Changes to South Australia Solar Power Feed-in Tariff Legislation

Some of the information below may be out of date. For the most up-to-date information on the state of South Australia Solar Feed-in Tariff incentives, see the South Australia Solar Feed-in Tariff page, or read about Commercial Solar Power in SA.

The South Australia state parliament has made a number of changes to its solar power feed-in tariff scheme. Among the amendments to the SA Electricity Act 1996, is the decision to terminate the SA feed-in tariff program on 1 October 2011.

Other changes to the feed-in tariff legislation, passed in the South Australia Electricity (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2011 include:

1.       The cut-off date for the current feed-in scheme is 1st October 2011. Approved applications for permission to connect must be lodged by midnight 30 September, 2011.

2.       Although an amendment to increase the feed-in tariff rate of $0.44 per kWh to $0.54 per kWh for existing customers was initially proposed, this part of the bill was not passed. Unfortunately, there will be no 54c/kWh feed-in tariff for existing or new members of the scheme.

3.       Solar power producers will only be credited for the first 45 kWh of electricity per day fed into the grid. There is also a limitation of one generator (solar power system) per person, but it does not matter whether the system is on a residence or a business.

4.       Restrictions to the eligible size of a solar system–10 kilowatts for a single-phase system.* Eligibility is limited to one system/generator per customer.

5.      Exclusion of systems which are believed to be ‘for profit’ (hence the 45kWh/day limit, and the limitation of one generator per person.)

6.       Potential for a household to not qualify for the scheme if they ‘disconnected for any period’.

However, if you sell your house or buy a new house, the feed-in tariff contract will be transfered with your meter/home to the new owner (provided you do not take the system down). This means added value to your home should you decide to sell it. Likewise, if you buy a house that has a system feeding into the grid on the 44c tariff, you will reap the benefits of the previous owner’s contract when you move in. Remember that the scheme is valid until 2028.

7.      Although it is possible, ‘upgrading’ your solar power system involves a bit of administrative sleight of hand if you are applying for the pre-30 September 2011 deadline and you want to keep the 44c/kWh feed-in tariff. When you lodge your application, future (i.e. post-30 September) expansions will be limited by the nominal rated system capacity under which you lodge your original application. This means, for example, that if you apply for a system with a rated capacity of 5kW initially, but have only 3kW worth of panels, then if you intend to expand the size of your system in the future, you cannot increase the panel capacity beyond 5kW.

Expanding the system beyond this original nominal capacity will be considered a system ‘upgrade’ and will make you ineligible for the 44c/kWh feed-in tariff. (Please note that applications for larger systems may take longer to be approved, so it is not advisable to fill out your application for a system over 5kW ‘just in case’.)

 

–Update 23 August, 2011–

The SA Government has put up an extremely informative and detailed web page explaining eligibility requirements for and frequently asked questions about the 44c/kWh feed-in tariff. A must-see for potential solar customers in South Australia!

–Update: 16 August, 2011–

Please note that, according to ETSA, if you wish to take advantage of the 44c/kWh feed-in tariff scheme, you must have approval to connect to the grid from ETSA by the 30 September deadline. Pre-approval is usually granted at the time of application.

Current turnaround times for applications are:

-48 hours+ for systems 4kW or below (possibly longer as the deadline approaches and queues for approval get longer).

-Longer periods for systems 4kW or above, especially in regional areas of the state. If a larger system is not approved immediately, the applicant may potentially still be eligible for approval to install a smaller system–although this is not guaranteed.

ETSA does not guarantee the 44c solar feed-in tariff for those who do not make the deadline. A feed-in tariff of approximately 22c/kWh is expected to be offered through the transitional scheme that replaces the current scheme. Get in now to avoid disappointment!

 

You will also find a wealth of information about the details of the SA solar feed-in tariff in the comments section below. Thanks to everyone who left a comment and cheers to ETSA and the SA Energy Advisory Service for the answers.

Solar Choice will provide more information in our blog as it becomes available. For updates as soon as they come up, click the link below to follow us on Twitter.

