Victoria’s Transitional and Standard Feed-in Tariff Schemes (TFiT and SFiT) ended on Saturday night, affecting approximately 70,000 solar households and businesses.
The TFiT replaced Victoria’s Premium Feed-in Tariff in 2011 and closed to new customers on 31 December 2012.
Up until the 31st of December 2016, the TFiT provided participants a minimum rate of 25 cents per kilowatt hour for excess power fed into to the grid. The SFiT generally provided a ‘one-for-one’ rate for electricity exported.
As of Sunday, participants in both Schemes will be receiving far less – as little as 5c per kilowatt hour. Affected solar households and businesses should shop around electricity retailers for the best feed in tariff deals as some companies offer more.
Those receiving the Premium Feed In Tariff (PFiT), which started in late 2009 and closed to new applicants at the end of 2011, are not impacted by the changes – PFiT arrangements will remain in place until 2024.
The change in circumstances may spur on some to make better use of their rooftop real estate by installing more solar panels and/or adding a battery system in order to maximise solar electricity self-consumption.
According to solar provider Energy Matters, a 5.98kW solar power system with a 6kWh sonnen battery installed in Melbourne can provide a financial benefit of $1,642 – $2,107 a year; depending on installation scenario and electricity consumption profile.
Energy Matters has published a Victorian TFIT guide to assist those affected understand the change and actions that can be taken. The company also offers an easy to use online solar + battery calculator with a retrofit option to help solar owners gauge the benefit of installing energy storage.
There is some good news ahead in 2017 for all solar households in Victoria, when multiple feed in tariff rates based on peak, off-peak and shoulder exports are introduced. The changes should see participants receiving approximately 20 per cent more for their electricity from July according to the Victorian Government.
The new rates will be designed to better reflect the true value of the electricity solar owners export to the mains grid.
Another legacy solar feed in tariff to end with the new year was the New South Wales Solar Bonus Scheme.