We all know going solar is an investment that will pay off over a number of years as a home or workplace’s reliance on buying grid-supplied electricity decreases.
But those with rooftop solar panels can start to see a return on investment much more quickly via ‘feed-in tariffs’.
Australia’s Parliamentary Library defines a feed-in tariff (FiT) as, “a payment for electricity fed into the supply grid from a renewable energy source, such as wind or solar panels. FiTs can be mandated by the government or offered voluntarily by an electricity retailer.”
The aim of FiTs is to encourage the uptake of renewable energy by making the installation of renewable electricity systems more affordable for the owner of the system.
FiTs can be applied in two forms:
• a gross FiT - whereby all electricity generated from a renewable source is purchased from the generator at a generous price, with the generator buying-back any electricity they need to use from the grid, or
• a net FiT - whereby only unused or surplus electricity is purchased from the generator
In Australia, a variety of state and territory-based FiT schemes were in place, some of which have come to an end. Those considering solar are best to check with their idendpent pricing and regulatory tribunal in their state or territory. For NSW FiT scheme click here.
But the good news is most electricity suppliers also offer feed-in tariffs to those solar customers who send solar-generated electricity back into the grid.
As traditional sources of electricity supply in Australia, such as coal-fired power stations, are taken off line, electricity retailers are seeking alternative sources of power.
So there’s more good news for those who have solar, AGL Energy, Origin Energy and Energy Australia all indicated that as of Saturday 1 July 2017 their customers would see an increase in their feed-in tariffs, some by as much as 140 per cent depending on the customer’s location and supplier.
In an article by The Australian, estimates predict that higher feed-in tariffs could see a solar household receive discounts of about $500 on the average $2000-a-year household electricity bill following the rise in feed-in tariffs.
This is great news for solar customers and an important step in recognising the power of solar energy in Australia.
To discover how you can get the most out of your solar energy system and pay it off in a short amount of time, contact Solar Australia for a free, no-obligation site inspection. To read more on AGL’s plan for its feed-in tariffs click here.