Follow Solar_Choice on Twitter

Written by Lydia Robertson and James Martin

© 2011 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Sources and links:

Related Solar Choice article: Changes to South Australia Solar Feed-in Tariff regulations passed through state Parliament 

Renewables SA, “Investor information: Solar feed-in scheme”

 

*–Clarification–

A clarification on ETSA the criteria for defining nominal system capacity: This question was a minor problem previously, as there was no standard practice for determining whether solar system capacity was based on solar panel array peak output or peak inverter output (which effectively limits solar panel array output). Please note that ETSA defines nominal capacity by peak solar PV array output.

James Martin II

Contributor at Solar Choice
James was Solar Choice's primary writer & researcher between 2010 and 2018.

He is now the communications manager for energy technology startup SwitchDin, but remains an occasional contributor to the Solar Choice blog.

James lives in Newcastle in a house with a weird solar system.
James Martin II

Comments

  1. I have 6 solar panels installed on my roof. Where can I find out what my original approved peak capacity figure is as I would like to find out if I am able to increase my number of panels and retain the FIT.
    Many thanks.
    Alan Appleton.

    1. Hi Alan,

      Unless you have the original paperwork for the system or you can see the back of the panels you probably won’t be able to figure out what type of panel they are or what their capacity is. Older panels were around 190-200 watts, which would translate into about 1.2kW of solar panels on your roof (keeping in mind this is just a guess on my part). Your system could quite possibly be closer to 1.5kW, however – impossible for me to tell without knowing more, though.

      Generally speaking, feed-in tariff entitlements are tied to the size of the inverter. You should be able to find out the inverter’s capacity by looking up the brand and model (which should be pretty clear on the device itself). It might be worth speaking ton an installer about your options.

  2. We received our ETSA approval before 30th Sept 2011 for a 5kW system, at the time it was our rental and ETSA advised to get the approval in the tenants name, which we did. Import/Export meter has also been installed. Now we have moved in and I rang AGL to have the account put into our name and was told we would lose our Feed in Tariff. From everything I have read it would seem AGL have told me incorrect information. Or does that now apply to SA? Would that info refer to other states and not SA? Thanks

    1. Hi Vicki,

      I just called ETSA (now SA Power Networks) to query this for you. The application for the feed-in tariff is effectively allocated to the meter or property and shouldn’t affect your ability to receive the Premium feed-in tariff. Although you will need to change the energy bills into your name the application for the premium rate doesn’t need to change.

      The person I spoke with advised me if you have any questions you can call the SA Power Networks solar team on 1300 469 322.

      We hope this helps.

  3. Hi, we have a 3kw system on our house and receiving the 44c rebate. If we rent the property out temporarily for 12 or 24months are we still able to retain the 44c rebate when moving back to it?

    1. Hi Jenny,

      According to the SA government’s ‘Solar Feed-in scheme FAQ‘ it would seem that if you rent our your property the new occupant will benefit from it. If you move back in before the Feed-in Tariff ends in 2028, you should be able to take advantage of it again then.

      You cannot move the solar feed-in tariff you receive to your new address. When you move the tariff will become available to the new occupant of your former address, up to the original SA Power Networks approved peak capacity and assuming they meet the eligibility criteria.

      Best of luck with your system!

  4. Hi We have a 2KW system & would like to upgrade to at least a 5KW system. I was told by ETSA that if we do then we will lose all of the 44c Tariff we have been getting. Does this mean that if we upgrade we would still get a 1 on 1 feed in back for what we do not use through the day to offset what we use at night? If not why would anyone get Solar Panels? What would be the advantage? If we upgrade we would need a bigger Inverter. I guess what I’m asking is it worth the extra expense?

    1. Hi Chris,

      Thanks for the comment. If you upgrade your system, you will lose the 44c/kWh rate, but the feed-in tariff on offer in SA is (for the time being) better than a 1-for-1 rate, which is not offered in SA at this point in time.

      Instead, you could sign up for SA’s Transitional Solar Feed-in Tariff, which this year will pay out a total of 23c/kWh. It’s a bit complicated, but this rate will actually increase for the next few years years, thanks to the fact that the ‘retailer contribution‘ component is tied to the ‘real value’ of solar power to the SA grid.

