Changes to the solar Feed-in Tariff (April 2018)

Your Feed-in Tariff is the amount your energy company pays you for any extra solar power that you generate and sell back to the grid. In Victoria, the minimum Feed-in Tariff is regulated. This means that each year, Victoria’s energy regulator, the Essential Services Commission, decides the minimum amount energy companies can pay customers back for their exported solar power.

The 2018−19 minimum Feed-in Tariffs

This coming financial year, for the first time, the ESC has introduced two Feed-in Tariffs:

  • a single-rate tariff of 9.9 cents per kilowatt hour for all exported solar power
  • a time-varying tariff with different payback rates at different times of day – 7.1 cents per kilowatt hour in off-peak times, 10.3 cents per kilowatt hour in shoulder times, and 29 cents per kilowatt hour in peak times.

From 1 July 2018, all retailers need to offer at least one of these tariffs to their solar customers.

What the changes mean for customers

These are the minimum amounts retailers can pay you for your extra solar power. Retailers are free to offer more, and some will. But a higher Feed-in Tariff isn’t necessarily the best deal – when shopping around, you need to look at the full picture, including the Feed-in Tariff, the fixed daily charges, the rate you’ll pay for the grid power you use, and what discounts are included. It’s a complex exercise, which is why we recommend comparing prices using Victorian Energy Compare.

And remember, most solar customers pay a higher price for the grid electricity they use than they receive for any extra solar power they sell. So if you’re a solar customer, you’ll probably make the most savings if you focus on using the power from your solar panels − not selling it back to the grid. This can be as simple as running your dishwasher and washing machine during the day when your panels are generating the most solar power.

Customers who got solar before 2012 and are still entitled to the Premium Feed-In Tariff will continue to receive the higher rate and aren’t affected by changes to the minimum Feed-in Tariff.

Possible problems and how EWOV can help

A time-varying tariff is obviously more complex than a single one, so if retailers choose to offer the time-varying tariff, there might be more potential billing mistakes and customer confusion. Although we can’t deal with complaints about solar installers or retailers’ prices, we can help if there’s a problem with your solar bill – such as an incorrect tariff or missing solar credits – and you haven’t been able to resolve it with your retailer.