Which electricity retailer is giving the best Solar Feed-in Tariff?

Solar Electricity Feed-in Tariff by Retailer in each State

by Solar Choice Staff on August 15, 2014

in ACT,Federal Government solar incentives,Installation advice,NSW,NT,QLD,SA,State Government solar feed-in tariffs,TAS,VIC,WA

Feed-in tariffs in Australia: How they’ve changed

Solar feed-in tariffs are arrangements where a solar system owner is paid for the excess solar energy that they send back into the grid. At one point in time, feed-in tariffs were mandatory in every state in Australia, and the rates they offered were quite generous.

Much has changed, however, since we first published this article in 2009. Feed-in tariff incentives are no longer available to new solar customers in almost all of Australia’s states and territories (top end of the Northern Territory is the only exception). Instead, where feed-in tariffs are state-mandated at all, they are in the range of 8¢/kWh–about 1/3 the price of retail electricity purchased from the grid. (Those who signed up for these before the deadlines for the various feed-in tariffs will continue to receive the set rates for the duration of the term of their incentives.)

In many states, compensation for excess solar power by electricity retailers is entirely voluntary, meaning that solar system owners must shop around to find a retailer that offers them a favourable rate–generally in the range of 6-10¢/kWh. Such reimbursement is no longer generally referred to as a feed-in tariff (denoting a scheme that is government-backed), but rather a ‘solar buyback’.

Compare solar installation quotes instantly: Complete our Solar Quote Comparison request form on the right of this page.

Rooftop solar panelsUntil a couple of years ago, feed-in tariff incentives were virtually the main determinant in the economic viability of going solar in Australia. Since then, however, solar PV system prices have fallen considerably, meaning that an investment in a solar PV system is still worthwhile, but how to best use a system has changed.

When feed-in tariffs were higher than the cost of grid electricity, it made sense for homes & businesses to try to export as much power as possible, as this would maximise savings. These days, the opposite is true: in order to maximise investment in a solar system, the system’s owner would see the most benefit from endeavouring to consume as much of the electricity that they generate as possible. This is because direct consumption of any solar power generated means less electricity that needs to be purchased from the grid (at rates between 20-30¢/kWh, depending on the retailer and region), whereas exporting the power will earn system owners credits on their power bill to the tune of only 8-10¢/kWh.

What is clear is that the bias for ‘self-consumption’ virtually defines the business case for going solar in Australia today. The aim of this article is to help solar shoppers to keep themselves informed about what their excess solar power is worth, so that they can ensure that they are getting the most out of their system.

*This article was originally published on 11 December 2009 and has been updated several times since. It was last updated on 15 August 2014 with information from the Total Environment Centre and government comparator sites.*

Read about solar feed-in tariffs in your state:

NSW - VIC - QLD - SA - WA - ACT - NT - TAS

Types of solar feed-in tariffs: Net and Gross

As you may have heard there are two types of feed in tariffs: Net and Gross.

Net feed in tariff – A net feed-in tariff pays you only for the surplus energy that you feed back into the grid. This type of scheme operates virtually everywhere in Australia now. The power that is not exported to the grid is used by the home, thereby reducing the electricity of the home or business in question through avoided purchase of power from the grid in the first place.

Gross feed in tariff – A gross feed in tariff pays you for every kilowatt hour of electricity your solar cells produce, regardless of how much energy you consume. Generally speaking, gross feed-in tariffs are not offered through electricity retailers these days. The vast majority of feed-in arrangements are net feed-in arrangements.

Form of payment for solar feed-in tariff revenues

The feed in tariffs you earn are by default paid as a credit on your electricity bill, which is usually settled quarterly. So the energy you export to the grid works to decrease your electricity bill. In the case that you’ve exported so much energy that your account goes into surplus, most energy retailers allow you to claim the cash by cheque or EFT on request (check with yours to find out for sure).

All the information here has been collated from information provided EnergyMadeEasy.gov.au and other state government comparator engines. Some energy companies may charge you more for the regular power you consume from the grid when you install solar cells, or charge you an additional fee. Due to the complexity of the energy market these instances can not be fully documented here, but you should check with the retailers in your area if this is the case, and shop around for the best deal.

Is Feed in Tariff income taxable?

Generally speaking, income received to a household from a feed in tariff is not taxable as the system is installed for personal use and not for the sole intention of making a profit. If, however, you are installing the system on a commercial premises then the income from the feed in tariff may be assessed as being taxable.