      The 16c/kWh ‘base rate’ will remain the same until 2016, after which point no one yet knows what will happen–it may be reduced or removed altogether–but the retailer contribution will remain and continue to increase. So all in all, depending on how you time your electricity usage, there may not be a massive difference on the system return on investment. You would have to do the calculations in more detail to determine if upgrading the system would be worth the extra expense, but a key factor to keep in mind is the fact that Australian electricity prices are set to skyrocket in the coming years. Solar power is a good way to insulate yourself against these rising prices, as you would be well aware.

      This is certainly a better deal than what would happen to Feed-in Tariff recipients in NSW and WA–if system owners change the system size, they not only lose eligibility for the FiT, but there’s basically nothing in place to replace them–just a precipitous drop from 60c, 40c, or 20c down to 7c or at worst, nothing.

      Good luck with your system!

  5. I installed a solar system on my residential property back in 2010. I own an investment property as well that my son uses, so i enquired about a solar system for that property so electricity wouldnt be an expense for him. Now the company i dealt with told me i would be eligible for the FIT’s on both properties so i went ahead with installation. Now AGL have told me im not eligible for FIT’s on my second property. So that all being said what is my son entitled to from that system or have i been mislead and wasted my money.

    1. Hi Jeremy,

      Not sure on the specifics of this (you’ll want to take up your point again with AGL), but it may come down to your name being on both properties–The scheme limits generators to one per person. If it had been in your son’s name instead it may have been eligible. However, in my experience I have definitely found that sometimes when dealing with electricity retailers answers related to solar power questions can differ depending on who answers the phone! If they recorded the call with the first person you spoke to you might have some recourse with them. Best of luck!

  6. Hi, I have a 1.5 KW system installed on a rental property under the 44 c FIT which the tenants receive. I am aware that by upgrading to a 5 KW the FIT will revert back to 16 cents. My question is at what point will the FIT change, will it be the date I apply for the upgrade or the date it is installed. As I have used up the multiplier on the first 1.5 and system prices continue to fall, it would make sense to leave it until the last few months of the 16 cent FIT bracket.

    1. Hi Trevor,

      Thanks for your comment. I hope I understand you correctly. Since the feed-in tariff is linked to your electricity account, and you’re presumably not changing the electricity account name, it won’t be an issue until you have the new system installed. You can enter into an agreement with an installer long before you actually go ahead with the install and complete the necessary paperwork to get the 16c FiT.

  7. What would happen if we approach etsa to reinstal a normal meter at our existing house and take our existing etsa meter to the new home.

    1. Hi Katrina,

      I’d recommend contacting ETSA directly for the answer to that question. Are you hoping the FiT will travel with the meter?

  8. Just a quick question.
    We were told by our solar panel installer that if we move we can take solar system with us if we do this does this affect the feed in tariff. We had all documentation in on time and at present we are enjoying the benefit of solar credits.

    1. Hi Katrina,

      I have been in touch with SA’s Energy Advisory service, and have been told that SA Feed-in Tariffs are associated with specific electricity accounts, which are in turn tied to an individual meter number. This means that the Feed-in Tariff will not transfer with you to your new property, even if you take the system with you. Instead, you would have to reapply for the new Transitional Solar Feed-in Tariff, which this year gives 23c/kWh for solar exported to the grid.

      If you do end up moving house, you have a couple of options: 1) leave the solar PV system on your roof for the additional value that it adds to your home (this should be significant as the following owner will inherit your Feed-in Tariff); or 2) have it taken down and reinstalled on your new home (incurring additional labour and transportation costs). You would have to conduct a cost-balance analysis of these two options, but at first glance it seems that the better option might be to leave the system behind and endeavour to have tac its value onto the sale of your home.

      If you do go for option 2, provided there are people home to use electricity during the day, the loss of the 44c/kWh Feed-in Tariff may not actually be that big of a deal. With electricity prices rising across Australia, it will eventually start to make more sense to self-consume your solar power as much as possible.

  9. Hi . I installed a 4kw inverter with 2kw of panels last july and had planned to fit the remaining panels over the next few months . I had this also noted in the PV STC assignment form when we took up the offer of installation, I am wondering if completing the installation of the remaining panels now will affect my feed in tariff.
    Thanks
    Michael

    1. Hi Michael,

      That would depend on what size system you applied for when you did the paperwork to apply for the SA Feed-in Tariff. As long as your original application was for a 4kW system, then belatedly putting on the remaining panels shouldn’t be an issue.

