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Queensland Solar Feed-In Tariff

What Is A Feed-In Tariff?

Your solar system generates power continuously during the day. Whatever power is not used for your home is either stored in a solar battery or exported back into the traditional electricity grid. Depending on who your power supplier is you could be eligible for a payment for the power you provide and this is what’s called a feed-in tariff.

Being able to profit from the excess power we generate is what makes solar such a great investment because it works for you even when you are not at home. With the numerous solar rebates on offer across many states, a feed-in tariff accelerates your return on investment, making solar an even better choice.

solar feed in tariff

What is the right solar feed-in tariff for you?

When looking to get the most out of your feed-in tariff the first factor that comes into play is your location. If you are in South East Queensland you may be able to get a “market” feed-in tariff from your electricity provider. This has its benefits as there is no government set mandate for exporting electricity to the grid which means competition amongst electricity retailers. This means you can shop around for the best rates for your power!

If you are in regional Queensland then you have access to a “regional” feed-in tariff. While the tariff is restricted to only a couple of suppliers and therefore less competitive in offers it is still a way to cash in on any unused electricity that your solar panels are generating. Let’s take a closer look at both the “market” and “regional” feed-in tariffs and how to go about getting the best possible deal.

South East Queensland Market Feed-In Tariffs

The feed-in tariff in South East Queensland is mandate free which means electricity retailers opt in voluntarily. As solar has grown at a rapid pace in Queensland more and more retailers have introduced competitive tariff rates. This works out incredibly well for the consumer as you have the ability to shop around for the company that’s willing to give you the most back for your solar power.

Feed-in tariffs available throughout SEQ are monitored by Queensland’s economic regulator, called the Queensland Competition Authority. Their site has a bevy of information regarding various tariffs on offer and can provide you options based on your location and likely usage so you can make the most informed decision possible.

Another great tool is the Energy Made Easy website where you can use a comparison tool to find out what retailers around you are offering. This resource was created by a government body called the Australian Energy Regulator. You can also check to see what your current feed-in tariff is under your existing power plan by checking your bill. It will usually be listed on the back amongst your rates and other metrics.

Regional Queensland Solar Feed-In Tariff

For those not living in SEQ, you can take advantage of the regional solar feed-in tariff. This flat rate tariff is available to all Ergon Energy and Origin Energy customers provided they are eligible. The first step is to make sure you are on the right plan with either of these electricity retailers. For Ergon Energy customers you will simply need to be on the Ergon Energy network, pretty simple stuff. For Origin Energy customers you will need to be on the Essential Energy network.

The following criteria must also be met once you are on the right network and can also be viewed on the Queensland Government’s official website:

  • operate a solar system with a maximum inverter capacity not exceeding 30 kilowatts
  • consume less than 100 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity a year (the average home uses approximately 6.1MWh a year)
  • be a retail customer of either Ergon Energy Retail or Origin Energy (if you’re connected to the Essential Energy network)
  • be connected to the electricity grid
  • have a network connection agreement with an electricity distributor signalling their approval to connect the system to the electricity grid
  • have only one solar power system receiving the feed-in tariff per premise
  • not be receiving any other tariff (i.e. the 44 cent/kWh feed-in tariff).

Once you have met the criteria above you are ready to start selling your excel solar electricity back to the grid. The current regional feed-in tariff is set at 7.861 cents per kilowatt hour and this is set by the Queensland Competition Authority every year.

regional queensland tariff

Other Factors When Looking For A Feed-In Tariff

As with everything in life, the whole picture needs to be considered for the right decision to be made. Depending on what your base rate and current solar power output is you might be better off choosing a more balanced plan. According to consumer review site Canstar Blue, the 2 biggest factors to look for are electricity usage rates and supply charges. These charges are for the amount of power a house is drawing from the grid and a set daily cost for access to said grid.

If you have a smaller solar system that does not produce much excess power due to fewer solar panels or a system that does not have a solar battery installed then you might be better off choosing a more balanced plan with a lower rate for nights when you are not using solar and a slightly lower feed-in tariff for excess power generated during the day.

On the other hand if you have a large solar system that is able to expert a lot of power back to the grid when not in use then choosing a higher feed-in at the cost of a higher base rate makes sense. It is all about finding the right plan that suits you, balancing your outgoing tariff with your incoming rates.

Find The Right Tariff For Your Solar System

If you are wanting to do your own research then we recommend checking out this page from the Canstar Blue website. They are an independent consumer review service that aims to find the best service and pricing available across all industries including solar. They have a great rundown on the feed-in tariffs available to Queensland residents. There is also the comparison tool we linked to earlier, you can find that here.

Global Solar Solutions will always factor in feed-in tariffs when providing you with a quote for a new solar system. We can present you with a range of electricity retailers that will best suit your system’s potential export power so you can get the best possible return on your solar investment. Our consultants are constantly reviewing any changes made to tariffs by every electrical retailer that offers one so we can give you the best options right out of the gate.

One of the best parts about making the change to solar power is the ability to recoup your investment in good time. It makes the choice a no brainer and making sure you have the right feed-in tariff goes a long way to making this a reality sooner. If you would like to talk to an expert solar consultant about what tariff is best for you give us a call on 1800 255 474 or contact us online and we will get back to you with the information you need.

find your feed in tariff

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