What are Solar feed-in tariffs?
Solar feed-in tariffs are the payments made by your electricity retailer in exchange for your export of excess electricity to the grid. The value of these feed-in tariffs tends to keep changing.
Presently, in NSW, the feed-in tariffs are offered through a Voluntary Retailer Contribution. That means, the retailers do not really have to pay for the electricity you provide to the grid. Although, most retailers pay for what you export.
In 2020/2021, the ‘all-day’ feed-in tariff benchmark was 6.0 to 7.3 c/kWh per kilowatt-hour. The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) proposed an all-day feed-in tariff benchmark for 2021/2022 of 4.6 – 5.5c/kWh. These just reference ranges and the retailer may not stick to these.
In NSW, electricity retailers have the option of a time-dependent feed-in tariff. Here are the draft benchmarks for 2021/2022:
- 4.1 to 5.5 c/kWh between 6 am and 3 pm
- 6.4 to 8.8 c/kWh between 3 pm and 4 pm
- 9.2 to 14.2 c/kWh between 4 pm and 5 pm
- 11.0 to 17.0 c/kWh between 5 pm and 6 pm
- 8.2 to 10.7 c/kWh between 6 pm and 7 pm
- 6.0 to 7.9 c/kWh between 7 pm and 8 pm
31st December 2016: An end to generous gross feed-in tariffs
A Gross feed-in tariff is when you get paid for every unit of electricity generated by your solar panels.
Back in 2010, households in NSW could have the benefit of a gross feed-in tariff of 60 cents a kilowatt-hour. After that, from 28th October 2010 to 28th April 2011, a gross feed-in tariff of 20 cents could be locked.
Both the 60 cents and 20 cents feed-in tariffs came to close by the end of 2016. Now all the old electricity meters are replaced by smart meters. With these, households pay for the grid electricity at different rates based on the time of use.
Alternatives for people without generous feed-in tariffs
One option is to go for larger systems since the high feed-in tariffs have almost ended.
Many people are also shifting to battery storage of excess electricity instead of sending it to the main electricity grid since it’s not saving too much money.