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Solar Feed In Tariffs In Australia

A 'solar feed in tariff' is often confused with Australia's 'solar rebate'. The rebate is the point of sale discount you get off the price of a new solar system, worth thousands of dollars and is still very much alive and kicking.

The feed-in tariff is the price you get for solar electricity exported to the grid - also referred to as the "buyback rate". Although feed in tariffs are still available, they are worth a lot less in some cases than they used to be 3-5 years ago.

The buyback rates paid were initially very high to encourage the uptake of solar panels, back when solar power systems cost 3 to 4 times the price they are now. The incentive worked. The solar industry is now well established and prices for Australian solar PV systems are the lowest in the world, thanks to high volume and efficient installers.

How Solar Feed In Tariffs Work

When your rooftop solar panels generate more electricity than your home is using at the time, it isn't wasted but sent into the grid for other people to use. Feed-in tariffs are the payment you receive for exporting electricity to the grid.

Outside of the Northern Territory and some parts of regional Western Australia, solar feed-in tariffs for new rooftop solar energy systems have been generally quite low for the past few years, but most received a boost in July 2017, making solar power an even better investment.

Many Australian households still benefit from high feed-in tariffs they obtained in the past; having locked in a higher buyback rate as explained below.

Solar Feed-in Tariffs In Your Area

The quickest and easiest way to find the solar feed-in tariffs currently offered by electricity retailers in your area is to view our online electricity retailer comparison page and enter your postcode.

Current Feed-in Tariffs By State And Territory

The range in current feed-in tariffs for each state and territory are shown on the pages below. In NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT, electricity retailers don’t have to offer any feed-in tariff, although they usually do.

Click on the state or territory to be taken to a page with more detailed information on its current buyback rate and past solar feed-in tariffs.

Feed In Tariff Details for:  NSW | QLD | VIC | SA | WA | TAS | ACT | NT

Feed-in Tariffs Used To Be High

Around 2010 when rooftop solar power was far more expensive than it is now, feed-in tariffs were much more generous. As a result, there are people in Victoria who will receive a 60 cent feed-in tariff until 2024, Queenslanders who will receive 44 cents buyback rate until 2028, and people in the ACT who will receive 47.5 cents until 2031. To find details on these old feed-in tariffs, click on the state or territory above.

The Highest Feed-in Tariff Is Not Necessarily The Best

In NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT, current feed-in tariffs are only what electricity retailers offer and can range from nothing up to 18 cents a kilowatt-hour in South Australia.

But the highest feed-in tariff will not necessarily result in the lowest electricity bills. I investigated the lowest cost electricity plans for solar households in Adelaide and Sydney here and found in Adelaide the overall cheapest plan had a 6.8 cent feed-in tariff at the time and in Sydney the overall cheapest plan had a 5.5 cent feed-in tariff .

How Can I Tell What My Current Feed-in Tariff Is?

If you are not sure what the feed-in tariff you are receiving is, it should be on your electricity bill. If you can't find the buyback rate, you can call your electricity retailer and check with them.

A Solar Feed-in Tariff Is Different From The Solar Rebate

As mentioned, solar feed-in tariffs are a payment for electricity sent into the grid after a solar system has been installed, while the solar rebate lowers the cost of buying a solar power system. For most installations the solar rebate (which isn't really a rebate but a point of sale discount) provides a discount of several thousand dollars.

Australia's solar rebate is being gradually phased out over 15 years and will come to an end on the 31st of December 2030. While technically it is not a rebate, that is what it is commonly called and why we tend to reference it this way.

Help! My Electricity Bill Says I'm Not Getting Any Feed-in Tariff!

If you have rooftop solar power and you're not receiving any feed-in tariff, it probably means your electricity plan doesn't have a buyback feature. This can be fixed either by changing your retailer plan or by changing your electricity retailer.

Some people have not received their solar feed-in tariff because of red tape. My parents weren't getting theirs and when they looked into it they were told it was because there was an error on their application form and they would need to pay either an electrician or a solar installer to fill in a form to correct it.

In response to this my father instructed them to place the application in an uncomfortable location - and as a result they still aren't receiving the incentive.