  10. As the cost of electricity per kWh goes up will the amount paid for solar generated electricity eventually fall below the cost of what retailers charge for electricity? Does the SA Government’s 44c/kWh feedin tariff increase until 2028 or is this a fixed amount?

    1. Hi Robert,

      Interesting question, and you bring up an important point.

      As electricity prices rise, it will make increasingly more economic sense to use one’s home-generated solar power as opposed to export it. The 44c/kWh SA solar feed-in tariff is fixed at that rate–it will not increase. At some point we will reach a ‘tipping point’ where the price of electricity reaches 44c/kWh, and folks with solar will need to reconsider their use patterns to favour consumption of their home-generated solar electricity over export to the grid for Feed-in Tariff Credits.

      On a side note, this projected trend has interesting implications for the price of electricity (which is sometimes erroneously blamed for being a major part of electricity price rises), and ever-rising peak demand the infrastructure necessary to meet it. This need should be mitigated by increased presence of and reliance on solar panels, thereby also mitigating increases in electricity prices. So in the long run, it seems that solar has potential to actually have a softening impact on electricity price rises.

  11. Hi, I have just been having an argument with Tru Energy and ETSA where they are saying that we will only get the 22c feed in tarrif, because our system wasn’t installed until early November.

    However, we signed up for solar power on the 6th July, and had to wait until November for the panels to be installed.

    Exel power are now saying that we can’t get the higher feed in tarrif because of the fact that we still aren’t connected to the grid.

    I would like to know where we stand. Thanks.

    1. Hi Glenda,

      Thanks for the comment.

      The Solar Choice team has had a hand in hundreds of applications for the SA 44c/kWh feed-in tariff, so we know quite a bit about it. I don’t know if you misunderstood or if ETSA and Tru Energy gave you the wrong information, but as we understand it there is no deadline for system installation under the 44c tariff scheme. However, there was an application deadline of 1 September 2011–if you did not have your paperwork in by this date, you would only be eligible for the 22c rate. The only other requirement is that, assuming you did submit your paperwork by 1 Sept, you would need to apply to have a bi-directional meter installed–there is a 120 day time limit to make the appointment for the meter installation (the installer does not need to be installed by the end of this period, but you do need to have an appointment).

      So the most important question here is: Did you submit your paperwork by the 1 Sept deadline? If you did, then the ETSA and Tru Energy representatives that you’ve been in touch with have given you the wrong information–you may wish to ask to speak to someone in management at these organisations.

      Hope this was helpful. Best of luck!

  12. I purchased a 3.0kw system from Origin Energy over the phone. I paid the deposit and had the invoice emailed to me on the 30/9/2011. On the phone I was advised that i would qualify for the 44c/kwh rebate as my order was in before the cut off date. Within the first week of October, I was contacted by Origin’s installers to arrange installation. Due to be o/s on holidays it could not be done till my return. On the 27/10, I received a phone call from Origin telling me that due to a computer error my application did not go through to ETSA to be able to get the rebate. I have tried to get help from the Ombudsman, my local MP, ETSA, AGL and everyone else and have been unable to get anywhere. Origin have offered me compensation of $400.00 (to come of the purchase price) only if I still have the system installed, but will only receive the 16c/kwh rebate. Can you offer me any advice on what I can do from here. I have since been told there were about 30 – 40 Origin customers that were affected.

    1. Hi Tony,

      That is a difficult situation. Apart from possibly taking legal action I’m not sure what options you would have, especially considering you’ve already contacted all the relevant bodies who might be able to assist.

      The new South Australia Transitional Feed-in Tariff is actually (16c + 7c =) 23c/kWh for 2012, which is really not bad (NSW, for example, has no feed-in tariff). Provided you time your electricity use to coincide with your solar PV generation, it might be in your interest to simply cut your losses (after first trying to have Origin compensate you more generously for what you’ve lost–which is definitely worth significantly more than $400) and go ahead with a system on the current rate.

      Good luck!

