain limit, must make certain number of purchases on your card per month (avoid this one).

        Some stipulate loose bonus interest if you withdraw any funds in the month.

        You have to look at what each one offers and check out conditions carefully.

        • Stewart,

          Have had accounts with both CUA and uBank for many years.

          The former from god-only-knows when – but in the early days of when it was known as Credicare: at a guess maybe 40-50 years. In the case of the latter, my earliest interest statement indicates 10+ years – 2009.

          My (obviously failed) attempt at tongue-in-cheek humour appears to have fallen flat.
          Newsflash! Interest rates of 2%, or even a (sarcasm alert) dizzy (gasp) 3% does not, repeat not, constitute a “high interest account” in any shape or form.

          And some quick maths:
          50 bucks credit at 2% interest for the next quarter would earn a maximum of $1, or a maximum of $1-50 at 3%. And I use the term “maximum” advisedly, as the first and last month of the quarter probably wouldn’t earn any interest because of the common “minimum monthly balance” rule that is usually in place with banks.
          That being the case, in that scenario the 50 bucks credit would earn 33cents or 50cents for the quarter. Double that for 100 bucks.

          What’s that? Maybe a cup of coffee every three years or so?

          Easy Street here I come! :>

          But most importantly: keep smilin’

          • Greg, The rates offered are higher than the official cash interest rates and as they keep falling so does the High interest rate bank accounts.

            So what do you do? Stick it in some crappy 0.1% bank interest account that many standard savings accounts are. Or leave it with the retailer to make money from your money and everyone else’s money. Feeling good are ya?

            Obviously if less money is in the account the less you will make so you can use all the low $ examples you like.

            Minimum balance rule Newsflash! is something I already pointed out in my previous post which you don’t seem to have read and needs to be taken into account along with all the other conditions. It won’t suit everyone.

            Why would anyone leave money with the retailer?

          • Stewart, are you endorsing to pull your solar credits out, to generate approx $1 in additional taxable income a year?

    • I am with AGL and currently have my monthly credit automatically credited into my nominated bank account. It took a few phone calls to get it done but has been working seamlessly for months. They send me a notice when they are crediting the FIT back into the account so I just give it a few days to turn up.

      • Darryl, Taxable income is just that. Not meaning to be rude but do you understand what that actually means?

        All it means is it’s subject to tax but whether you pay tax on it depends on you own situation. i.e: If you are under the Tax free threshold you don’t pay tax on it.

    • George Zedd says

      Richard, I just want to say thanks for informing me that Alinta does not refund or pay out any solar credits.
      I have just signed up with Alinta but still have my 10-day cooling off period to cancel the contract.
      Given that I am a net exporter of solar to the grid in Qld, I generally build up many hundreds of dollars in FIT credits. Previous electricity companies have paid these out when I change retailers (Usually when they jack up their rates and become uncompetitive).
      Ill be calling Alinta to confirm this policy of ‘extinguishing’ my credits. If it is the case that I lose it, then it’s goodbye Alinta.
      This policy amounts to theft, in my opinion. It is unconscionable conduct – it is unjust or extremely one-sided in favour of the person who has the superior bargaining power.
      Worse still, no regulator or government department has stepped in to stop this.
      Where’s the outcry from the masses? Why is this allowed to be wept under the carpet?

      • Geoff Miell says
        • George Zedd says


          Thank you for pointing me to these links. I did not know that Alinta was a Chinese company owned by Chow Tai Fook, a multi billionaire business man. Good enough reason to run a mile and to try and find an Australian-owned electricity company, if any exist.

          Further to my last comment, I took this matter seriously enough to follow up and get to the truth about Alinta not paying out FIT credits.

          Firstly I contacted Alinta who gave me various replies via phone and emails stating that they do pay out FIT credits.
          All the customer has to do is make the request (via phone) that they want the FIT credit paid out (if they are leaving Alinta). 28 days after the last meter read, Alinta will pay you your FIT minus any outstanding charges for usage etc.

          Not being 100% convinced, I then wrote to the Energy And Water Ombudsman in Qld (EWOQ) who referred me to the Office of Fair Trading in Qld, as they have the powers to look into any unfair or suspect business practices.
          They are investigating this matter now and I plan to post their response when I receive it.