Will I need to pay GST on Feed in Tariff income?

Households will not need to pay GST on their feed in tariff income as the income will be below $75,000 per year. Businesses, however, will need to do so.

New South Wales

At the moment, there is no mandatory minimum feed-in tariff rate in NSW. Instead, individual electricity retailers assign a value to exported solar power as they see fit. Some retailers offer more than others, and some retailers offer nothing.

Below is a list of the electricity retailers who do offer some compensation for exported solar power. Retailers not listed below do not offer a payment for exported solar. Keep in mind that there may be some additional fees associated with changing electricity meters, depending on the region and network company.

All of the offers listed below can be found using the EnergyMadeEasy.gov.au comparator, which allows electricity & gas customers to easily compare offers from the retailers who operate in their region. Make sure to tick the box for ‘Offers available to solar customers’.

Retailer Tariff payable to new solar customers (¢/kWh)
Diamond Energy
Energy Australia 5.1¢
Lumo Energy 5.5¢
Powerdirect 7.7¢
Click Energy 10¢
Origin Energy
Red Energy


At the moment, the mandatory minimum feed-in tariff rate in Victoria is 8¢/kWh. Some retailers nevertheless offer more than others.

Below is a list of the electricity retailers who offer some compensation for exported solar power over and above the mandatory 8¢/kWh rateRetailers not listed below pay only the mandatory 8¢/kWh. Keep in mind that there may be some additional fees associated with changing electricity meters, depending on the region and network company.

All of the offers listed below can be found using Victoria’s SwitchOn.vic.gov.au comparator, which allows electricity & gas customers to easily compare offers from the retailers who operate in their region. 

Retailer Tariff payable to new solar customers (cents per kWh)
Diamond Energy
Click Energy 10¢


At the moment, there is no mandatory minimum feed-in tariff rate for southeastern Queensland (Brisbane area). Instead, individual electricity retailers assign a value to exported solar power as they see fit. Some retailers offer more than others, and some retailers offer nothing.

If you are a resident of regional Queensland, however, the mandatory minimum that you will receive for exported solar power is 6.53¢/kWh.

Below is a list of the electricity retailers in SE QLD who do offer some compensation for exported solar power, and those in regional Queensland who offer something above the mandatory 6.53¢/kWh.

Retailers not listed below do not offer a payment for exported solar, or offer only the minimum. Keep in mind that there may be some additional fees associated with changing electricity meters, depending on the region and network company.

All of the offers listed below can be found using at Comparator.QCA.org.au, which allows electricity & gas customers to easily compare offers from the retailers who operate in their region. 

Retailer Tariff payable to new solar customers (¢/kWh)
Diamond Energy
Click Energy 6-12¢
Lumo Energy

South Australia

At the moment, the mandatory minimum feed-in tariff rate in South Australia is 6¢/kWh (‘retailer contribution‘). Some retailers nevertheless offer more than others.

Below is a list of the electricity retailers who offer some compensation for exported solar power over and above the mandatory 6¢/kWh rateRetailers not listed below pay only the mandatory 6¢/kWh. Keep in mind that there may be some additional fees associated with changing electricity meters, depending on the region and network company.

All of the offers listed below can be found using the EnergyMadeEasy.gov.au comparator, which allows electricity & gas customers to easily compare offers from the retailers who operate in their region. Make sure to tick the box for ‘Offers available to solar customers’.

Retailer Tariff payable to new solar customers (¢/kWh)
Diamond Energy

Western Australia

At the moment, the mandatory minimum feed-in tariff rate for the Perth region of Western Australia (Synergy grid) is about 8.9¢/kWh. There is no retail electricity competition in the state, so all rates are set by the relevant regional utilities in conjunction with their government regulators.

If you are a resident of the regional Horizon Power network, the mandatory minimum that you will receive for exported solar power will depend on where you are. Horizon offers between 10¢/kWh and 50¢/kWh for exported solar power depending on the town and whether local solar capacity quotas have been reached already. A full list of the rates are listed here. Also note that in some areas export control devices may be required for solar system owners.

Retailer Tariff payable to new solar customers 
Horizon Power Depends on suburb
Synergy Energy ~8.9¢


At the moment, there is no mandatory minimum feed-in tariff rate in the ACT. Instead, individual electricity retailers assign a value to exported solar power as they see fit.

