Western Australia Solar Feed-in Tariff Information

Western Australians solar households in Perth and the south-west region of the state have Synergy as their electricity provider and receive a solar feed-in tariff of 7.135 cents per kilowatt-hour exported to the mains grid under the Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme (REBS).

However, on August 31, 2020, new feed in tariff rates were announced for new solar installations from that date under a new scheme called DEBS (Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme).

The DEBS rates commence from 6 November 2020:

  • Electricity exported between 3pm to 9pm  will earn 10 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh);
  • Electricity exported at other times will earn 3c/kWh.

Up to 6 November 2020, DEBS customers will be paid the current REBS buyback rate for their exported energy (and this includes home battery exports). While it’s quite a reduction, it is still very much worth going solar in Perth.

Those in regional areas of WA have Horizon Power as their electricity provider and their feed-in tariffs range from 7.14 cents to more than 51 cents  per kilowatt-hour, depending on location under REBS. These feed-in tariffs are only available for solar power systems with inverters of 5 kilowatts capacity or less, and only in areas where the maximum permitted amount of rooftop solar that exports electricity to the grid has not already been installed.

Under DEBS, the rates for Horizon customers will be the same as those noted above for customers in Perth and the south-west region. However, Horizon says for customers in towns with high generation costs, the rates will be a higher corresponding buyback rate.

REBS, DEBS And Current Solar Owners

Solar owners currently receiving REBS will continue to receive REBS unless they upgrade their systems or install a home battery.

For further information on REBS and DEBS, see this WA Government page.

Western Australia’s Even Older And Higher Feed-In Tariffs

West Australians who applied for rooftop solar panels from the 1st of July 2010 until the 30 of June 2011 could lock in a 40 cent feed-in tariff for 10 years and those who applied in July 2011 could lock in 20 cents for 10 years.

If a system’s solar inverter size is increased, the high high feed-in tariff will be lost. It is possible to increase the panel capacity, but this must be approved by the electricity retailer and the panel capacity must be within 133% of the inverter capacity.

Solar feed in tariff rules if you want to upgrade your solar system in WA

If you are going to upgrade your solar power system and you are on the 20c or 40c FiT, then be careful.

There are 3 ways to upgrade:

1) Your inverter capacity is greater than your existing panel capacity and you want to add more panels.

As long as your installers “application to connect” used your inverter size and not your panel array size, then you can add solar panels up to the inverter size (in kW) without losing your feed in tariff rate.

However, please be aware that your installer must apply to your energy retailer for approval before any work is done to avoid being in breach of contract with your retailer.

2) You want to add a bigger inverter and add panels.

Sorry – if you do this, you will lose your existing FiT and be placed on the miserly 7.135c per kWh. 

3) You want add a second solar system next to your existing one.

Sorry – if you do this you will lose your existing solar feed in tariff and be placed on the 7.135c per kWh rate. 
 
If you are considering an upgrade, I have written a detailed post about how to upgrade your solar power system without getting stung.

The WA government’s official solar feed in tariff information is here.

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