          At the moment, the jury is out on whether or not Alinta will pay out FIT’s, but with their terms and conditions being specific and black-and-white about extinguishing FIT credits, I think it might be best to look elsewhere when choosing an Electricity provider if you have solar.

          • Colin Evans says

            RED ENERGY claims to be all Australian Company, with the Snowy Mountains Scheme, I’ve never had trouble with them! I need to look into redeeming my outstanding solar credits from them.

      • George Zedd says

        Further to my last comment, I took this matter seriously enough to follow up and get to the truth about Alinta not paying out FIT credits.

        Firstly I contacted Alinta who gave me various replies via phone and emails stating that they do pay out FIT credits.
        All the customer has to do is make the request (via phone) that they want the FIT credit paid out (if they are leaving Alinta). 28 days after the last meter read, Alinta will pay you your FIT minus any outstanding charges for usage etc.

        Not being 100% convinced, I then wrote to the Energy And Water Ombudsman in Qld (EWOQ) who referred me to the Office of Fair Trading in Qld, as they have the powers to look into any unfair or suspect business practices.
        They are investigating this matter now and I plan to post their response when I receive it.

        At the moment, the jury is out on whether or not Alinta will pay out FIT’s, but with their terms and conditions being specific and black-and-white about extinguishing FIT credits, I think it might be best to look elsewhere when choosing an Electricity provider if you have solar.

    • Murray Gordon says

      I was about to change companies last week when Alinta dropped my feed in solar tarriff from 11 cents down to 8 cents but they did make me an offer which meant they were still the best rates I could obtain. The final bill they sent before I accepted their new terms had on it to ring them to get my a/c credit refunded so this seems to contradict the imformation you’ve provided here.

  2. Energy Australia will direct deposit into your bank account, it can be requested via chat, web dashboard or phone. Have been through the process recently when they dropped their FIT’s and I transferred out.

    • Who did you go to?

      I am with Energy Australia and while I am not a fan, (customer service and communication is woeful), I could not find a better deal. It is all smoke and mirrors so it is very difficult to compare “apples with apples”. Even the so called comparison sites have their limitations and don’t always do good job of recommending a retailer, despite being given all of my current info/data, (I have found better deals “manually”.

      • Roger Brealey says

        I have just transferred away from Energy Australia because of the reduction of FIT to 12cents I think. I was on a 2 year plan with 22% discount if paid on time. I went to AGL 18c FIT. No discounts that I am aware of, I think AGL K/wh rates are better. I am in Adelaide.

        • Colin Martin says

          Roger.. It’s definitely smoke and mirrors. I’m with AGL Melbourne and lost the pay on time discount. They have just increased my import rate, now 31.34 cents and the FIT remains at 12 cents.. I receive a monthly bill and have a 38% discount. My 10kWh system is now giving me negative bills, but the last one, the Solar was affected by smoke haze and still a good month, only paid $16 and when you consider before Solar we had a bill smoothing of $340/month. Only going for 7 months and a Powerwall 2 with Gateway backup will be installed mid April.The fun starts playing with credits, storage etc…

  3. You have to be persistent . After getting my panels I rang Origin to ask why I wasn’t getting credits,and they said”you haven’t applied” so I said “I’m applying now”, and they said to download the special form and send it by snail mail. After a very long time they started sending me cheques,and I said” Why can’t you put the money in my account” ,but they said they couldn’t,so I did telephone nagging,saying,if you can accept my payment by internet,you can pay me by internet.
    Also,what they do,is change the rebate without notice or reason,so you suddenly notice the rates have changed. Borderline legality,I think.

    • Robyn, the FiT is not a “rebate”. You earned that money. Please understand the difference.

      I dislike retailers that go out of their way to make life difficult. A cheque will cost them money but I guess they hope you don’t ask for the money that legally belongs to you and so only provide you that option.

      Why don’t you tell them it’s too difficult stuffing around with cheques as you are a busy person and don’t have the time to line up in a bank que. Tell them you will use one of the other retailers that will do direct deposits.