Below is a list of the electricity retailers who do offer some compensation for exported solar power. Retailers not listed below do not offer a payment for exported solar. Keep in mind that there may be some additional fees associated with changing electricity meters–check with your retailer/network company.

All of the offers listed below can be found using the EnergyMadeEasy.gov.au comparator, which allows electricity & gas customers to easily compare offers from the retailers who operate in their region. Make sure to tick the box for ‘Offers available to solar customers’.

Retailer Tariff payable to new solar customers (¢/kWh)
ActewAGL 7.5¢
Energy Australia 5.1¢

Northern Territory

A solar feed-in tariff rate of 27.13¢/kWh is available through NT utility PowerWater. This rate is tied to the retail price of electricity–i.e. a 1-for-1 feed-in tariff.

Retailer Tariff payable to new solar customers
NT Power and Water Authority 27.13¢


Tasmania’s only electricity utility, Aurora Energy, offers approximately 5.6¢/kWh to new solar customers.

Retailer Tariff payable to new solar customers
(cents per kWh)
Aurora Energy 5.6¢

Ready to go solar? Fill out the Solar Quote Comparison request form on the right of this page.

© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

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Origins of Solar Brokering in the United Kingdom - Free Solar Power Quotes - Solar Selections
January 29, 2013 at 7:26 am

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

daniel December 17, 2009 at 8:18 pm

why does victorian power suppliers pay mor than nsw


admin January 5, 2010 at 10:23 am

Hi Daniel,

At the moment, based on the information we have, some power suppliers are paying slightly more per kWh in Victoria than they do NSW, however, this may change very soon. The main reason for this is that the NSW scheme has only just come into operation (on the 1st of January 2010) and many of the power providers are still putting their deals together. One could expect that just as in Victoria, Queensland and SA some of the larger electricity providers (like AGL, TruEnergy and Origin) will pay a slight premium on the mandatory feed in tariff rate set by the government (60c in Vic and NSW, 44c in Qld and SA) as they compete to attract these valuable customers.

However, there is something very important to note here. The Victorian, Queensland and SA schemes are NET feed in tariffs (you’re paid for only the excess electricity you feed back into the grid), whilst the NSW scheme is a GROSS feed in tariff (you’re paid for ALL the electricity your cells generate, including what you consume). So for the same system you will be earning several times more in NSW then you would in Victoria or any of the other states. For this reason it’s possible electricity providers may not want to pay a premium in NSW, however, it really doesn’t matter as you’ll be way up in any case.

Kobad Bhavnagri
Solar Energy Consultant
Solar Choice Pty Ltd


mark January 14, 2010 at 4:36 pm

are the premium rates (vic) inc or ex gst?
agl clearly states 68c ex gst.
origin clearly states 66 inc gst.
red is clearly 66 inc gst/60 ex gst.
the legislation doesnt specify gst in its mandated rates AFAICT.
domestic exported power is credited as ex gst as the retailer pays the gst component I think.
What is the real story?
If the above is correct, then agl is heaps better.


Richard Tapp February 3, 2010 at 3:34 pm

EA has updated their website.

Please update the EA Solar Q&A link in your page to the following:



admin March 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Link updated!


sidney mytton-watson February 11, 2010 at 11:34 am

I am a member of Stayz Holiday rentals and they have suggested that we look at your offer of installing solar panels on our hokiday rental accomodation.
My contact details are 044 898 7968

Perth Western Australia

Thank-you Sidney Mytton-Watson


Alan Sly October 11, 2011 at 9:20 am


just want to clarify on the 28c feed in tariff offered by AGL. I have contacted them and they say that this is a computer error with them paying the old tariff (20c) and the new one (8c) at the same time and they are working to fix this.

Have you heard otherwise?


admin October 11, 2011 at 10:15 am

Hi Alan,

Thanks for your comment. Just to reconfirm, I called up AGL and spoke to Rob in Customer Resolutions, who said that they have received a number of inquiries about the 28c/kWh rate, and that it is ‘under review’ but is definitely available for new sign-ups, at least for the time being. He wasn’t sure if the generous rate was due to a computer error or not (he seemed doubtful about this).

You’ll notice that AGL is not publicising the 28c/kWh rate anywhere on their web site, and in my experience have only disclosed it when asked directly. When we first heard that AGL was offering this much, we were all a bit taken aback–this is more generous than the new Victorian Feed-in Tariff rate of 25c/kWh.


