Which electricity retailer offers the best solar feed-in tariff?

Feed-in tariffs in Australia: How they’ve changed

Solar feed-in tariffs are arrangements where a solar system owner is paid for the solar energy that they send into the grid. At one point in time, feed-in tariffs were mandatory in every state in Australia, and the rates they offered were quite generous.

Much has changed, however, since we first published this article in 2009. State-manded feed-in tariff incentives are no longer available to new solar customers in almost all of Australia’s states and territories. Instead, rates are largely voluntary for electricity retailers in most states; they usually fall in the range of 6-15¢/kWh – generally lower than price of retail electricity purchased from the grid. (Those who signed up for these before the deadlines for the various feed-in tariffs may continue to receive the set rates for the duration of the term of their incentives.)

Because feed-in tariffs are voluntary in many states, solar system owners must shop around to find a retailer that offers them a favourable rate.

Why feed-in tariffs aren’t the only factor you should consider

Everyone wants to get the greatest possible value out of their solar installation; feed-in tariff rates are only one piece of the puzzle.

Until a couple of years ago, feed-in tariff incentives were virtually the main determinant in the economic viability of going solar in Australia. Since then, however, solar PV system prices have fallen considerably, meaning that an investment in a solar PV system is still worthwhile, but how to best use a system has changed.

When feed-in tariffs were higher than the cost of grid electricity, it made sense for homes & businesses to try to export as much power as possible, as this would maximise savings.

The shift to solar self-consumption

These days, the opposite is true: in order to maximise investment in a solar system, the system’s owner would see the most benefit from endeavouring to consume as much of the electricity that they generate as possible (‘solar self-consumption‘). This is because direct consumption of any solar power generated means less electricity that needs to be purchased from the grid (at rates between 20-30¢/kWh, depending on the retailer and region), whereas exporting the power will earn system owners credits on their power bill to the tune of only 6-10¢/kWh.

What is clear is that the bias for ‘self-consumption’ virtually defines the business case for going solar in Australia today. The aim of this article is to help solar shoppers to keep themselves informed about what their excess solar power is worth, so that they can ensure that they are getting the most out of their system.


Beware of high solar feed-in tariff ‘bait’

A higher solar feed-in tariff rate from your electricity retailer does not necessarily mean a better overall deal – make sure that you consider each retail electricity plan as a whole. You can try our Solar-friendly Retail Plan Comparison Tool to get a more complete picture.

 

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Solar feed-in tariff rates by state (Select)

NSW – VIC – QLD – SA – WA – ACT – NT – TAS

New South Wales

At the moment, there is no mandatory minimum feed-in tariff rate in NSW. Instead, individual electricity retailers assign a value to exported solar power as they see fit. Some retailers offer more than others, and some retailers offer nothing.

RetailerStateMin Solar FITMax Solar FITNotable ConditionsMojo PowerNSW7.5c22.0cCapped at first 5kWh per dayRed EnergyNSW6.0c18.0cCapped at first 5kWh per dayDiscover EnergyNSW6.0c16.0cCapped at 300kWh per quarterActewAGLNSW8.0c15.0cSystem size 10kW maxAGLNSW7.0c12.0cSystem size 10kW max1st EnergyNSW6.0c11.0cGEE EnergyNSW5.0c11.0cCapped at 10kWh per dayMomentum EnergyNSW0.0c10.0cSystem size 10kW maxSmart EnergyNSW7.0c10.0cOrigin EnergyNSW5.0c10.0cOnly if buy solar through OriginReAmped EnergyNSW0.0c9.0cSystem size 10kW maxElysian EnergyNSW0.0c9.0cSystem size 10kW maxCovaUNSW0.0c8.5cPeople EnergyNSW8.0c8.0cQEnergyNSW8.0c8.0cSumoNSW5.5c8.0cEnergy AustraliaNSW7.6c7.6cSystem size 10kW maxEnova EnergyNSW0.0c7.0cEnergy LocalsNSW7.0c7.0cDodoNSW7.0c7.0cBright Spark PowerNSW7.0c7.0cCircular EnergyNSW7.0c7.0cElectricity in a BoxNSW7.0c7.0cIndigo PowerNSW7.0c7.0cGlow PowerNSW7.0c7.0cDiamond EnergyNSW0.0c7.0cOVO EnergyNSW0.0c7.0cAlinta EnergyNSW6.7c6.7cInverter size 5kW maxRadian EnergyNSW6.0c6.0cPooled EnergyNSW4.5c6.0cSimply EnergyNSW5.5c5.5cTango EnergyNSW5.5c5.5cMust install through Tango and capped at 3.5kWh per dayNectrNSW5.5c5.5cPowerdirectNSW5.0c5.0cPowershopNSW0.0c5.0cSystem size 10kW maxKogan EnergyNSW4.4c4.4cFuture X PowerNSW4.0c4.0cGloBird EnergyNSW1.0c3.0cLocality Planning EnergyNSW0.0c8.5cOn by EnergyAustraliaNSW0.0c0.0cArc Energy GroupNSW0.0c0.0cAmber ElectricNSWMarket linked FIT (Variable)PowerclubNSWMarket linked FIT (Variable)Social EnergyNSWMust install solar and battery through Social EnergyRead more about feed-in tariffs in NSW