      • Exactly, exactly, why did I have to fill in forms to get my rebate? They dont fill in forms to ask me to pay my invoice. Furthermore, during all the kerfuffle a man stopped by to ask if I was getting rebates because he had installed solar panels and not heard another word. Its what they do.( I gave him an earfull.) This is Origin. So now, I have a Powerwall but pay bills, and they change the FIT, and I have shoulder tariffs and God know what else they will think up——sore toe tariffs?—-, and getting to talk to someone in Origin Energy—-well, I think it is like contacting God——and I contacted about ten people to find out whether I have a smart meter—-someone says it is not smart, but they can read it remotely ( so why do they send me estimate bills ; the meter is plain to see at the side of the house;no dog—-why do they even send a meter reader if they can estimate it?? Why, why, why?) And, lastly, why does my Powerwall take 0.1 Kwh from the grid most days, but not every day, and why cant they fix things so that my Powerwall keeps going if the grid goes down? One can go crazy trying to work out what ones provider is doing.

        • Robyn,
          I suggest you get somebody (a definitely independent somebody) to sit down with you and explain the solar power and power billing thing to you.

          You appear to have ended up on a Time of Use (ToU) tariff for your consumption, hence your different Shoulder / Peak / OffPeak charges. ToU is not necessarily a bad thing – I am on ToU, rather than flat rate charges because I have worked out I am better off on it. But this is not the case with a lot of consumers. You do need somebody to work out with you, what the best plan is for *you*.

          I am not sure what you are asking re the “man that stopped by”.
          I assume you are receiving a Feed in Tariff (FiT) because you mention a “rebate”. However, you need to clarify this because a “rebate” is a flat sum credit that most/all State Governments pay to pensioners via their quarterly electricity bill to partially offset the cost of their electricity. Is there a figure on your bill itemised as a “feed-in credit” or something similar? If not, there is a possibility the necessary paperwork has not been completed after the installation of your Powerwall and potentially your Powerwall is not reducing your electricity charges at all.
          If indeed you are talking about the pensioner rebate, (as much as it truly pains me to come to Origin’s defence) :> forms would have to be filled in, in order to confirm your eligibility.

          If you do indeed have a meter that can be read remotely, you certainly do have a “Smart Meter”.

          I have no idea on your “0.1kW” (some) day usage, but I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over it. You’re looking a something like 3c on those days.

          Finally, on your call for “they” to “fix things” so your Powerwall can continue to “keep going” when the grid goes down, presumably you are after being able to use the power in the battery when there is a power outage. This is indeed possible (usually at a cost of anywhere between $500 and $800) because it is necessary to do some work on your meter box in order that your Powerwall doesn’t electrocute somebody working on the power lines feeding yours and nearby neighbours’ properties during a power outage.

          But as mentioned at the start of this post, I strongly suggest you get some informed, independent advice on your whole solar system setup.

          Good luck.

  4. WHAT is a Credit Refund??? Different to a FiT?

    • Grace, It’s the difference between what you owe them and the money you earned in FiT.

      • Excuse my ignorance, but the FiT amount get’s straihgt away taking off the amount I owe Origin. Why bother with the Credit Refund as some people do go through a lot of bother?

        • Donald Firth says

          Cos some of us are so frugal in our electricity that we buy in and have large enough systems (just under the 10Kv allowed for 21c fit by origin) that we generate an excess every month…. I also have panels at a high angle to maximise winter gain and anticipate never having a negative bill this coming winter under the current tariffs.

        • Grace, it depends on you circumstances. If you use lots of electricity during the day then you are self consuming which is a good thing to save money, but if you are not using it then it can add up to a fair amount. For me it’s about $500 per year credit (nothing to pay out)

          That’s about $12.50 in interest by having it my bank account. Why give the retailers the opportunity to make interest on money that belongs to you?

          Whether you bother or not is personal choice but it’s $12.50 worth of satisfaction for me to see that they don’t make money of my money.

    • Declan Power says

      Grace – as explained, it is available when you consume less electricity cost-wise than you feed in to the network in c/kwh.

      I am with Origin on 21c FiT. I live on the sunny and warm Mid-North Coast. I have 1 year old system, 9.3kw in panels, a 7kw Fronius 3 phase inverter and I am single in a well insulated new dwelling. I use only modest amounts of electricity.

      This summer’s bill I got a credit of $429. I had registered an account with Origin when I fitted the system so requested a transfer online, It arrived in my account in 2-3 days. Other smaller refunds have been handled similarly.