James McMennemin June 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Do you have current tariff feed in rates for Victoria. Installing Solar Panels by end of June. I am currently with Energy Australia and they state they are not paying feed in tariff over and above the 25 cents but they are now owned by TRU Energy which does pay 6 cents shown above. It would appear that Red Energy and Diamond are the best deals. Can you please clarify.


admin September 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Hi James,

Sorry for the delay I’m not sure how we missed you! As you may have heard the current feed-in tariff in Victoria is dropping from 25¢ per KWh to 8¢ per KWh as of 30 September 2012. If you installed your panels by the end of June and have completed all the paperwork you should be receiving the higher rate.

As we deal with the installers we don’t have all the information regarding the incentives offered by different energy providers, I would suggest giving them a call and seeing what they’re willing to offer you. We found this link on the Victorian Governments website which might help you –


shirley August 20, 2012 at 11:21 am

I am going to install 4.5 kw of solar energy but I cannot understand the different prices of net feed in tarriffs. I am NSW but Vic have such a higher rate.
Please tell me which one is the best, also considering charges for installing the item needed for reading. (which some apparently charge) At present I am with Origin but would like the price of all of them.


admin September 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Hi Shirley,

Thanks for the comment. The differences in the rates can basically be attributed to the difference in the governments’ support for solar power. (The Victorian government has actually just announced that the new FiT there will be only 8c, incidentally.) It all has to do with their mindset and how much they value solar. Those offering 8c or less have basically determined that this is the ‘real’ value of solar to the grid. In NSW, the government just lets the retailers decide.

If you’re installing a system in NSW, the most important thing is to make sure that you’re using as much power it produces as possible while the sun is shining–any power that goes to the grid will earn you only around 8-10c/kWh (depending on your retailer). Compare this to the 20c you could be saving if you used power from your panels instead of purchasing it from the grid.

Recently, the Feed-in Tariff rates were removed from NSW’s MyEnergyOffers website, making it hard to quickly determine which retailer offers the best rate. However, you should know what your’e entitled to when negotiating with your retailer. For 2012-2013, that rate is about 10-13c/kWh.

Best of luck! If you’re looking to compare quotes on systems, please fill out the Quote Comparison request form on our site. Once you do, you’ll receive an instant comparison of the deals on offer from installers from your area. 4.5kW may not be included, but 4kW and 5kW will. Our service is 100% free to our customers.


Ali November 30, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I did sign with origin for 60 per KWand I moved to my new house in July 2011 , I had issues with origin and my installer to do paper work , seting up my solar meter took them almost a year to install and now I am only getting 31 cents and I am getting less than 5% rebate for my total bill , it is the worst invetment I did in my life


Solar Choice November 30, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Hi Ali,

I couldn’t find your details on our database and am assuming you didn’t use our service when getting your system. If the issue was with the installer this is something Solar Choice can help with, but only if you have signed with one of the installers in our network through our Quote Comparison.

With most of the feed in tariff’s there is a deadline for signing with an installer or applying for a specific tariff, and a deadline for installation/grid connection. All of the installers on our network work hard to ensure that our customers are receive the best solar incentives available. We are currently in a position where additional rebates from the Federal Government have been withdrawn, some of the installers on our network will be honouring the additional discount even once installation deadline has passed.

The installation of your meter is the responsibility of the energy provider and you could try taking the matter up with them. Without knowing the full details of your case it is difficult to comment, I would look at the contracts you have with Origin in case there is a loophole that will allow you to apply to have it instated. 31¢ per kWh is still a good rate compared to what customers who are installing today are offered, but understandably disappointing if you did everything to get the 60¢ tariff.

Regarding the 5% rebate on your bill, if you are only reducing your bill by 5% your system may be too small or there may be a problem with your panels. If you not paying for energy and getting 5% back on top of that you’re doing pretty well!

Thanks for your comment, make sure your system is operating as close to the optimum as it can and hopefully you’ll start to see better returns whether they’re feed-in tariffs of a reduction in your energy bill.


sedat Aykut December 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm

I`m from NSW Sydney and i dont get it.Igot the solar panel 2.5 kw they install 2 meter one show total usege kw of house otherone show, panels put in to the grids(kw). How AGL charge me total of usage 0.2425 than they pay me back 0.08 cents per kw. That is ripoff why no one stand up for this nonsense,rubbish,otherway of saying i`m selling same item 0.08 cents and buy it back my own item 0.2425 cents newer see business like that in the world but Australia..
Sedat Aykut


Solar Choice December 4, 2012 at 9:36 am

Hi Sedat,

I can’t see your details on our system so I have to assume you didn’t use Solar Choice when you got your system installed?

