Feed-in tariffs are ending for over 275,000 solar households in NSW, SA and Vic between September and December 2016.
Find out if this change affects you and what you need to do if it does.
The information on this page is based on a comprehensive report from the Alternative Technology Association, commissioned by Total Environment Centre.
Life after FiTs - Executive Summary
Is your solar feed-in tariff coming to an end?
If your current feed-in-tariff is coming to an end, you should have received a letter from your state government or your electricity retailer warning you of the upcoming change.
The following schemes are not affected at this time:
- The South Australian 44c Solar Feed-in Scheme. Open to a range of customers who installed solar from 31 August 2010 and 30 September 2011.This scheme does not expire until 30 June 2028
- The Victorian Premium Feed-in Tariff. Open to customers who installed solar between 1 November 2009 and late 2011. This scheme expires on 1 November 2024
If you aren’t sure if you are affected, the best thing to do is to call your electricity retailer and ask if you’re on a premium feed-in tariff which is ending this year.
Looking for the phone number for your energy retailer? Here’s a list from the useful government website Energy Made Easy
What should you do?
Particularly for people in NSW, doing nothing is not an option. You’ll be worse off financially if you fail to take action.
There is enough time to make the changes required but you do need to make a plan and get started.
5 steps for making the most of your solar
Luckily, we’ve prepared a five-step plan for you to follow to make sure you’re getting the most out of your solar in the long term. Check out the infographic we’ve made and find out more about this change and what you need to do.
1. Get the right meter (NSW only)
You should move to “net” metering. This will probably be a smart meter, giving you more information and options.
Some network companies may offer to rewire your existing meter at low cost, but in the long run you may be better off with a new smart meter.
⚠ Some retailers are offering free or cheap smart meters, but read the fine print on the contract.
2. Use more of your solar electricity
Use your appliances more during the day. The main appliances that use energy are for hot water and heating/cooling your home.
Heat your hot water using solar electricity (e.g. using heat pumps or electric hot water systems).
If you’ve got good insulation, pre-heat or cool your house before you get home (e.g. using reverse cycle air conditioners).
3. Think twice about gas
Using gas means you can’t maximise the use of your solar electricity to run your appliances.
Using your solar electricity for hot water or heating/cooling your home is cheaper than using bottled or even town gas.
⚠ At this stage you just need to make a plan for getting off gas, even if it takes a few years to implement.
4. Get the best electricity deal
Some retailers are improving their offers for solar energy exported to the grid, so shop around.
But also think about your total annual bill, including the fixed charges, energy rate, discounts and tariff type.
⚠ Take your time finding the best deal and always make sure you know what you are signing up for.
5. Consider more solar or a battery
Down the line, as energy markets change and costs drop, consider a battery or west facing solar.
⚠ Installing a small battery currently isn’t cost-effective for most households, but as prices drop it may soon make sense.
These five steps are based on a comprehensive report from the Alternative Technology Association, commissioned by Total Environment Centre. The Executive Summary can be found here or you can find a link to the full report on our find out more page.
This project was funded by Energy Consumers Australia (www.energyconsumersaustralia.com.au) as part of its grants process for consumer advocacy projects and research projects for the benefit of consumers of electricity and natural gas. The views expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect the views of Energy Consumers Australia.