      Happy with that. I can see my daily, monthly and bill period use online plus history. Despite some quite dull, cloudy and rainy days recently, I rarely purchase more electricity than I feed in. I can feed in up to 34kwh per day in summer. Hence the solid credit.

      • Thanks so much Declan, that explains it very clearly. Since I have only 3 KW I don’t have to think about that (only 11c FiT but until July still 21% discount with Origin). I will keep it in mind for the future though. I try to use up as much as possible during the day.

  5. Colin Martin says

    On SolarQuotes link..

    About Pension Income, if you get cash or a cheque rebate it is seen as income from Centrelink.. Some of my friends say “how will they know ?”… Well AGL verified my Pensioner concession so there would be ways…

    I realize it’s a pittance, only 12c rebate for feedin in Victoria but I will keep my AGL account credit.. Ironically it’s about a -$1,000 in credit now and with current bank interest on a Term Deposit @ 1,6%, this $1,000 is about 07.8%.. Or $3/1000/fortnight = $72pa..

    So for those Pensions it’s better leaving the money with the Electricity retailer with an increased pension.. Unless your desperate for the cash, in that case it will probably have no affect on your pension.

    • Colin, this is the old stick it under the money under the mattress type thinking. Doing so earns you nothing on your money. If it was in an account that generates interest then yes Centrelink would deem it. You would still be better off.

      • Colin Martin says

        When you read the earlier link I posted, Centrelink see it as income, and in our case because we are part pensioners installing the Solar gave our Pension a boost of about $117/fortnight. As you posted in this, the “keeping the money with AGL” is another gain.. Just like money hidden under the mattress, but better than bank interest.. That $1000 credit only earns $16pa and the extra Pension equates to $78pa.

        So I will be ordering and installing my Powerwall 2 shortly and part of my justification is the increase in Pension. I don’t need a new motor vehicle because it’s reliable and safe and now could be a appreciating Holden Statesman…. and I don’t like spending money on a depreciating asset.

        All good fun massaging monetary issues… When we justified the Solar, which started in August last year, part of the justification for my wife was that I would create a Solar Saver Bank Account…. That’s now $2,400, so my wife is seeing the benefits..

        • Sorry Colin but your reasoning is flawed IMO:

          “That $1000 credit only earns $16pa and the extra Pension equates to $78pa.”

          ok with interest part of your argument and yes, CL may treat it as Income above a certain amount (so get it out every 1/4) but they don’t take the entire lot you earn nor do they deem savings at 100%.

          You could be asset tested which works differently again but even so you can’t be worse off.

          • Stewart,

            Not an area I am familiar with, but I think you have missed the point Colin is making:

            I THINK Colin is trying to explain to you that in HIS case, if he had a hypothetical $1,000 credit in his electricity account, this could earn him, say, $25 p.a. in one of your self-described “high interest” savings accounts. (Presumably you meant “higher interest” (as in higher than 0.1%) rather than “high interest” (which by any measure, 2% to 3% just ain’t, otherwise financial sources would not be universally referring to them as “lowest on record”.) But I digress.

            Again, I THINK Colin is trying to explain to you, that if he did move that $1,000 into your “high interest” bank savings account, his assets insofar as his Pension is concerned, would be **automatically** calculated as having increased by $1,000 and he has calculated that would automatically reduce his pension by $78 p.a. – a net loss to him of 50-odd bucks. And contrary to your response to Colin, above, a net loss of $50-or-so definitely does NOT make him better off. And presumably whilst that $1,000 is sitting in his electricity account as an advance payment (in exactly the same circumstances that anybody can pay their Council Rates 12 months in advance, rather than quarterly) it is not seen as increasing his assets, Pension-wise, which would cost him a $78 p.a. reduction in his pension.

            Simples! :>

            Disclaimer: absolutely no expertise claimed – just explaining what I think is Colin’s (what would appear to be quite sound) logic.

            But most, most importantly, Stewart: keep smilin! :>

  6. In my experience, Origin does not have automatic refunds – they require a request after every bill/statement in order to get the refund.
    Also, besides using the form in the Link in the above table, one can instead login to their Origin account and request the refund where it says “Move your credit to another account or ask for a refund – even if it’s a solar credit.” This second method is still not a standing order – gotta ask each bill.

