How Do Solar Feed In Tariffs Work?

by | Sep 15, 2020 | Uncategorized

What Is A Solar Feed In Tariff

A solar feed in tariff is a payment you receive from your electricity retailer. The tariff is paid for excess electricity produced by your system which has been fed back into the grid.

How Solar Feed In Tariffs Work

Electricity produced by your system above your own consumption is exported back to the grid. You are then paid a set rate per kilowatt hour for that electricity.


How Much Do Feed In Tariffs Pay in NSW/ACT And What Are The Rules?

A rate is set per kilowatt hour (kWh) and is different for each retailer. An independent regulator in NSW and the ACT set a benchmark rate each year. In 2020/2021 that rate is 6.0 -7.3 cents per kWh. This is only a guide however and the retailer can still set their own rates or not offer a feed in tariff at all.

You will pay more per kWh for electricity provided by your retailer than they will pay you for exported electricity. This is to cover your retailers operating costs.

Time dependant feed in tariffs may be available from your retailer. These offer varying rates of tariff dependant on the peak and off peak times. A smart meter will be installed by your retailer if utilising time dependant FiT.

When Do You Get Paid?

The feed in tariffs are applied as a credit against your regular electricity bill. If you are making enough solar feed in tariffs to be in ongoing credit these remain in credit on your future bills. To receive a release of credits from your retailer you must make the request. Each retailer has their own regulations regarding credit release so worth doing your research.


Can Renters Benefit From Feed In Tariffs?

Yes, if you are living in a house with solar panels you are entitled to claim to the solar feed in tariffs. If you live in an apartment or townhouse, you will need to have your own electricity meter separate from the complex. This ensures your usage and solar exports can be measured and billed correctly.

Ensure you review your rental agreement. The landlord may have specifically requested for tenants to not receive a feed-in tariff.


What Is Premium Solar Feed In Tariff?

Premium feed in tariff are a much higher rate per kWh for energy exported back to the grid. Unfortunately, this program is no longer available for new system. These rates were often as high as 40c/kWh and were available between 2007 and 2011.

To retain these rates customers must still use the same household as their primary residence and not have upgraded their system. You could possibly gain access to premium rates if you take residence within a home still eligible for premium feed in tariffs.

Current feed in tariffs may be lower, however since 2008 the cost of solar systems have also been drastically reduced. This results in the initial investment being alot more achievable than in the past.


Who Has The Best Solar Feed In Tariffs?

When comparing solar plans many factors need to be considered.

Before selecting a plan, you should know the size of your system and your consumption estimate. This allows you to know if you will have large or small amount of overflow sold back to the grid. You should also be aware of the retailers usage and daily supply charges. These are often higher when paired with a high solar feed in rate or large direct debit discount.

Using independent Government comparisons sites such as https://energyswitch.service.nsw.gov.au/ or https://www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/

help to give you an overview of the best plans available for your situation.

Is GST Payable On Money Earned?

It depends. For households, essentially no. Home owners can earn up to $75,000 per year before being required to pay GST which is very unlikely in a residential situation.

Business and commercial residences registered for GST are subject to GST charges.

STC financial incentives and Solar Feed In Tariff- What’s The Difference

It may be confusing but the STC financial incentives and the feed-in tariff are two totally different things. The STC financial incentives is a payment provided to assist in the initial purchase of a solar system. The feed in tariff is a payment for electricity sold back into the grid.


Who Pays The Feed In Tariff and the STC financial incentives?

The energy retailer pays the feed in tariff and the Government provides the STC financial incentives.


When Does The Solar Feed In Tariff End?

There is an end date set for feed in tariffs of 31/12/2030, however they will likely continue beyond this date.

The feed in tariff is offered by retail companies rather than a government initiative. The tariff results in a benefit to retailers for minimal contribution. It is predicted for it to be in their interest to continue the feed in tariffs.

Self Consumption VS Feed In Tariff

Using as much of your own electricity will be of the largest benefit to you. You will pay a much higher rate when you buy electricity than you will receive for exported power. For example, an average feed in tariff could be 8-10c per kWh and a usage rate an average of around 30c per kWh for purchased electricity. The feed in tariffs are a great bonus to your system. Coordinating your power consumption to be mostly during the day will always create the largest savings.

Do Solar Feed In Tariffs Change?

Yes. Feed-in tariffs change. Your rates should remain consistent for the term of your plan however.

The tariffs changes can be due to many factors including time of use and cost of electricity on the main grid.

How Do I Sign Up For A Solar Feed In Tariff?

You are required to have solar panels or some other renewable generator to sign up for solar feed in tariffs. Different states have different size restrictions such as the generator must be less than 100kW.  Most household and commercial solar systems will be between 3 and 10kW, so the caps should not cause much concern.

Once installation is complete, your licenced installer can sign off on it. You are then able to apply to your electricity retailer to begin receiving Feed In Tariffs. You will be required to complete a solar connection form and documentation to prove correct installation.

Your retailer may need to upgrade or reconfigure your metre to allow it to measure solar exports. This cost is covered by the retailer.

Can I Change Retailers Whenever I Like?

Yes, if your energy retailers’ contract is not for a fixed term. Even within a fixed term an exit fee can be payed to break the plan if this is viable to receive a competitors’ improved rates.

Your electricity provider and your feed in tariff provider are one in the same. You must consider these factors when changing and use the government comparison sites listed above for the best deals.

Off Grid Vs Grid Connect – What is the Difference

Off grid means you a not connected to the power grid and completely reliant on your own solar energy production for electricity. You are not paying a supply charge however you need to be able to generate enough power and storage can be expensive.

Grid Connect means you can utilise both the grid and your own system while also selling your excess electricity back to the grid.

Does Installing A Battery System Affect My Feed In Tariff?

It depends. In the ACT you cannot receive feed in tariffs if a system has a storage device connected. In NSW you may be able to claim the tariff depending on your solar setup. There are also exemptions in ACT so it is best to discuss with your installer as to whether your system qualifies.


  • · What happens to the power I do not use?

Any power generated by your solar system and not utilised is exported back to the grid for use and sale by the retailer in return for the feed in tariff.

  • · How can I track how much power I am using and exporting back to the grid?

By logging into your smart controller or contacting your retailer.

Related Tag: Solar Installation Company


Interested in what size solar system would suit your situation? Follow this link https://stagelectrical.com.au/blog to a previous Blog on the topic and find out more. Alternatively use our calculator below to estimate your investment.

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