 

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Victoria

The Victorian government introduced a new minimum feed-in tariff from 1 July 2017. The rate is subject to regular reviews and will fluctuate annually. The rates in the table below reflect the current feed-in tariffs on offer in the state.

 

N.b. The Victorian government has recently introduced a ‘time varying feed-in tariff‘ whose rates are not reflected below.)

RetailerStateMin Solar FITMax Solar FITNotable ConditionsDodoVIC12.0c12.0c1st EnergyVIC6.7c11.7cSumoVIC6.7c10.2cTango EnergyVIC6.7c10.1cMust install through Tango and capped at 3.5kWh per dayMomentum EnergyVIC6.7c10.0cSystem size 10kW maxOrigin EnergyVIC6.7c10.0cOnly if buy solar through Origin – 10kW maxElysian EnergyVIC0.0c10.0cSystem size 5kW maxReAmped EnergyVIC7.1c9.1cSystem size 10kW maxRed EnergyVIC6.7c8.0cLumo EnergyVIC6.7c8.0cOVO EnergyVIC6.7c8.0cEnergy AustraliaVIC7.1c7.1cEnergy LocalsVIC6.7c7.0cCircular EnergyVIC7.0c7.0cIndigo PowerVIC7.0c7.0cDiamond EnergyVIC0.0c7.0cPowerdirectVIC6.7c6.7cDiscover EnergyVIC6.7c6.7ccapped at 300kWh per quarterElectricity In A BoxVIC6.7c6.7cPowershopVIC6.7c6.7cGloBird EnergyVIC6.7c6.7cQEnergyVIC6.7c6.7cAGLVIC6.7c6.7cSystem size 10kW maxAlinta EnergyVIC6.7c6.7cSystem size 5kW maxPeople EnergyVIC6.7c6.7cSimply EnergyVIC6.7c6.7cKogan EnergyVIC6.7c6.7cCovaUVIC0.0c0.0cPowerclubVICAmber ElectricNSWMarket linked FIT (Variable)PowerclubNSWMarket linked FIT (Variable)Social EnergyNSWMust install solar and battery through Social EnergyRead more about feed-in tariffs in VIC

 

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Queensland


At the moment, there is no mandatory minimum feed-in tariff rate for southeastern Queensland (Energex network). Instead, individual electricity retailers assign a value to exported solar power as they see fit. Some retailers offer more than others, and some retailers offer nothing.

If you are a resident of regional Queensland (Ergon network), however, there is a mandatory minimum that you will receive for exported solar power (check the QCA’s website for current rates).

