Solar energy

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Why solar?

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

These feed-in tariffs are set by retailers operating in the competitive market.

Customer 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.

Each year, IPART publishes a benchmark range of feed-in tariffs for solar energy. 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. They are able to set their own feed-in tariffs.

Our fact sheet provides a high-level overview of this benchmark range for 2016/17 as well as some information for those people who are thinking of installing, or recently installed, a PV unit in NSW.  See information about our latest review.

Solar Bonus Scheme

Some solar customers are eligible for a subsidised feed-in tariff under the Solar Bonus Scheme. This scheme is now closed to new participants, and will close for existing participants at the end of 2016.  See more information about the Solar Bonus Scheme.

The Solar Bonus Scheme offered subsidised feed-in tariffs of 60 or 20 c/kWh for the energy supplied to the network from solar panels, depending on date of connection. The scheme is paid for in two ways:

  1. A levy on all electricity customers that is recovered through electricity prices and
  2. A contribution from retailers that reflects the value of the exported electricity to the retailer.

IPART does not have a direct role in the operation of the Solar Bonus Scheme.  Our role is limited to establishing the contribution that retailers must make towards recovering the costs of the scheme.  This 'retailer contribution' lessens the levy that is paid by all electricity customers, and means that electricity prices do not need to be as high as they would otherwise be.

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