Solar Feed In Tariffs
The 'Solar Feed In Tariff' is often confused with the 'Solar Rebate'. Don't be confused. The Rebate is the point of sale discount you get off the price of a new solar system, worth thousands of dollars and is alive and kicking. The Feed In Tariff is the price you get for solar exported to the grid, and although the Feed In Tariffs are still going they are worth a lot less than they used to be 3-5 years ago.
They were initially very high to encourage the uptake of solar, back when solar cost 3 to 4 times the price it is now. It worked. The solar industry is well established now and prices for Australian solar systems are the lowest in the world, thanks to high volume and efficient installers.
What is the Feed In Tariff Where You Live?
If you are in a hurry and want to simply find out what solar feed in rates are being offered in your area, the fastest way to find out is to compare Feed In Tariffs here.
If you want more general feed in tariff information for your state, here are the links:
Otherwise, here's what you should know about FiT's in general before I get in to the state-by-state details:
Your state government may pay you (or force the electricity companies to pay you) for the electricity that you generate on your roof (and so they should).
This kind of scheme is called a "Feed In Tariff" or FiT for short.
What is a Feed In Tariff?
A Feed In Tariff is the price you are paid for solar electricity that you generate. There are two types of feed in tariffs in Australia: Net and Gross.
Net Feed In Tariffs
When your solar system generates electricity, it gets used by your home first. If you are generating more solar than your home can use, the excess is sent out to the grid.
With a NET Feed In Tariff you only get paid for the solar energy that is exported to the grid. All states in Australia now have Net Feed In Tariffs.
With the exception of NT, the rate you get for exported electricity is between 5 and 12c per kWh. It varies by electricity retailer with some paying the bare legislated minimum, and others paying more. You can compare feed in tariffs here.
The 6-12c Feed In Tariff compares to a cost of buying electricity which is typically 25-35c per kWh.
This disparity betwenn the value of imports and exports incentivises self consumption of solar electricity, because when you use the solar in your home it saves 25-35c per kWh, whereas when you export solar you only earn 5-12c per kWh.
So if you own a solar system, you should try an use as many of your appliances as possible during the day. Timers and washing machines have delay timers which are useful for this. Also pool pumps and hot water heaters can be wired in to simple timers.
It also explains why interest in solar battery storage is through the roof in Australia
Important Note (yes really!): Net Feed In Tariffs make it very difficult to accurately predict how much you'll save on your electricity bill with solar. This is because they depend on your energy use habits, i.e. how much solar electricity is used in your home and how much electricity is exported. You really need to get your head around how much electricity you consume and which parts of the day you consume it in order to know what size system to buy and how much cash it will save you. See here for a dummies' guide to solar energy exporting and importing.
Gross Feed In Tariffs
In the "good old days" (i.e. up to early 2011) the NSW government was more generous and had a GROSS Feed In Tariff. The lucky folk who were fast enough to sign up for that scheme are now getting paid a premium of up to 66 cents for every kilowatt hour of electricity generated by their panels whether it is exported out to the grid or not. You can usually spot these people, they are the ones who are walking down the street in NSW lighting their Cuban cigars with $100 bills :-). The only state/territory that still does gross metering is the NT.
Now you are up to speed on what a Feed In Tariff is, here are those all important state-by-state details:
Or you can compare feed in tariffs here..