If you had gone though us we would have made sure you were aware of the current feed-in tariff situation if you were unsure, in NSW any energy you do not use if fed back to the grid and you are paid 8¢ per kWh. This is because there is no mandatory feed-in tariff in NSW, technically energy retailers do not have to pay you a cent.

The solar industry has been lobbying for some time for a fair tariff but, so far, this has made no difference.

What we recommend for NSW customers is installing a system that closely matches your energy needs, this way you use your solar energy first and only use grid energy after your panels stop producing. We also advise customers that solar PV systems are no longer about making money through Premium tariffs but about off-setting your energy bills.

If you want to get active on this issue I woud recommend writing a letter to your local Government representative and encouraging any other solar PV owners who are not happy with the current tarif to do the same.


Lynn January 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Hi there,
I’m with AGL in VIC and have solar panels installed since late 2009 and meter installed March 2010 and my contract with AGL is for the Premium FIT which runs until 2024 at 0.68c.

AGL have recently (Aug 2012) told me that my meter has been incorrectly configured and that my rate is to be 0.2599 now.
They are saying this is because the electricty goes direct from my panels to the grid rather than as excess from our house to the grid.

Am currently in discussions etc with them trying to sort this out, but I was not aware and have not seen any reference to this stipulation anywhere.

Do you know if this is right, that you need your meter ‘configured’ in a particular manner? Can they seemingly ignore the contract?



Solar Choice January 21, 2013 at 9:51 am

Hi Lynn,

I’ve done some investigating for you, AGL are correct when they advise you that it is only the excess energy your panels produce that should be going back to the grid and your meter should have been configured this way. You can read about it on the Department of Primary Industries website, the link here is to the page with this information.

As you can’t configure the meter yourself we would advise going back to the company who installed your meter, this may not be AGL but you’re installer or their subcontractor. It’s quite a complex issue and we don’t have a firm answer to your question, AGL may be able to move you to the transitional tariff but you should definitely do some more research around this issue, read all the contracts plus terms and conditions in detail. I couldn’t find any information that would allow them to do it but it’s not to say it doesn’t exist.

Let us know what happens in case someone else asks us about this again.


Lynn January 30, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Hi again,
Thanks for your help and reply.
AGL have asked for a copy of my contract which they have forwarded to Powercor, as it was Powercor that ‘discovered’ the configuration and notified AGL to change my Feed in Tariff. So waiting for the next contact as a result of that.

AGL installed the solar/smart meter, would it have been configured at that stage by them or by the solar panel installer (Clear Solar)?

Thanks again,


Solar Choice January 30, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Hi Lynn,

I’m not sure what would have happened in this instance, but it would be a little strange for AGL to call on a third party to configure your smart meter. I’ve spoken to our in-house expert, who is a former installer, and it’s a matter of pressing a few buttons. The only instance I can think of where this may have of occurred would be if the smart meter was installed after the solar PV system or if your house already had a smart meter – all new houses have smart meters installed automatically.

Hope that helps in some way


Lynn January 31, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Hi there,
So AGL installed the solar meter after the panels were installed, then Powercor notified me that they would be installing a smart meter. I did ring at the time to query this and was told that Powercor would see the solar meter and that would be fine, no need to do anything else.

I wonder now if Powercor did anything to the meter then??

I asked AGL if they could re-configure it correctly at one stage of this ongoing issue and they said it couldn’t be done. But your contact says it’s a matter of pressing a some buttons, so maybe it suits them to say that (said she somewhat cynically)

Haven’t heard back from them yet…
Waiting patiently…mostly…


Bernard Drakeford February 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Hi, I have a queryref the output of my 1.5 kw Solar system installed in Apr/May 2012. It seems never to show 1500 watt output on the EKO 2000 inverter. I saw 1500 watt produced justafter the installation was completed by the Installer. Do I have a fault or is it showing the value over the household consumption value?


Solar Choice February 19, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Hi Bernard,

A system operating at its optimum capacity will work at around 90% efficiency, which may explain the 1500 watt display. I’m not familiar with the set up of that particular inverter, if you’re concerned it might be worthwhile contacting your installer who can advise you and arrange to test the inverter if required.