RetailerStateMin Solar FITMax Solar FITNotable ConditionsMojo PowerQLD5.5c18.0cCapped at 5kWh per dayDiscover EnergyQLD6.0c16.0cCapped at 300kWH per quarterAGLQLD5.0c12.0cSystem size 10kW maxRed EnergyQLD5.0c11.5cCapped at 5kWh per day1st EnergyQLD6.0c11.0cCovaUQLD0.0c11.0cGEE EnergyQLD5.0c11.0cCapped at 10kWh per dayMomentum EnergyQLD0.0c10.0cSystem size 10kW maxOrigin EnergyQLD3.0c10.0cOnly if buy solar through Origin – 10kW maxElysian EnergyQLD0.0c9.0cSystem size 5kW maxDodoQLD8.5c8.5cPeople EnergyQLD8.0c8.0cReAmped EnergyQLD0.0c8.0cSystem size 10kW maxQEnergyQLD0.0c8.0cAlinta EnergyQLD0.0c8.0cSystem size 5kW maxLocality Planning EnergyQLD0.0c7.9cGloBird EnergyQLD1.0c7.2cBright Spark PowerQLD7.0c7.0cGlow PowerQLD7.0c7.0cDiamond EnergyQLD0.0c7.0cSmart EnergyQLD5.0c7.0cErgon EnergyQLD6.6c6.6cEnergy AustraliaQLD6.6c6.6cSystem size 30kW maxEnergy LocalsQLD6.0c6.0cSumoQLD6.0c6.0cRadian EnergyQLD6.0c6.0cCircular EnergyQLD6.0c6.0cOVO EnergyQLD0.0c6.0cEnova EnergyQLD0.0c6.0cPowerdirectQLD5.0c5.0cTango EnergyQLD5.0c5.0cCapped at 3.5kWh per daySimply EnergyQLD4.5c4.5cFuture X PowerQLD4.0c4.0cElectricity in a BoxQLD4.0c4.0cNectrQLD0.0c4.0cPowershopQLD0.0c3.5cFeed-in tariff is only for systems up to 10kW in NSW QLD and SA.Kogan EnergyQLD2.9c2.9cOn by EnergyAustraliaQLD0.0c0.0cAmber ElectricNSWMarket linked FIT (Variable)PowerclubNSWMarket linked FIT (Variable)Social EnergyNSWMust install solar and battery through Social EnergyRead more about feed-in tariffs in QLD

 

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South Australia


At the moment there is no minimum solar feed-in rate in South Australia. Instead, electricity retailers set their own feed-in rates voluntarily – so solar homes need to shop around to find the best possible deal.

 

RetailerState / TerritoryMin Solar FITMax Solar FITReAmped EnergySA.0.0c19.0cAGLSA.8.0c16.0c1st EnergySA.8.0c13.0cDiscover EnergySA.6.0c13.0cOrigin EnergySA.6.0c13.0cCovaUSA.0.0c12.0cDodoSA.11.6c11.6cSocial EnergySA.10.8c10.8cEnergy AustraliaSA.10.5c10.5cDiamond EnergySA.0.0c10.2cMomentum EnergySA.0.0c10.0cElysian EnergySA.0.0c9.6cAlinta EnergySA.9.5c9.5cPowerdirectSA.8.0c8.0cOVO EnergySA.0.0c8.0cIO EnergySA.8.0c8.0cTango EnergySA.0.0c7.5cMojo PowerSA.6.8c6.8cPeople EnergySA.6.8c6.8cQEnergySA.6.8c6.8cEnergy LocalsSA.6.5c6.5cSimply EnergySA.4.5c4.5cFuture X PowerSA.4.0c4.0cGloBird EnergySA.3.0c3.0cPowershopSA.0.0c3.0cRed EnergySA.3.0c3.0cLumo EnergySA.3.0c3.0cKogan EnergySA.2.1c2.1cNectrSA.0.0c2.0cPowerclubSA.0.0c1.0cAmber ElectricSA.0.0c0.0cRead more about feed-in tariffs in SA

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Western Australia


At the moment, the mandatory minimum feed-in tariff rate for the southwestern region of Western Australia is set by government-owned network company Synergy. The rates have been updated recently to reflect the growing penetration of solar into the grid. As of 1 November 2021 the solar feed in tariff in WA for Synergy customers is as follows:

Solar power exported into the grid between 3pm to 9pm earns 10 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh);Solar power exported into the grid between 9pm and 3pm earns 2.75 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh)

This time of export stipulation would favour solar panels installed on the west-facing aspect of the roof to maximise evening solar power generation and battery storage which could be used to shift exports to later in the day.

