Information on the 2015 Solar FIT (feed in tariff)
Feed in tariffs or FiT’s are state based systems that require electricity providers to pay for, or credit, any electricity that a solar system puts into the grid (your local electricity network) based on kW/ hrs(kilowatt hours).
The FiT in each State varies and we have looked at each state and given a brief outline.
The South Australian Feed in Tariff has recently changed. The Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA) has released a price determination for the solar minimum retailer payment that applies from 1 January 2015 until 31 December 2016. The minimum retailer payment is 5.3 c/kWh, excluding GST.
One of our customers recently bought in their AGL bill for deciphering and they were being credited 8 cents per kilowatt hour that their system put back into the grid.
Obviously feed in tariffs have been cut substantially in both South Australia and elsewhere but the question remains is solar still a good investment with the changes.
We think it is because although the feed in tariff is now much lower the price of solar power systems is now also much lower meaning the ROI (return on investment) is now roughly the same as what it was when solar power systems were more expensive and feed in tariffs were higher.
What people must remember is that the biggest single solar incentive is the STC’s that are given to new solar systems under the MRET ( Mandatory Renewable Energy Target). This gives you a discount of around $4,000 off the average size residential solar systems reducing the cost of an installed 6kw system from around $11,000 to around $7,000. The Abbott government has announced a review into the RET and it is likely this incentive will be gone by the end of 2015.
Victoria’s Fit program is currently under review and is now running as the Transitional Feed in Tariff, or TFiT. Solar power generators in Victoria receive .25 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity they export to the grid plus a retailer’s payment of 6c – 8c.
Please note that the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission published a series of draft recommendations suggesting that solar households feed in tariff should be between 6 – 8 cents per kilowatt hour, plus any additional rate that they can negotiate with their electricity supplier.
Some concrete information should be announced shortly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up leaving it as it is, who knows?
Well it seems if you are a new solar customer in the ACT all you can do is contact your electricity provider and ask what they may be able to do for you.
I got this information from the ACT government website (28 August 2012);
“While renewable energy generators may continue to be installed, new applicants will no longer be eligible for receipt of a feed-in tariff. It is recommended that potential generators contact an electricity supplier to determine the benefits the supplier might be able to offer them for renewable energy generators connected to the electricity network.”
The Feed in Tariff in Tasmania is run through Aurora Energy. Solar systems up to 3kW are eligible for a feed in tariff that pays the same rate as you pay for supplied electricity, a one for one credit system. If you want a larger system you will need to contact Aurora for further details.
New solar power generators in the Northern Territory receive a one for one type feed in tariff. This means you are credited for power you put back into the grid at the same rate at which you buy your power. Residential customers currently get 19.23 c/kWh, please check for details with your electricity provider.
In Western Australia the current feed in tariff is set at 8cents per kilowatt hour, however Horizon Power announced that from 1 July 2012, it would pay a minimum buyback rate of 10 cents per kilowatt hour and a maximum of 50 cents per kilowatt hour will apply to Horizon solar customers, depending on location.
Other power providers are also offering above the base rate and it is recommended that those looking at solar power talk to their power company or installers about the going rates that are available.
Queenslanders looking to install solar power after 9th July 2012 will be eligible for a feed in tariff that pays 8 cents + 6-8 cents retailer contribution per kilowatt hour exported to the grid. Electricity providers may elect to offer more than the base rate, so customers would be wise to shop around to see where they can get the best deal from.
New South Wales
In NSW the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s final determination for the 2012/13 financial year is that a fair and reasonable value for surplus solar electricity exported to the mains grid for systems not covered under the previous Solar Bonus scheme is in the range of 7.7 to 12.9 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh).
As with most other states individual electricity providers may decide to offer customers a better rate than the base, so it’s wise to shop around.