Lynn February 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

Hi again,
AGL installed my Solar meter (cost $170 truck fee). I believe a Solar meter is the same as a Smart meter?
It was installed after the panels. I was notified later that year by Powecor that I would be having the compulsory Smart Meter installed. I did ring to check and was told that the installer would see my meter and wouldn’t install another one.

Some time after I sent my contract copy the only thing I got from AGL was to send me my bill again including the next payment with a request to pay the November bill straight away. No explanations.
So I told them I was still unsatisfied that the issue has not been resolved and that I would be contacting EWOV, which I have.
I also told them that I would in good faith, pay what I believe to be the correct amount on the overdue account, which I have.

EWOV have requested a higher level of AGL management to contact me by the end of three working days, which is today.

Are you interested in my continuing the progress reports here or is it now not relevant?
Either way many thanks for your feedback so far.


Solar Choice February 20, 2013 at 9:24 am

Hi Lynn,

If you get a final decision on your incorrectly set up meter let us know so we can pass this onto other customers.

Hope it all goes your way!


Lynn April 18, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Hi there,
I did go through EWOV ulitmately as I wasn’t getting any answer to my questions and no resolution at all just another bill.

The result is that AGL actually neglected to enter my details on the database to say that I was eligible for the PFIT. So they finally agreed they had made the mistake and would compensate me as I now cannot be on a PFIT because that tariff finished around November 2011.

Based on my last 12 months of solar energy my panels generated, the compensation paid the difference between the current rate and the PFIT until 2016. And then as no one knows what the rate will be after that, they paid the whole 0.68c to cover until 2024 when PFIT is supposed to last to.

So nothing to do with configuring my smart meter as I was told at one stage, AFL made a mistake.

So good outcome in the end as far as it goes, except that I had panels installed, apart from the obvious enviromental reasons, but to help with the rising cost of electricity in my dotage.

Thanks for your help and replies and hope no one else has had to go through this ordeal.


Cheree August 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Very helpful….thanks.


Solar Choice Staff August 18, 2014 at 5:38 am

Glad you found this useful, Cheree.


Jeanne Stern August 18, 2014 at 6:43 am

We are about to buy a property in Brisbane that has solar. How do we get the best out of the system now and and who gives the best buy back?


Solar Choice Staff August 19, 2014 at 2:43 am

Hi Jeanne,

The table above (for Queensland) shows the retailers who offer something to their solar customers. For more details, it’s best to visit the QCA’s electricity comparator tool (also linked above). In addition to what they offer for solar, you should also keep an eye on how much they charge for grid electricity.

For more on getting the most out of your system, you can also check out this article about electricity usage patterns to make sure you’re aware of how you might use electricity throughout the day–and how to align your consumption as much as possible with solar power production.


Steven Zilm August 18, 2014 at 3:19 pm
Solar Choice Staff August 19, 2014 at 1:22 am

Hi Steven,

Thanks for pointing out the outdated information. We have updated the article accordingly.


Jim Gartside September 3, 2014 at 9:53 am

I would like to know which tariff is preferable. It would seem that net feed in is. If so, how do I get it, and who does it. At the moment I seem to be on the gross tariff.
When mentioned to companies, they seem to bypass the subject.
I am getting 8c for electricity to the grid and paying 32c plus.
Which, to me rather defeats the cause of installing solar.


Solar Choice Staff September 10, 2014 at 1:02 am

Hi Jim,

If you are only being paid 8c/kWh, then it is imperative that you be on a net feed-in tariff to get the most out of your system. These days, owning a solar system is about self-consumption (using your solar power yourself). This is how a solar system saves its owner money.

If you are having problems with your electricity retailer regarding this, I’m sure that threatening to switch to a different one would perk up their ears. Above is a pretty comprehensive list of choices.

The first thing to do would be to confirm for certain whether or not you are on a gross or net tariff. Your retailer should be able to tell you this, and my understanding is that net tariffs are the default pretty much everywhere these days.


Gary September 30, 2014 at 8:57 am

Hi there,
I installed a 5kw system 4 months ago and got my first bill yesterday.
It has dropped my usage down to 600kw, and I have exported 1500kw to the grid at 12 cents. This should effectively cancelled my bill out, but the daily connection fee is 92 cents an increase of 100% from my last bill. So I still have to pay a bill of $90 just to be connected, it seems you can never cancel your bill out.