    • My experience with Origin is the same – have to call them each bill to get them to send a credit. To give them their due, Origin has been much better than our previous supplier, Energy Australia, where each time there was a credit, it was a struggle to get them to pay the refund. We eventually complained to the energy ombudsman about them, which seemed to work.

      • I’m with Origin in QLD. My arrangement is: billed quarterly, if the credit in the account exceeds $150 I get an automatic refund to bank account of whatever the amount is, usually around 10 days after the billing date.

        Usually get about 2 refunds a year, which add up to around $450 – $500

        It all depends of course on your FIT rate, your self-consumption, etc etc.

        I usually put refund in another account, let them accumulate for a bit, and use it towards other ‘cost reducing’ outlays

        Heavy air-conditioning use tends to give the bill a bit of a hit though!

  7. Energy Australia offer refunds by request on their website, and have direct credited so for me – I am not a Power Response Program customer (per your table). No worse than paying my bill – though in reverse! I agree that they ought to just pay it directly with no fuss, just like they expect me to do.

    They gave me notice of their recent FIT reduction – bummer, but I guess that is real-life marketplace, and I never complain when the petrol price reduces. I wish there was a better deal to change to, but if there is, I cannot find it through all the swings and roundabouts. Any ideas are welcomed!

    I agree with Stewart – if they retain payments due to the customer, they are simply stealing, by common law …. if there is a lawyer out there who can tell otherwise, I would like to know why! We should be ready to call it what it is. Maybe I can use some electricity and pay for it after a few years when they finally chase me down …… no, I don’t think so! What is Alinta thinking???

  8. Donald Firth says

    when I switched from Powershop they speedily credited my balance by direct deposit. Then when I switched from DC Power (probably one of the first to) they also were very prompt in crediting my account.
    Now I am with Origin I am waiting for their unreasonably long 6 month first billing period to set up automatic crediting to my account. I have yet to find how honest they are. But obviously if they prove to not be worthwhile I will switch again- it is so easy.

  9. Donald Firth says

    I see from Origin energy’s website that my plan with 21c fit can be monthly if I wish. Interesting that it was automatically set as 6 monthly (with no option to vary this at time of contract setup) -no doubt to maximise how long they can hold on to my money.
    I have just rung Origin( only a few mins wait) and they immediately switched my billing period to monthly and then after a further 3 min wait the rebate section confirmed that I would have the money in my nominated account within 5 business days- implying they were sending it straight away and any delay would be at the bank end. And yes I was offered to be sent a cheque or direct deposit.
    Origin do not as yet have an automatic refund of monthly fit credit but said if enough customers request it they will see if it can be done. I was told a number of customers have already made this request and I emphatically added mine.

  10. Colin Martin says

    From my past experience with AGL and Pensioner credits I had a quarterly account and it took months to resolve when I had a major issue with the Pension credit being dropped when I initially connected Solar.

    I would advise everyone with Solar to go for monthly billings so you see immediate results and make adjustments with your retailer at the time. In my other Community Solar areas they all advise the same… Go monthly…

  11. Colin Matin says

    Stewart… I agree with you because we are Asset tested.. Keeping Solar users informed is important because some could be on the borderline with income and assets.. If many of us populate our roof’s and the providers start to lose usage by import I can foresee issues.. Probably when my children inherit

    Just this month I was nearly able to contain my 9% electricity increase and the smoke haze loss. So waiting to order my battery to try and control all of my power costs.. As posted elsewhere we have a 24 hour house.. About 16kWh used in Non-Solar hours.. So I will enjoy reaping the benefits..

    • Chris Thaler says

      In my opinion Origin show integrity at all times with respect to refunds et al. I currently have two accounts with Origin and one gains credits and the other is non income generating. At all times Origin handle any refunds with alacrity and simply deduct any charges from the balance and deposit the remainder to my nominated account, without any intervention from me.

    • Declan Power says

      I have always had a fairly quick refund from Origin with no problems at all with my request. You do have to go online and request it as they don’t have an automatic refund facility as far as I can see. No problem, the online request is just a few clicks once you account is registered on the site.

      I believe you can also ring to request it, but for me it is easier to do it via my online account.

