Tasmanian Feed-In Tariffs Explained: Your Options for Solar
Some of our recent Whitney Electrical & Solar customers have brought to our attention that there is still a lot of confusion around the Tasmanian solar feed-in tariff that expired on 31 December 2018.
Here’s our review of the state of solar in Tasmania, and our answer to why you should still consider solar regardless of feed-in tariffs.
What happened to the Tasmanian feed-in tariff?
Over 14,000 Tasmanians who installed solar prior to September 2013 received around 28 cents per kilowatt hour for the excess electricity they fed back into the system.
Over the next five years, these people were in a transitional feed-in rate, which came to an end on 31 December 2018.
The transitional feed-in rate was set by the Economic Regulator, and transitioned these people from 28 cents per kilowatt an hour to about 8.5 cents per kilowatt an hour.
This understandably caused frustration and confusion for those who had installed solar. As a result, the Tasmanian government announced in November 2018 (one month before the cut off date) that they would provide a 5 cent top-up for one more year to those customers who had been receiving 28c per kilowatt and had transitioned to 8.5c.
If you already have an existing solar system that is only 1 - 1.5 kw, you might consider upgrading your system now because the extra 5c energy feed-in tariff may not be worth it. Do your math, in some instances this may only be work out to be a $20 saving. You’re better off upgrading now and gaining the benefit of the larger system.
Hence nothing has changed for you if you have been considering solar within the last 5 years. This feed-in rate is not a reason to turn away from solar. The benefits of installing far outweigh the fact the tariff standard was reduced. Anyone who installs solar in Tasmania from this point forward stands to gain.
The benefits of installing solar have not changed
There are many other factors to consider when it comes to weighing up the benefits of installing.
Tariff confusion aside, the benefits of solar energy for Tasmanian home and business owners remain unchanged.
Over the past five years, the cost of installing a solar system has reduced. Solar energy used during the day and batteries supplying electricity at night can generate significant savings on your electricity bills.
It takes about five to six years for the average Tasmanian solar system’s power savings to have paid off the investment.
If you already have a solar system, there are options to increase your savings and become even more efficient with the energy you generate for your home. The best way to tackle the feed-in tariff is to use all the energy from your system within your home and try to minimise the amount of energy you export to the grid.
If you haven’t installed solar yet but are thinking about it, we encourage you to look past the history of the feed-in tariff, because you may be missing out on significantly reduced power bills for your home.
Upgrading my existing system
There are many things you can do if you already have a solar system but feel you could be doing more to get your money’s worth from solar.
Here’s a few actions you can take starting today:
- Ensure your highest consumption of energy is made during daylight hours (for example, using timers on washing machines, using the dishwasher, using car charging or other charging stations, pool pump usage).
- Investigate battery storage options to increase energy efficiency after daylight hours.
- Review the Time of Use T93 tariff available that might work better for your home or business. This Aurora product brochure outlines a number of energy product to help you decide.
- Timers on hot water cylinders.
- Review LED lights to replace old halogen lights or incandescent lights.
- Consider heat pump and solar hot water systems.
We highly recommend the Time of Use T93 tariff for home solar installations because in our experience we have found that 99 out of 100 houses are better off on this tariff.
I don’t have solar yet. When should I install?
The answer is: whenever you are ready to invest in cleaner, cheaper energy. Even with a lower feed-in tariff, now is a great time to install solar as costs are lower than ever before. Don’t wait for feed-in tariff changes; if you have been thinking about solar, give us a call.
One thing you can do to ensure you get the best out of your new solar system is to choose quality solar panels from a trusted manufacturer. This will ensure you get the most years out of your new system and a fair warranty if anything should happen.
Going solar will help you and your family to save on electricity bills for years to come.
Here’s how we can help
Whitney Electrical & Solar can help you take control of your energy consumption and reduce your power bills. Solar has proven to do this across Tasmania, no matter the feed-in tariff.
Please call or email our expert solar team today with any queries you have about your current solar or installing solar in the future.