Solar Choice Staff October 2, 2014 at 6:38 am

Hi Gary,

Solar customers (and non-solar homes/businesses as well) still pay ongoing connection fees which are independent of the amount of electricity they use. While it is not impossible to completely cancel out your power bill, it is difficult these days, especially with feed-in tariff rates as low as they are. For those who opt to get off-grid, however, there are of course no connection fees.


Vik October 20, 2014 at 11:13 pm


We are a working couple with one kid. Most of the time during the day is spent at work. Is there a way to store the electricity generated through the day to be used at night. Mainly asking since the solar tariff’s have dropped down considerably. We are located in Brisbane. Thank you


Solar Choice Staff October 21, 2014 at 4:21 am

Hi Vik,

You’re right to be concerned about how you could benefit from having a PV system–times have changed since the heady days of generous feed-in tariffs.

These days the name of the game for solar is ‘self-consumption’. We’ve written about this topic in a series of articles: one about choosing the appropriate system size for your daytime needs and another about understanding how you use electricity throughout the day in order to take advantage of solar power generation. Hope they offer some insight.

Additionally, our team and the installers in our network can offer free advice on solar system sizing if you fill out the Solar Quote Comparison Request form to the right of this page. It’s free and there are no obligations attached.


Ron November 29, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Hi Solar Choice Staff,

Our Solar-Feed-in-Tariff before our last bill has always been .50c/kwh credit, with “Origin” it is now .o6c/kwh credit. Can you please let me know why this has happened?
We live in S.E. Qld


Solar Choice Staff December 8, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Hi Ron,

I would suggest getting in touch with Origin directly to determine how this might have occurred. You should not have seen a reduction unless you moved house, which it doesn’t sound like you did.


ian parer December 5, 2014 at 8:58 am

I have a 1.5kw system in NSW and want to increase it. I get 60c kwh at the moment if I put on more capacity by installing a second system (panels + inverter) what happens to my 60c and what do i get for the new
system? Are any rebates available for installing the second system?


Solar Choice Staff December 8, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Hi Ian,

Yes, it is possible to retain the 60¢/kWh rate. You can read more about the details here.


Marcel December 11, 2014 at 9:27 am

Hi – I have a question re the Federal feed in tariff. When it is applied – is it applied to the serial number of the inverter? And if that inverter (and panels etc) are sold to a third party does the applicable feed in tariff transfer to the new owner of the original inverter?

A work colleague has a spare system that I may consider purchasing if the federal feed in tariff comes with it. Then I would be looking for a reliable installer in Canberra. thanks in advance


Solar Choice Staff December 16, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Hi Marcel,

First of all, there is no ‘federal’ feed-in tariff. All feed-in tariffs in Australia are state-based. There is, however a federal incentive available through the Renewable Energy Target (RET) that provides what amounts to an up-front discount for solar systems less than 100kW in capacity. (To put this in perspective, the largest residential solar system you are likely to see would be around 10kW).

Your friend’s system would have already used up its eligibility for the solar rebate under the RET–i.e. he would have already got the discount. This means he should sell it to you for less than what he paid. You will most likely not get the rebate again if you move the system, and as we’ve pointed out in the article above, state-based feed-in tariffs are virtually non-existent these days. This is why we recommend that homes and business who go solar do so with the aim of using the solar power themselves.

Given that no incentive we’re aware of is going to transfer over from one system owner to another, w’d also recommend that if you’re purchasing a second-hand system from a friend that you’re really getting a deal on it. Compare it to other offers for new systems–solar prices have come down significantly in recent years, and it might make more sense just to go for a new system after you’ve checked out your options.

And on that note: remember that with Solar Choice you can instantly compare installers in your area for free by filling out the Solar Quote Comparison request form to the right of this page.


Maurice King December 20, 2014 at 12:18 am

I have not seen any specific legislation that
1 States I must fit a digital or smart meter !
2 Why should fit a feed in tariff meter and receive just 6 c/Kwh for power I produce which is worth 29.9 c/Kwh and then have to buy it back after dark at the going rate in my case of 29.9 c/Kwh.
effectively costing me 23.9 c/Kwh ?? No the ACCC says that I am entitled to sell my power excess at the going rate of 29.9 c/ Kwh .