      I have found their service good. Later last year my online account started showing some odd numbers for use and the feed-in disappeared I called Origin, the person noted my issues politely, investigated and referred it to IT. She called a couple of days later to advise a partial fix was done and promised to monitor it until fully fixed, holding back the bill until it was corrected. A week later was all fixed when the bill arrived.

  12. Dennis KAVANAGH says

    I’m in Melbourne. When I received my second last account, I wanted to leave my credit with AGL so I didn’t ring them to ask for it. A week or so later I received a curious letter from AGL. It was my credit amount in the form of a CHEQUE. Even though they had my bank details they decided to send me a CHEQUE in 2019! How inconvenient. From here on I’ll ring and ask for a direct deposit as soon as the account arrives.

  13. Simon Miller says

    With some retailers if you have your gas account with the same retailer you can have the credit directed to your gas account.

    I have some clients for whom we have installed larger systems with no electricity bill, no gas bill and some credit especially over summer.

  14. Neil Johnson says

    Be aware of Origin Energy credit
    I recently (last bill) was in credit however our gate was locked and meter reader was unable to access power box. Ok so far as he /she left a card saying that on the same day we could ring energy provider (energex) and provide the meter readings, which I duly did and energex accepted.
    However when the retailer received the readings, they were flagged ‘estimates’ and refuses to provide a refund and will credit our account at the next ‘actual’ readings.
    No matter how hard I tried, Origin would not tell me if the same carry over policy (for customer read meters) exists, if we happened to owe them money!

  15. Neil, mention you will contact the “Energy Ombudsman” next time you contact them and see what happens. They don’t like hearing those words. Make sure to get pass the help desk and tell them you want to speak to their disputes section.

    If they shrug it off then contact the Ombudsman, the retailer will then be required by law to contact you to get it sorted out. If it still does not get sorted the Ombudsman can step in.

    I’ve done this on a couple of occasions with retailers. The retailer will normally remedy the situation and the Ombudsman does not need to take the matter further with them if you are satisfied with the outcome.

  16. Ian Thompson says

    Intetestingly, Synergy (WA) must be well ahead of the rest.

    We regularly get emails from Synergy to register a bank account with them, so they can direct deposit any net credit earned from FiT (less account costs).

    For our case, we are just as happy to carry the credit forward – when it can be used to help pay for higher winter costs.

    With our recent massive increase in the fixed costs, and limit of 5 kW maximum inverter capacity, the amounts are small anyway – hardly worth the effort…

  17. Tango Energy pays you the excess amount when your contract ends

    ref 2.4

  18. Colin Martin says

    Greg and Stewart.. Thanks for the continual interface

    I’m just back from the ANZ bank after rolling over a Term Deposit.. 1.6% for 9 months.. I also topped up my Progress Savers @ 1.6%. Bank Australia have just dropped their Savers to 1.65 and 1.8% respectively with deposits in both banks and no withdrawals..

    I have decided to keep the credit rolling along with AGL who have just informed me they can’t pay the Gas Bill off automatically with the credits. So when my 1st year of Solar arrives in August I will reassess after Smoke Haze loss, wonderful FiT credits and Autumn and part of winter. By then our Powerwall 2 will be installed.. This topic has been invigorating mentally for us.. Keeps the grey matter active for this 80 year person…

    When we talk small interest rates at the ANZ they made a typing error 1.59% instead of 1.60%. We corrected that and the difference is one cup of coffee per month.. Unless like my son who buys his @ 7/11 for $1… (:-)) (:-))

    Humid in Melbourne today and cloudy, peak power only 4.9kw, normally 8.6kw. Another storm brewing so our panels will be washed again.

  19. Has anyone had experience with Lumo re FIT payments? Lumo is not mentioned in the article, and I have had a number of “unfortunate experiences” with this company, and I’m just wondering if I might have another one!

  20. We (Qld domestic customer) signed up with Alinta in Dec ’19 and received our first quarterly invoice today. After seeing the blog and comments above, I checked both the Alinta Terms and Conditions referred above (June 2017 publication) and my 32 page contract dated 1 July 2019. The offending paragraph restricting refunds is not in the later document and hopefully reflects a change in attitude.
    I called Alinta this afternoon and was advised that I could request a refund over the phone or via email. Hopefully in 10 business days, I will know whether they honour their word.