  13. I have currently got the following solar system : 4.2 kw inverter with only 10 x 190 watt panels of which I’m receiving the FIT of 44c/kwh. Am I correct in saying that if I add another 12 panels to bring my system up to it’s max output of 4.2kw I will still receive the FIT of 44c/kwh thanks Ray

    1. Hi Ray,

      Thanks for the comment. The answer to your question depends on what system size you filled in on your application forms. If you listed your system size as the size of your inverter (or greater, even–there were technically no checks when applications went through to ensure that the listed system size was the same as the planned system size), then you should be okay to add the additional 12 panels. Is this what you have done?

      1. Thanks for the feedback, yes I listed the system size as a 4.2kw so thanks for the answer I can now go ahead with the additional 12 panels cheers Ray

  14. I’ve had solar since 84 can i ask dumb question–If a 1.5 makes 6kwh per day all is used by the house thats $1.44 per day times 365, that’s $500 a year system cost $3000 thats 6 years to break even … Inverters cost $3500 and ive never seen one last ten years. Why are we doing this again?

    1. Hi Ric,

      Thanks for the comment. I guess you’re talking about the returns from the 22c/kWh that will be offered through the SA government’s transitionary solar feed-in tariff scheme. The value of home-generated, home-consumed electricity is due to rise significantly over the next few years, so its value will turn out to be more than the 22c/kWh that will be offered under the new scheme. The falling price of solar power installations coupled with the rising price of electricity will make solar a more and more sensible financial choice as time goes on–in fact, solar power is already reaching grid-price-parity in parts of NSW. The 22c/kWh that will be offered will be more of a sweetener/safety net for those who worry about ‘losing’ their hard-generated solar electricity to the grid and getting nothing in return for it. The solar feed-in tariffs across the country have served their intended purpose, which was to make the solar industry competitive and make solar power affordable for average households (although in some states–NSW solar power and WA solar power in particular, the purpose of these incentives were somewhat undermined by the sudden withdrawal of any type of government support.) The real cost savings will come as people change their electricity use patterns to fit their solar power generation profile to avoid paying retail rates for electricity.

      Your point about inverters is also well-taken, and highlights the importance of making the initial investment in a solar inverter that is of high quality, instead of the cheapest available component, although many people will chose the latter (and possibly eventually regret the decision.)

      What is your experience with your own system over the years? Are your panels still producing power?

  15. Is it possible to install a second system that generates power purely for consumption and to use all the energy generated by the initial system just to feed in?

    1. Hi Peter,

      Thank you for commenting on our article.

      There are provisions that limit the number of generators (solar power systems) to 1 per person and the exclusion of systems that are believed to be ‘exclusively for profit’, so unfortunately it looks like the answer to your question would have to be no on both counts! Sorry.

  16. Following on from one of your posts above re expanding a system, I thought I would check out the sa.gov.au website and see what they had to say. It divides people up inot customer groups. Those people who get “approved permission to connect received by 30 Sept 2011” and “booking made with ETSA for installation of meter within 120 days of 1 Oct 2011” are classified as Group 3. You then look for Group 3 and under “increasing capacity of system” it says “you can install panels up to the peak capacity approved by ETSA Utilities on your original request for permission to connect anytime up until 30 June 2028”. So if we bought a system that generated 3.0 kW but had an inverter that could handle 4.5 kW would this be classified as having a peak capacity of 4.5 kW, and could we therefore install extra panels at a later date to take it up to that amount? (And still get the FIT of 44 cents/ kWh)

    1. Hi James,

      Thanks a lot for the comment. I have amended our article to reflect the points that you mentioned.

      To answer your question, when you fill out the application to connect with ETSA, you can put any capacity of system that you want–you don’t have to be concerned with the inverter capacity with regard to your application (although it will of course have an effect on system operation!). In other words, there will be no problem if you write ‘5kW’ even though you only plan on installing a 4.5kW inverter.

      There is a caveat to this, though. As noted in the article, applications for larger systems, especially those in remote areas, are taking a long time to process, and are not guaranteed to be approved by the 30 September cut-off date. So if you are thinking about writing down ’10kW’ on the form, for example, just in case you want to expand in the future, you may miss out on the 44c/kWh tariff. Systems under 4 or 5kW, however, should be approved in time, according to ETSA.

