Solar feed-in tariffs 2018/19

In progress
Start Date
Feb 2018
Final Report
Jun 2018

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.  However to help guide retailers and customers, each year IPART recommends a ‘fair and reasonable’ benchmark range for solar-feed in tariffs. 

The current benchmark range for 2017/18 is  11.9 to 15.0 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) (not including GST). This review will update this range for 2018/19.


We update the recommended benchmark range each year to take account of the latest market conditions.  The value of exported solar electricity depends mainly on how much retailers save from buying wholesale electricity in the market.  This means solar feed-in tariffs will go up and down with changes in the wholesale electricity price.   


Our recommended benchmark range for solar feed-in tariffs is a guide for electricity retailers and residential and small business customers in NSW who have, or are planning to install, solar panels. 


We are required to set a benchmark range for feed-in tariffs that will not lead to increased electricity prices or require any additional funding from the NSW State Budget.

To do this, we estimate the value that electricity retailers receive when solar customers export electricity to the grid from their small-scale solar units. 

The three components that make up this value include:

  • the amount that exported solar electricity would earn if it were sold on the wholesale electricity market at the time it was exported (retailers avoid paying for this)
  • an amount to reflect the benefit of exported electricity being located close to where it is used (normally some   electricity is lost as it flows long distances over the transmission and distribution network)
  • an amount for the market fees and charges that retailers avoid paying for on exported solar electricity. 

We are also reviewing our methodology to consider other issues, such as:

-      whether to take into account new information, such as data from the Endeavour and Essential networks (the current benchmark range is only based on Ausgrid data because it has previously been the only network with enough data)

-      how the uptake of batteries might change when energy is exported to the grid.

What Next

We will publish an issues paper in March and seek feedback through submissions.

Customers with solar panels can shop around for a feed-in tariff using the Australian Government’s website. The offer with the highest feed-in tariff isn’t necessarily the best deal overall.  Solar customers should consider all aspects of an energy offer, including usage and fixed charges, feed-in tariffs and other terms and conditions. 

Key Contact
Jessica Robinson
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