Even though feed-in tariffs (FiTs) these days are much lower than they used to be, there's definitely still a bright side to having solar panels for your home.
And if you're interested in solar power for your business, there are some great incentives and benefits to using solar pv technology for electricity generation, no matter what industry you're in. Read more here.
Shining a light on feed-in tariffs (FiTs)
When we talk about FiTs, this is referring to the rate you get paid for sending your unused electricity back to the electricity grid. It appears as a credit on your electricity bill and is paid to you from your electricity retailer (us). It's usually a set rate per kilowatt hour. The exact rate of FiTs that EnergyAustralia is currently paying in Victoria, NSW, ACT, QLD and SA can be found here.
Huge FiTs may be a thing of the past
Not that long ago, solar energy feed-in tariffs were being offered at very high rates, especially when compared to today's rates. FiTs of up to 60c for each kilowatt hour of excess solar energy were not unusual.
The purpose of high FiTs was to encourage the take-up of solar energy in its early days and help make the costs of installing solar pv panels more palatable as it was so expensive.
The cost of purchasing and installing solar PV systems using solar panels has gone down over the past decade, and the amount of excess energy going back into the grid has increased. As a result, the energy produced is not worth as much as it has been in the past and it's unlikely we'll see such high FiTs again.
Solar makes sense, financially and environmentally
Although the days of high feed-in tariffs are likely over, two very good reasons remain for choosing solar systems for your home or business energy.
By installing solar panels and using your own energy rather than sending it back to the grid, you avoid retail electricity charges and will save money if you're using your solar while it's generating; that is, using your appliances during the day.
You're helping the environment by generating your own energy using the sun's rays - renewable energy such as solar is a very cool (or hot) investment because the electricity generated from your solar panels involves no burning of fuels or direct emissions.
Bonus: with costs of installing solar dropping, you could recoup it within a few years.
Some solar tips
There are some ways to get even more from your solar system.
- Running your appliances during the day to maximise those free rays
- If you're not home during the day, use timers to set your appliances
- Consider installing a battery too - over 50,000 households across Australia installed a battery system in 2022*.
- Do your research to find the best energy plan for you to maximise your solar energy – look for plans that have low rates, discounts and include FiT (and remember to talk to your energy retailer too).
- EnergyAustralia customers with solar using our app can monitor how much electricity they've fed back into the grid (for their home or business, or both).
Did you know?
Across Australia, there were
- 310,352 rooftop solar installations in 2022*
- That's 2.7 GW (2.7 billion watts) of rooftop solar capacity added in 2022*
- 1 in 3 Australian homes now have rooftop solar installed*
In conclusion, investing in solar energy is still a power move
Australia boasts some of the world's greatest solar energy resources. The country is prioritising the rapid and vast expansion of solar energy generation. By looking at your solar system as a way to reduce your electricity costs for your home or business, or by using your own solar system to generate electricity, rather than earning credits for the energy you feed back to the grid, you can see that it's still a very worthwhile long-term investment.
*Source: Clean Energy Australia Report April 2023, Clean Energy Council