  21. What energy retailers allow you to use solar credits to transfer to your gas bill, if any?

  22. Roger Brealey says

    Energy Australia allow Solar credits to be transferred to the gas bill. I just cancelled my Energy Australia account because of the reduction of FIT. Now with AGL think I can do transfer. Energy Australia beers good with cancellation and applied the accrued credit that would normally be applied on the next bill. Of course I was not having a next bill do I didn’t miss out on the accrued credit. AGL gave me 18cents FIT, and the rates except controlled load were less than Energy Australia. No discounts with AGL though.

  23. Roger Brealey says

    Forgot to mention that I am in Adelaide.

  24. What about for business/commercial FIT? Which ones would be best for cash refunds? We are getting a 100kW SunPower solar panel system installed in the next few weeks and we would like to offset our loan and repayments by paying into our loan from refunds. We don’t have an export limit but the capacity of the inverters will be 75kWh.

  25. Colin Martin says


    I will answer your last point.

    I have had this confirmed by Tesla Powerwall USA. The Powerwall system does micro management of itself to ensure all is working so that is able react to accept charging and consumption. ie everything is working as designed

    I found over a 24 hr period there are multiple 6, 13, 19 and 25 Watt imports and nullifying exports and with all of the rounding you finish up with the 0.1kWh.

    If you use Facebook there are a couple of good Australian Groups that can help you with your Powerwall issues.

  26. I would suggest updating this article as Alinta definitely allows you to withdraw credits on your account. A quick call to their call centre will confirm this with no hesitation from their end.

  27. Noel Preston says

    The claim that Alinta will not refund solar credits is totally incorrect. I am with Alinta and I applied to withdraw $1000 last week from my solar credits and the money turned up within a week. Simple as making a phone call, proving my identity and informing them oif what account to pay the money.

  28. Thank you for this article which I read only recently. I’m in SA and am with Energy Locals. After reading the article I rang them to enquire about obtaining a refund of my credit balance. They were quite happy to do so and immediately organised for it to be credited to my bank account. I also asked if there was any minimum credit balance before a refund request could remade and was informed that there wasn’t. Also, if you decide to move to another retailer your final bill will show a credit balance (assuming you are in credit), HOWEVER you need to contact them and request for that credit balance amount to be refunded (into your bank account. Seems very reasonable to me. Elsa, the lady I spoke with, was extremely helpful and informative.

  29. Ashwani kumar says

    My Solar installer never provided my any paper. Neither they provided to my electricity retailer. It has been more than three years installing panels, got Zero credit for my solar installation.
    What can I do?
    Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.


    Ashwani Kumar

    • Ronald Brakels says

      That is definitely an unfortunate situation that should never have occurred. If the original installer is still around they have a responsibility to provide an installation that is up to standard and that includes doing all the required paperwork. If they refuse to help you can contact fair trading or the ombudsman in your state. If the installer is no longer around you can contact the ombudsman and see if they can help. Unfortunately, you may need to pay to get a solar installer to come and inspect the system and perform the necessary paperwork so you can receive a solar feed-in tariff.

      • Many thanks mate I have made a complaint to consumer affair Victoria as ombudsman site transferred me to that department. I hope I’ll get some result soon.

  30. I’m with Alinta Energy – they DO provide refunds. I have had no issues at all receiving a refund of solar credits into my account; in fact, they say it’s my money and they don’t want it as they have to pay insurance on it. All you have to do is ring up and ask for the refund and provide your bank details.
    There is a requirement that there can’t be a bill due in less than 30 days – I’ve changed to quarterly bills so I don’t have to call the day after my meter is read.

    • Hi Roslyn,

      At the time of writing, February 24, 2020, they didn’t so it is great to hear that they’ve changed their minds.


  31. Huge thanks to all of you specially to the article’s writer. Very helpful!

  32. We’ve just transferred from ReAmped to Gee Energy, and ReAmped closed our account (automatically) before they answered me about how to withdraw our credit.

    However, I pushed again to find out how to the get the money, and they have referred me to their credit department to get it. Hopefully it comes through ASAP.

    But if I hadn’t seen this post, I wouldn’t have got our money back – thanks so much! Gee Energy also doesn’t specify anywhere about how to get the credit in one’s bank account (or if you can) so we are double-checking that now.

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