The Solar Feed-in Tariff will offer eligible properties with small-scale solar PV systems of up to five kilowatts in size a credit of at least 25 cents per kilowatt hour for excess electricity fed back into the grid.
This rate is slightly higher than the average retail rate consumers pay for electricity.
The scheme is expected to be available from 1 January 2012, replacing the Premium Feed-in Tariff.
All Victorian electricity retailers with more than 5,000 customers will have to offer the Solar Feed-in Tariff.
This scheme is intended to have a capacity cap of 75 megawatts of installed solar systems across the state, and provide eligible signed-up customers with guaranteed credits until the end of 2016.
The new Transitional Feed-in Tariff legislation is planned for review by parliament in October and November this year.
More detailed information will soon be made available on this website or you can subscribe for updates.
It is anticipated that the legislation for the new Transitional Feed-in Tariff will be tabled in Parliament in mid- October, and that the scheme will be available to customers from 1 January 2012.
It is expected retailers will be able to offer new Transitional Feed-in Tariff contracts after the legislation is passed through parliament in November.
Anyone who submits their paperwork after September 30 should contact an electricity retailer and ask about the new Transitional Feed-in Tariff.
Since the Premium Feed-in Tariff was introduced in 2009, the cost of solar panels has dropped by about 40 per cent and is predicted to continue falling, reducing the need for high solar incentives from Government.
The new Transitional Feed-in Tariff scheme will still mean people investing in solar have a pay-back period of less than ten years for their systems, about the same as with PFIT when it was first introduced in 2009.
There are currently no feed-in tariffs on offer for new customers in New South Wales, Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania or the Northern Territory. Tasmania and the Northern Territory have never offered feed-in tariffs and the other states have closed down previously existing schemes.
If someone signed up for a solar feed-in tariff in Queensland today, they could receive 44 cents per kilowatt hour.
If someone signed up for a solar feed-in tariff in South Australia today, they could receive 44 cents per kilowatt hour, however this is set to be reduced to 16 cents as of October 1, 2011.
Solar customers have two streams of effective revenue from their panels: the income from receiving a feed-in tariff for exported electricity, and offset consumption that no longer needs to be purchased from the grid as it is provided from the solar system. Although the feed in-tariff expires in 5 years, the benefit of not needing to consume as much power from the grid continues as long as the solar system is operational. After 9 years of operation, the panels have effectively paid for themselves.
The Premium Feed-in Tariff started in late 2009 and will soon be closed to new applicants.
It offered eligible customers with small-scale solar systems of five kilowatts or less a credit of at least 60 cents per kilowatt hour for excess electricity fed back into the grid.
About 50,000 Victorian households, small businesses and community groups are now benefiting from the premium rate.
The scheme was designed with a cap on the installed capacity of solar panels across the state of 100 megawatts, and it is now almost fully subscribed.
Any new applicants must submit their paperwork by 30 September to be considered for the premium rate.
Eligible customers who are signed up to the Premium Feed-in Tariff and having credits recorded against their account will continue to receive this rate until 2024.
Be wary of any pressure by solar retailers to “get in quick”. No one can guarantee new customers access to the premium rate, especially if you are not already financially committed to the process. Read more about misleading claims about solar
If you have already signed-up or are in the process of having solar panels installed you should:
Before 30 September 2011 you must have completed the following to be considered:
It’s important you submit paperwork as promptly as possible.
It can take several weeks to complete these steps, so you should make sure you monitor the process carefully and follow-up with your solar installer and electricity suppliers. If you have not already paid a deposit and started the process of having solar panels fitted, you will probably not be able to complete the process in time for the premium rate.
The deadline for paperwork is designed to provide suppliers with enough time to complete the remainder of the process – right up to having the correct metering in place and having credits recorded against your account for solar power fed into the grid – by the time the scheme reaches its capacity cap.
It’s expected that solar customers currently in the process of fitting their premises with panels will see the capacity cap reached by late November 2011.
The Premium Feed-in Tariff was set up to accept a total capacity of 100 megawatts of installed solar power across the state. We are now just over 80 per cent.
Legally, you will need to have completed all the following steps by the time the cap is reached to attain the premium rate:
If you have completed your paperwork by 30 September, your electricity retailer, distributor and installer should have enough time to complete these final steps, but make sure you continue to monitor the process.
You can also register for updates on the capacity cap.