Solar Feed in Tariffs

A Feed in Tariff (FIT) is the amount you’re paid per unit (kilowatt hour – kWh) of unused electricity that you don’t use and therefore sell back to the grid.

There are 2 types:

  • Net Feed in tariff – you’re paid for the power you don’t consume in the house.
  • Gross Feed in tariff – you’re paid for all the power your system produces

All states in Australia now have Net Feed in Tariffs after the NSW Government made a massive loss by offering a ridiculously high Gross rate of 60c/Kwh on systems up to 10kW. Some people made an absolute killing on that one.

Over the last couple of years across Australia, state governments have eliminated or reduced substantially the amounts they contribute, leaving retailers to pick up the tab.

Govt Retailers Comments
QLD 8c/kWh nil Reviewed annually – up to 5kW more info
VIC nil min of 8c/kWh Reviewed each year after 2014- up to 100kW more info
SA 16c/kWh 9.8c/kWh Get in before 30 September 2013 to secure 16c from Govt more info
TAS nil  8c/kWh for systems up to 10kW more info
ACT 7.5c for each kW exported.
NSW nil up to 8c/kWh No FIT contribution from the state government more info
WA nil 8.85c/kWh Paid for 10 years from installation – up to 5kW more info
NT 27.87/kWh up to 4.5kW -  no set end date

You may be aware that Feed in Tariff rates around Australia have been slashed by state governments over the last year of so. This is true, however the effect of these cuts on the attractiveness of installing solar has been neutralised by the massive reductions in the costs of system hardware (panels and inverters) over the same period.

For example, a 20 panel 5kW system would have set you back between $17,000 and $25,000 2 years ago after rebates. Now, you’ll pick up the same size system with top quality components for between $8,000 and $12,000. This is due mainly to the crash in the prices for solar panels worldwide.

So, yes, you’re getting paid less for what you export to the grid but at the same time, you’re paying much less for the system which at the end of the day is making larger systems accessible to more people.

The amount you get paid as a Feed in Tariff matters mainly if you install a larger system that produces more power than you would expect to use between 9am and 3pm each day. If you’re simply offsetting your current usage or reducing the amount you draw from the grid, you wouldn’t have been paid for exporting much power anyway and the feed in tariff isn’t as important.

If on the other hand you install a large system (5kW – around 20 panels) and live in a small house on your own plus don’t consume power during the day, you’d like to be paid a high rate for that power you’re exporting. This is an extreme example of a system size not matching the occupant but most people will need to do the numbers and figure out the system that offers the best return for the money invested. We recommend getting a few no obligation quotes and having the installers go through the numbers with you.

Solar Payback Calculator You can also work out your returns using our calculator here

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  • You own your own home
  • Your average bill is over $100
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