State and Territory governments across Australia have adopted different approaches to what is normally referred to as aÂ Solar Feed-In Tariff, sometimes known as aÂ Solar Bonus SchemeÂ orÂ Solar buy-back scheme.
Solar Feed-in TariffsÂ are a payment for the clean energy that your solar panels feed back into the grid. There have been many changes to feed-in tariff legislation in all States and Territories over the past few years. (For an overview of the current incentives offered see our summary table below.)
Although the premium tariffs are no longer in place, homeowners can take advantage ofÂ lowÂ solar PV system prices.Â Increasing electricity costsÂ are now the main reason toÂ invest in a solar PV system,Â as it offers home owners a real means ofÂ taking control of their energy bills.
The Solar Feed-in Tariff schemes that are currently available in Australia are all ‘net’ schemes. A net Feed-in Tariff rewards you for each unit of solar power that you have exported to the electrical grid.
The following table summarises the current status of Solar Feed-In Tariffs and Solar Buyback schemes across the states and territories of Australia – it is relevant for households thinking about going solar today.
|State||Current scheme(s)||Max Size||Rate Paid||Program Duration||Further info|
|VIC||A mandatory of minimum of 5c/kWh is in place until 30 June 2017, at which point it will beÂ increased to 11.3c/kWh||Less than 100kW||Depends on retailer: Currently ~6-10Â¢/kWh||No set end-date||Energy Made Easy(Government site for comparing electricity and solar buyback rates)|
|SA||No mandatory minimum; rates based on retailer competition||First 45kWh per day||Depends on retailer: Currently ~6-12c/kWh||No set end-date||Energy Made Easy(Government site for comparing electricity and solar buyback rates)|
|ACT||No mandatory feed-in tariff minimum contribution from retailer||n/a||Depends on retailer: Currently ~6-8c/kWh||No set end-date|
|TAS||Rate set by local utility, Aurora Energy||10kW (single phase), 30kW (three phase)||~7Â¢/kWh||No set end-date||Office of the Economic Regulator – Feed-in Tariffs|
|Solar Buyback scheme through PowerWater||Systems up to 4.5kW can be connected without inspection, buyback for systems over 30kVA will be calculated upon application||Domestic buyback rate set by PowerWater||No set end-date||PowerWater: Photovoltaic (PV) solar systems|
|WA||2 Solar Buyback Schemes in place||Residential: Up to 5kW on Synergy grid (Southwestern region)
Commercial: No size limit (Southwestern Region)
Residential: Size limit varies by location on Horizon grid (Northwestern region)
|Varied rates for Horizon customers
Synergy residential customers: ~6-9c/kWh
Synergy not-for-profit, and educational organisation customers: Generous rates available
|No set end-date|
|QLD||No minimum feed-in tariff rate for residential customers in southeastern Qld (rates depend on retailer competition)
Mandatory minimum of ~6-8Â¢/kWh for regional Qld customers (determined annually)
Mandatory minimum of ~6-8Â¢/kWh in regional Qld (reviewed annually)
|No set end-date||Energy Made Easy(Government site for comparing electricity and solar buyback rates)
|NSW||No mandatory feed-in tariff rate; electricity retailers set rates on voluntary basis||Depends on retailer||Depends on retailer: Currently ~6-12c/kWh||No set end-date||Energy Made Easy(Government site for comparing electricity and solar buyback rates)|