      Hope you found this helpful.

  17. Just wondering if we have black or brown outs and it reduces our income from Solar Panels can we claim compensation???

    1. Kym, that’s an interesting question, for sure. As you’re probably already aware, grid-connected solar systems have what is called ‘anti-islanding protection’, which shuts down your cuts your system off from the grid in the event of a blackout so that electricians working on the electrical lines don’t get zapped by the electricity home solar systems might be producing. To get a definitive answer about that, though, you’ll probably want to call up your service provider, although I have a feeling they’ll probably answer in the negative… Who is your service provider, by the way?

      1. Yes I know the system shuts down with the grid as explained at instal. I’m with Simply Energy.
        I didn’t think we had any claim… Even with Solar no electricty…..

  18. Hi,

    We are in the process of purchasing a house in SA. It will be an investment property to begin with, but we plan to move into it in 12-18 months. We would like to get solar pv installed before the cut-off date. Can I confirm that although the tenants would get the benefits of having the system while they are there, when we move in and change retailers we would still be eligible for the 44c tariff? When the application is made to ETSA for the installation will we need to provide our names or the tenants details?

    Thanks,

    Laurie

    1. Hi Laurie,

      Thanks for the comment. According to ETSA, the SA feed-in tariff will not be changed (i.e. will not be reduced) even if the house or solar system changes hands or names during the duration of the scheme. This means that you can install the system while your tenants are living there in order to get the 44c/kWh feed-in tariff rate, and then eventually move in yourself and reap the same benefits. You can call up ETSA yourself and they will confirm this for you: 13 12 61. They should be able to help you out with your other queries as well.

      Hope you found this helpful.

  19. Hi I currently have a 2kw system installed on the roof of my house and am thinking of getting a 2kw system installed on my shed before the end of September. This means a second inverter for the system on the shed. Will this still count as one generator ? both will be connected to the same feed in meter.

    1. Hi Eric,

      Good news: According to Renewables SA, if you install the second system before 30 Sept, and as long as you run both systems through the same meter you will be eligible for the 44c feed-in tariff.

      If you’re looking for solar installer quotes, we can provide you a comparison several who operate in your area for free if you fill out our quote comparison request form. You can also give us a ring on 1300 78 72.

      Good luck!

  20. Hi
    I’m currently building a house that is scheduled for completion in December. To qualify for the 44c tariff, do I:

    Have to sign up before 1 Oct, or,
    Have the system installed but not connected to the grid, or,
    Have the system installed and connected to the grid?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Andrew,

      In order to qualify for the 44c SA feed-in tariff, all you have to do is have your application for permission to connect to the grid approved by 30 Sept, 2011. At this point there is no time limit or cut-off point for having the system installed once you receive permission to connect.

      However, in your case, since you are presumably not yet occupying your home, you have the additional task of making sure that you lodge your application for new supply at the same time as your application for permission to connect. ETSA recommends that these two things be done simultaneously (they may charge you more to do them separately).

      Incidentally, if you are still looking for a system, Solar Choice can provide you with a free quote comparison for installers that operate in your area. Fill in the form that that link takes you through to, or give us a ring on 1300 78 72 73.

      Hope you find this helpful.

  21. Hello
    I brought a upgradable system as I am sure quite a few people did but will I ever be able to upgrade?
    I had a 8kw inverter and only 6kw of panels installed at my house about 6 months ago. I was approved for a 8kw system from ETSA and was always going to add an extra 2kw in a few years.
    Will I now have to upgrade to 8kw before 1st of October to keep on the 44c tariff or can I do it after that date as I already have ETSA approval.
    Cheers Braden.

    1. Hi Braden,
      Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately, even though it would be a bit sooner than it sounds like you’d like it to be, you’re correct that you’ll need to put in the additional solar panels by the 29 Sept deadline in order to retain your eligibility for the 44c feed-in tariff, which I presume you are already receiving.
      Please have a look at our more recent blog entry on updates to the SA feed-in tariff legislation.

