In a Victorian first, EnergyAustralia’s solar customers now have the opportunity to switch to time-of-use feed-in tariffs, meaning they will receive almost triple the standard retailer tariff during times when demand for electricity is highest. It’s great news for Victorians who are feeding excess energy back into the grid during the 3pm to 9pm peak period.
What are time-of-use feed-in tariffs?
Many Australian homes stand empty during the day, but by mid-afternoon our suburban precincts spring back to life as kids start arriving home from school and switch on their computers. Within a couple of hours, parents have returned from work; dinner is being prepared, a load of washing is being done and TVs are turned on. All this domestic activity puts a strain on the electricity grid – in fact, Australians use more electricity between 3pm and 9pm than during any other part of the day.
Until recently, Victorian households with solar panels could only sell their excess electricity back to the grid at a flat rate, no matter the time of day. But EnergyAustralia customers who switch to time-of-use feed-in tariffs rather than a flat rate will now be paid more for the electricity they generate during the 3pm to 9pm peak – almost three times more, in fact
Using them to your advantage
Time-of-use tariffs essentially mean that the energy you generate between 3pm and 9pm is worth more than the energy you generate at other times. To take advantage of this, consider reducing your domestic energy usage during the peak period so you have more electricity to sell back to the grid. For example, you could delay household chores such as laundry until later in the evening, take steps to minimise the number of lights that are switched on during the peak and avoid using energy-intensive services such as heating and air-conditioning until after 9pm. Making a few small lifestyle adjustments could have a significant impact on the amount of money you generate with your home solar system.
The future of feed-in tariffs
The Victorian Government is a strong advocate for time-of-use tariffs for the state’s energy consumers – in fact, from mid-next year, all energy retailers will have to provide this option to customers. But EnergyAustralia isn’t waiting for the new rules to come into effect: we’re giving Victorian customers the option to switch to time-of-use tariffs now, making us the first retailer to do so. It’s a great example of how we’re lighting the way towards a smarter energy future.