WHAT IS THE SOLAR FEED-IN TARIFF?
When you install a grid-connect solar system, it first feeds electricity directly to your house and appliances, for you to use.
If you are not using all the power you are generating at any given time, excess power will be fed back into the commercial grid for others' use.
According to the Government Feed-In Tariff, you are entitled to be paid for this excess power by your electricity retailer. In March 2017, it was announced that an increase in the minimum solar feed-in tariff from 5c/kWh to 11.3c/kWh will come into effect on July 1, 2017.
This is good news for solar power owners, and will greatly improve the financial returns of their systems.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO RECEIVE THE FEED-IN TARIFF?
When we install your system, we submit the necessary paperwork to your retailer so that they are aware of your new system. They will contact you to sign a 'Feed-In Tariff Agreement' contract with them, which will confirm how many cents per kWh you will receive for excess energy. They will also charge you a one off fee of around $160 for setting up this agreement. Once you have signed the agreement with them, they will then arrange with the distributor to come and upgrade your meter. You may not know when the meter has been upgraded, but you can check for a Register 13 on your meter display. Register 13 is the one which is measuring how much electricity you are feeding back in to the grid.
Once your meter has been upgraded, you will see a section on your next bill showing how much credit your recieved for excess power generated.
HOW CAN I MAKE THE MOST OF THE FEED-IN TARIFF AND MAXIMISE THE SAVINGS OFF MY POWER BILL?
The smart way to use your solar system is to maximise your energy consumption while the sun is shining. Because you are being charged much more for electricity from the grid than what you are being credited for generating into the grid, it is much more cost effective for you to utilise your free energy than to send it back into the grid.
This means you should try to do all your heating, cooling, dishwashing, clothes washing and drying during the day when the sun is shining and creating electricity. This means that the majority of your power consumption will be using free power from the sun, and you will be minimising your electricity usage at night when you are drawing from the grid.