  22. I just purchased some solar panels 1.5kw and will be installed in about 8 weeks. But then the import / export meter wont be available for about another 16 weeks after the panels have been installed. Will i still be eligible for the .44c per kw. Or is it once the import/export meter has been installed by ETSA that it counts?

    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for the comment. First of all, it might be a good idea to read our article on gross vs net metering systems. I assume you are in SA given that you’ve commented on an article about the SA feed-in tariff. SA has a net feed in tariff scheme, so you can use either a gross or a net meter–you probably have a gross meter setup . This will be fine for the time being, although having this kind of a setup is less accurate than than a net metering setup.

      So the point is, in the 8 weeks between having your solar system installed and having the net meter installed, you should still be able to feed into the grid. The difference is that the measurements of the amount of electricity being used will not be as accurate as with a net meter, which allows measurement of electricity consumption and production in 30-minute blocks, as opposed to over the course of an entire day. This allows you to more precisely regulate your energy consumption at home, timing it to optimise your savings.

  23. Can you tell me if i sign up for a new 10 kw solar system before 1st October am I eligible for the full rebate of $0.44 per KW till the end of the 20 year scheme?

    1. Hi Garry,
      Thanks for the comment. To answer your question: if your system is 10kW or less and you install it before 1 October, you will be eligible for the 44c South Australia feed in tariff for the full 20 years of the scheme. If your system is over that limit (i.e. >10kW), however, you will not be eligible–the government is instead offering a 1:1 net tariff (where you get paid at the price that you pay for electricity). So it would probably be in your interest to keep the system size at 10kW or less.
      Also keep in mind that you will only be paid for the first 45kWh per day that your system produces if the legislation passes (which is likely). Please keep an eye our blog for further updates.

  24. 6. Potential for a household to not qualify for the scheme if they increase the size of their system or are ‘disconnected for any period’.

    We already have a 1.5 KW but this only reduces our bill, we want to upgrade to a 5 KW but do not want to spend $16,000 and then risk loosing the FIT we already have. Do you have any more details on this point.
    Regards Trev

    1. Hi Trev,
      You have described the situation pretty well. Since the SA government doesn’t guarantee a FiT if you upgrade your system, you’d have to ask your electricity provider about what arrangements you might be able to make with regard to feeding power back into the grid–you might be able to negotiate a 1:1 tariff, if not a greater feed-in tariff. Given that you are considering installing such a large system, you might expect to produce enough electricity to totally offset your household electricity bill. It’s up to you whether it is worth it to do so. Also keep in mind that an upgrade may also require you to purchase a new inverter that can handle your array’s output, which could add further to costs.

  25. 6. Potential for a household to not qualify for the scheme if they increase the size of their system or are ‘disconnected for any period’

    I wonder if you sell your house and the new person connects if that counts as ‘disconnected for any period’? Also, is ‘household’ the people or the house?

    Maybe as people move house they will be booted from the scheme over time??????

    1. Hi Dan,
      A phone call with the Renewables SA Energy Advisory Service revealed that system ownership remains with the home–this means that if you sell a home after installing a solar system for which you have been receiving the feed-in tariff, the next occupant will benefit from the feed-in tariff, just as you did. Likewise, if you buy a home that has a solar system receiving the feed-in tariff, you will inherit the benefits.

      Note that this is not the same case as in New South Wales and some other states, where transferring ownership can mean loss of the feed-in tariff all together.

  26. could you explain what is meant by ‘solar power producers will only be credited for the first 45 KWH of electricity fed into the grid’.
    Is this daily or quarterly? does it mean our current feedin will be restricted to 45KWH in total

    1. Hello Tom,
      Thanks for pointing out that bit of vagueness. To clarify, I have changed the post to read ’45kWh per day’. In order to produce that amount of power per day, you would have to have a fairly large system.

      1. For the 45kWh/day, what happens if the system produces more, will that amount be lost, or would it offsite the load at night?

        1. Hi Brett,

          There is currently no government-mandated compensation for energy fed into the grid above the 45kWh/day limit, although you may be able to reach some kind of deal with your energy retailer if you expect to regularly be generating that much.

          To answer your question, if you do not use any energy in excess of 45kWh when it is generated, it will go to waste and you will not be compensated. How big a system are you thinking about getting?

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