If you are a resident of the regional Horizon Power network, the mandatory minimum that you will receive for exported solar power will depend on where you are. Horizon offers between 10¢/kWh and 50¢/kWh for exported solar power depending on the town and whether local solar capacity quotas have been reached already. A full list of the rates can be found here. Also note that in some areas export control devices may be required for solar system owners.

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CT


At the moment, there is no mandatory minimum feed-in tariff rate in the ACT. Instead, individual electricity retailers assign a value to exported solar power as they see fit.

RetailerStateMin Solar FITMax Solar FITDetailed ConditionsActewAGLACT7.2c12.0cSystem size 10kW maxReAmped EnergyACT0.0c9.0cSystem size 10kW maxElysian EnergyACT9.0c9.0cSystem size 5kW maxOrigin EnergyACT7.0c8.0cOnly if buy solar through Origin – 10kW maxEnergy AustraliaACT7.6c7.6cSystem size 10kW maxEnergy LocalsACT7.0c7.0cRed EnergyACT6.0c6.0cHigh FIT in NSW and Queensland is capped at 5kWh per dayRadian EnergyACT6.0c6.0cDiscover EnergyACT6.0c6.0cCapped at 300kWh per quarterCovaUACT0.0c5.5c

 

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Northern Territory


Feed-in tariff rates in the Northern Territory will depend on your electricity retailer, but are not clearly listed in a comparator site. A list of retailers operating in the region can be found here.

 

RetailerState / TerritoryMin Solar FITMax Solar FITRimfire EnergyNT.11.0c11.0cJacana EnergyNT.8.3c8.3c

 

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Tasmania


Tasmania is technically an open market for retail electricity, but there is little competition in the state so far. Current regulated rates can be found on the Tasmanian Energy Regulator’s website.

RetailerStateMin Solar FITMax Solar FITNotable Conditions1st EnergyTAS6.5c10.0cElysian EnergyTAS7.9c9.0cSystem size 5kW maxEnergy LocalsTAS6.6c7.0cGlow PowerTAS7.0c7.0cCovaUTAS7.0c7.0cAurora EnergyTAS6.5c6.5cFuture X PowerTAS0.0c0.0c

 

Read about solar feed-in tariffs in your state:

NSW – VIC – QLD – SA – WA – ACT – NT – TAS

Frequently asked questions about solar feed-in tariffs

Types of solar feed-in tariffs: Net and Gross ▼

As you may have heard there are two types of feed in tariffs: Net and Gross.

Net feed in tariff – A net feed-in tariff pays you only for the surplus energy that you feed back into the grid. This type of scheme operates virtually everywhere in Australia now. The power that is not exported to the grid is used by the home, thereby reducing the electricity of the home or business in question through avoided purchase of power from the grid in the first place.

Gross feed in tariff – A gross feed in tariff pays you for every kilowatt hour of electricity your solar cells produce, regardless of how much energy you consume. Generally speaking, gross feed-in tariffs are not offered through electricity retailers these days. These days, the vast majority of feed-in arrangements are net feed-in arrangements.

Form of payment for solar feed-in tariff revenues ▼

The feed in tariffs you earn are by default paid as a credit on your electricity bill, which is usually settled quarterly. So the energy you export to the grid works to decrease your electricity bill. In the case that you’ve exported so much energy that your account goes into surplus, most energy retailers allow you to claim the cash by cheque or EFT on request (check with yours to find out for sure).

Is Feed in Tariff income taxable? ▼

Generally speaking, income received to a household from a feed in tariff is not taxable as the system is installed for personal use and not for the sole intention of making a profit. If, however, you are installing the system on a commercial premises then the income from the feed in tariff may be assessed as being taxable. Please consult with a tax professional to confirm.

Will I need to pay GST on Feed in Tariff income? ▼

Households are not generally required to pay GST on their feed in tariff income. Businesses, however, will generally need to do so. Again – please consult with a tax professional to confirm.

 

Further reading of best solar feed-in tariff by state:

Best feed-in tariffs NSW

Best feed-in tariffs VIC

Best feed-in tariffs QLD

Best feed-in tariffs SA

 

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The post Which electricity retailer offers the best solar feed-in tariff? appeared first on Solar Choice.

Christi Watson