Most customers with solar panels first consume the energy that they produce and export only excess energy, so the bulk of savings they make are from buying less energy from retailers. But households with solar units can also earn feed-in tariffs for energy that is exported to the electricity grid.
Solar feed-in tariffs
Households and small businesses with solar panels can earn a feed-in tariff from their retailer for the electricity they export to the grid.
In NSW, retailers can choose whether or not to offer solar feed‑in tariffs to their customers, and decide the level of the solar feed‑in tariff that they offer.
Customers can compare feed-in tariff offers on the Energy made Easy website in the same way all energy and gas consumers can compare prices and overall packages to find the best deal for them. However, the savings from using the electricity from the solar panels in your own house (rather than buying it from a retailer) are usually much bigger than the revenue from feed-in tariffs. Therefore, the offer with the highest feed-in tariff may not be the best overall deal. Customers should consider all aspects of an energy offer, including usage and fixed charges, feed-in tariffs and other terms and conditions. IPART has an Excel tool to help compare bills for offers with different feed-in tariffs and retail prices.
To help guide retailers and customers, IPART publishes a benchmark range for solar feed-in tariffs each year. The benchmark range is intended to provide a guide for customers as to the value of the electricity that their PV units export to the grid. However, retailers are not required to offer feed-in tariffs within this range. Many retailers are offering feed-in tariffs above our benchmark range.
Previously, customers who installed solar panels before April 2011 were eligible for a subsidised feed-in tariff of 60 or 20 c/kWh for the energy supplied to the network from solar panels under the NSW Government’s solar bonus scheme. This scheme closed on 31 December 2016.
See more information about installing and connecting solar panels.