Tens of thousands of solar households in Victoria participating in the state’s Transitional Feed-in Tariff (TFIT) scheme will soon be getting less for their solar electricity exports.
The TFIT followed the Premium Feed-in Tariff in 2011 and closed to new customers on 31 December 2012. It pays participants a minimum of 25 cents per kilowatt hour for excess electricity fed back into the grid.
The reduction will be more pronounced than in SA, but less than the hit NSW participants will be wearing. However, the reduction is substantial – from January next year, the payment could be as little as 5c kW/h.
It’s certainly better than nothing, but some would argue it doesn’t reflect the true value of solar exports and the difference will be very apparent on affected Victorians’ power bills.
The months will fly by, so Victorian solar owners participating in the TFIT should start considering an action plan now.
This may include comparing electricity retailers to determine which company has the most solar-friendly policies and best feed-in tariff rates.
Another or additional option is installing a battery system in order to get the most from solar power. Upgrading systems with more solar panels and higher capacity inverters is also an option worth considering.
Under the Victorian TFIT scheme, participants were unable to upgrade their systems without losing the premium rate. With that soon no longer a restraint, an upgrade may prove to be desirable – particularly given the rapid drop in solar component prices over the last few years.
According to Melbourne-headquartered solar provider Energy Matters, 5kW solar power systems are popular with customers planning to install home energy storage in the future.
Energy Matters, which has previously published feed-in tariff guides for affected New South Wales (Solar Bonus Scheme) and South Australian (Group 4) solar households, has just added a Victorian TFIT guide.
Victorians wanting advice on the TFiT situation can also contact Energy Matters on 1800-EMATTERS.
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