So the current system appears to be that I am to sell my product for a 1/5 of it’s net worth by getting paid just 6c / Kwh for it and then have to turn around and buy it back at market value of 29.9 c/ Kwh after dark WTF am I the only one to see that this simply does not add up or am I missing something big time.

Currently I have things in play to with luck by the end of January to have a total of 10 Kw Solar Power production capability so my bills better damn well be a credit buy a considerable amount as I should be producing more during daylight hours than I consume in a 24 hr period. Can I get some clarification to the points I have raised above please.


Solar Choice Staff May 5, 2015 at 11:36 am

Hi Maurice,

We share your opinion that it is ludicrous and unfair that utilities only need to pay 6-8c/kWh for your excess electricity. The most we can do at the moment is work within these limitations and advise folks to get system which meet their daytime electricity demand but do not produce much extra electricity. Hopefully there will be a change with a future change of government but for the time being this is what we have to deal with. The other thing that could happen is that more and more homes will start opting for energy storage and taking themselves off grid to escape utilities. At the moment, this is still economically unfeasible, however. We are watching avidly for energy storage to take the spotlight – it’s only a matter of time.


Michael January 28, 2015 at 7:15 pm


I have a 5kw system which is working fine. I live in Melbourne.
When I had my unit installed and set up with my electricity retailer, I have been receiving
8c per khw. I have just received a letter from my retailer saying they are reducing it to 6.2 per khw. Can they do this? I thought once you have a contract you stay on that tariff until you change retailers!!!!!!!!


Solar Choice Staff May 5, 2015 at 12:06 pm

Hi Michael,

Official state-sanctioned solar feed-in tariffs were guaranteed by legislation, but the rates offered through electricity retailers these days are voluntary in most states (including Victoria). Whether the retailer can change the voluntary rate on you is most likely a matter of contract terms. One alternative is that you could switch retailers to another company who offers a better one (although the pickings are admittedly slim).


Paul May 26, 2015 at 10:44 pm

I live in Melbourne I brought solar on my house to save money but they keep dropping the buy back price every one or two years, initially it would have taken five years for my solar to pay for itself, and after five years of having it I’m only 1/3rd of the way to paying out my initial investment in the unit, this is highway robbery!!! Who do I ring or write to ,to complain because I want the rules changed as the government said to us it was an incentive for us to buy solar !!! Soon we’ll have to pay them to take our produced power!!!! We as the people of Australia have to do something about this and soon!!!


Solar Choice Staff May 27, 2015 at 10:21 am

Hi Paul,

We totally feel your frustration with this and you’re definitely not alone. These days, when people sign up to go solar we recommend that they only install enough capacity to meet their daytime electricity needs; anything above that is ‘wasted’ as it goes into the grid at a nominal rate. Really what’s happening is that folks are getting pushed further and further towards considering an investment in energy storage – if only out of spite for the utility/retail electricity complex.


Chris September 20, 2015 at 10:45 pm

Hi, l put in 3kw solar panels to reduce my bills as l an nearing retirement. Last month l sold back 244 khw and the rebate was $12.74. I will never ever get back my $ 6500. I have saved $200 over two years but must have it serviced ever two years for the warranty at a cost of $200 per service. I advised people not to put in solar panels great for the environment but the cost on the pocket is just highway robbery.


Solar Choice Staff September 21, 2015 at 11:43 am

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the comment.

These days, anyone who goes solar should be aiming to maximise their daytime electricity usage – by doing so you avoid needing to purchase electricity from the grid. Although years ago – when there were still strong solar feed-in tariffs in place – it made sense to export your solar electricity into the grid at a premium, because the rates are minimal now, that strategy no longer makes sense. This is something that your installer should have explained to you at the beginning.

I’ve done a quick calculation and determined that you’re probably exporting about 60% of the solar electricity that your system is producing (assuming it generates about 12kWh/day – reasonable for Sydney). This means that you’re self-consuming about 30% of the energy that your system is producing. You could up this rate now by trying to run more appliances during the day, but you’re also likely to self-consume more once you hit retirement and are at home more during the daylight hours. This should save you more money and make your system more worth its salt.

As for the $200 2-yearly servicing requirement: If the installer requires this, it should have been clearly explained to you from the outset. For the most part, however, solar installations should require only very minimal maintenance – panels are self-cleaning and there are no other moving parts to break down. (Inverters do require routine replacement at the 5-10 year mark, depending on the brand and its warranty).

May we ask which company installed your system? We can look into it further if they are an installer in our network.


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