9 June 2016

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has today released its final benchmark range for voluntary solar feed-in tariffs for 2016-17 at 5.5 to 7.2 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh).

Electricity retailers in NSW set their own feed-in tariffs, with IPART providing a benchmark range each year as a guide for retailers and solar customers on the likely value of electricity exported to the grid from solar PV units. The voluntary benchmark does not affect the rates paid to consumers who are part of the Solar Bonus Scheme, which ends on 31 December this year.

IPART Chairman Dr Peter Boxall said the voluntary benchmark range for 2016-17 is higher than last year due to higher expected wholesale electricity prices in 2016-17. Last year’s benchmark range was 4.7 to 6.1 c/kWh.

Dr Boxall said solar customers should consider feed-in tariffs as part of an overall electricity contract package and shop around for the best deal that takes both their electricity consumption and solar exports into account.

“Feed-in tariffs are only one component of a retailer’s market offer and the retailer with the highest feed-in tariff may not provide the best deal overall,” Dr Boxall said.

“We encourage customers to look for the best deal for their own situation, which includes usage rates, how much of their own energy they consume and other terms and conditions as well as the feed-in tariff. The Commonwealth Government’s Energy Made Easy website is a good place to start.”

IPART has also determined that the mandatory contribution required from electricity retailers to the NSW Government should be 6.1 c/kWh of PV electricity exported by Solar Bonus Scheme customers. Customers in the Solar Bonus Scheme will continue to receive a subsidised feed-in tariff of either 20c or 60 c/kWh until the scheme ends on 31 December 2016.

The NSW Government has provided information and frequently asked questions about the closure of the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme on the NSW Resources & Energy website.

IPART’s Fact Sheet on solar feed-in tariffs in 2016-17 is available on IPART’s website.

Media Contact Julie Sheather 02 9290 8403 or 0409 514 643