What do new solar tariffs mean for me?

RoyalAuto magazine

Changes to solar feed-in tariffs should mean bigger payments for householders.
Find out how to make the most of the new tariffs.

July 2018


Changes to Victoria’s solar feed-in tariffs should mean bigger payments for householders. We asked RACV’s senior product manager for energy, Kieran Davies, what the changes are and how they’ll affect households with solar.

What’s changed?

The amount Victoria’s solar households will get paid for energy they sell to the grid changed on 1 July. Solar panels are a great way to reduce your impact on the environment and save money, and the Essential Services Commission regularly reviews and changes the minimum amount energy retailers can pay Victorians for energy they provide to the grid.

Over the years, Victoria’s feed-in-tariff has been as high as 60 cents and as low as 5 cents per kWh of power fed back into the grid. Until 30 June, the feed-in tariff for most systems was 11.3 cents per kWh and applied to all power produced, regardless of when it was generated.

As of 1 July, electricity retailers now have two options for payments to their solar customers:

  1. A time-varying feed-in-tariff that pays different amounts for different times of day, from 7.1 cents in off-peak times (mainly overnight) up to a massive 29 cents; between 3pm and 9pm on weekdays.
  2. A fixed feed-in-tariff of 9.9 cents.

What impact is this likely to have?

RACV generally expects households on the varying feed-in-tariff to see an increase in their payments thanks to the significant increase in peak rates. This is good news for those who have or are looking at buying solar and is a sign of support for households trying to reduce their consumption.

However, with electricity retailers given the choice of which tariff to offer, it’s hard to be sure how many customers will benefit and how many might actually see their payments reduce.

What can I do?

  • If you are an existing solar household you can contact your electricity retailer and ask them what solar plans they are offering their customers. Remember, it’s always good to compare your retailer with the market regularly – and RACV can help with RACV Energy Compare.
  • If you are offered a time-varying feed-in-tariff you can try to maximise the benefit by reducing your power usage between 3pm and 9pm on weekdays so more power is sold to the grid.
  • If you are thinking about installing solar in the future it is worth keeping in mind that late-afternoon generation is likely to be more valuable in the future, making west-facing panels a good idea. To discuss a system design tailored to your needs contact RACV Solar on 1300 481 026 or visit racv.com.au/solar.

More information

For more on solar feed-in-tariffs, go to the Essential Services Commission’s overview.

To compare electricity retailers, go to: RACV Energy Compare

To learn more about RACV solar systems, go to: racv.com.au/solar or ring 1300 481 026.

Be part of supporting a sustainable Victoria this summer with RACV's Summer Energy Program

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