A solar feed-in tariff is the amount of money you earn per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity from putting solar energy generated from your home panels back into the electricity grid. These rates vary based on which state or territory you live in, your energy retailer and your electricity plan.
Solar feed-in tariffs in NSW are measured by the kWh, but the rate paid varies between electricity retailers.1 The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) in NSW sets a benchmark rate to guide retailers, but they’re still free to set their own prices.
The benchmark flat rate for the 2022-23 financial year is 6.2 to 10.4 cents per kWh.1
Victorian solar feed-in tariffs fall under the state’s general renewable energy feed-in tariff scheme. The Essential Services Commission– (VIC’s independent energy regulator) sets the rates.2 There are currently two tariffs available in Victoria: minimum single-rate and time-varying.
All retailers must offer at least the minimum single-rate tariff,3 which is 5.2 cents per kWh for the 2022-23 financial year.2 Retailers can also provide time-varying tariffs, which pay different amounts depending on the time of day that electricity is sent to the grid. These prices are set to:
There are two main solar feed-in tariffs in QLD, and which one you’re eligible for depends on where in the state you live.
Market feed-in tariffs
These are only available in South East QLD, where retailers can set and offer their own rates.4 Due to competition in this part of the state, it’s important to compare your options to find the best solar feed-in tariff for your needs.
Flat rate solar tariffs
For those in regional QLD, you may be able to access these tariffs through Origin Energy or Ergon Energy.5 This rate is set by the Queensland Competition Authority; for regional QLD, it’s 9.3 cents per kWh for the 2022-23 financial year, which is an increase of 41% from the previous year.6
Feed-in tariffs in the ACT haven’t been regulated since 2011, meaning retailers can set their own solar feed-in tariff rates.7 For this reason, it’s essential you compare your options, as prices can vary between retailers.
Solar feed-in tariffs in SA differ from other states and vary based on when your PV solar system was installed. Everyone in the state with eligible systems can take advantage of retailer feed-in tariffs, where retailers set their own prices, and you can select one that best suits you.8
If your system was connected to the grid before 30 September 2011, you can apply for the distributor feed-in tariff. This fee is set at 44 cents per kWh and will remain until 2028, unless you upgrade or amend your solar system or move house.
In NT, the energy market is dominated by government-owned retailer Jacana Energy. In 2020, Jacana stopped accepting customers to their premium feed-in tariff, and as of July 2022, any customers who have been on the premium tariff of 26.65 cents per kWh will be switched over to the standard feed-in tariff of 9.13 cents per kWh.9 Any new customers are also placed on this standard tariff.
However, there are still other retailers available, so you consider comparing across the different retailers to know your options.
If you’re in WA and export electricity to the grid, you may be eligible for the Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme (DEBS). From July 2022, Synergy customers can receive 10 cents per kWh for electricity sent to the grid between 3pm and 9pm, or 2.5 cents per kWh for all other times of the day.10 DEBS rates for Horizon customers have the same peak rate, but for off-peak (9pm to 3pm) have a slightly higher rate at 3 cents per kWh.
This scheme is not to be confused with the Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme, which was discontinued in 2020.
Feed-in tariffs in TAS are regulated by the Office of Tasmania’s Economic Regulator, who set a minimum rate that retailers must pay you for the electricity you send to the grid.11 As of 2022-23, this rate is 8.883 cents per kWh, an increase of 37% from the 2021-22 financial year.
It’s not easy to say which is the best solar feed-in tariff available because they vary between retailers, states and your personal circumstances. You should always compare your options before deciding on an electricity retailer, so you can choose a tariff that’s right for you.
Keep in mind that retailers may offer you the minimum government feed-in rate, but they can also offer you higher feed-in rates. If they offer a higher solar feed-in rate, check whether they charge you more for the electricity you use from the grid. Consider the following when choosing a suitable solar feed-in tariff for you:
No. You must install a solar PV system before you can apply for a solar feed-in tariff. Also, remember that you won’t automatically receive a feed-in tariff when your solar PV is installed. You’ll need to contact electricity retailers for their eligibility requirements and the offers available.
Your distributor must also update your meter configuration and your network tariff in Market Settlement and Transfer solutions (MSATS) before you can start receiving the benefits of the solar feed-in tariff.
Depending on how much energy you send back to the grid, solar feed-in tariffs can have several benefits, including:
The easiest way to check which feed-in tariff you’re on is to check your bill or directly contact your electricity retailer. Because prices can vary between electricity retailers, it’s important to know which feed-in tariff you’re on, especially in states or territories that offer competitive markets.
Tariffs and rebates aren’t the same thing when it comes to energy. A solar feed-in tariff is the rate you’re paid per kWh of electricity your solar system exports to the grid. A solar rebate, however, usually refers to a government initiative to help you pay for rooftop solar installation.
There used to be solar feed-in tariff schemes to encourage the export of electricity to the grid, but as the amount of solar residential customers increases, these have begun to be phased out.
In most cases, you can save money by using solar power, but there’s no guarantee. While solar power can potentially save you money, the exact figure will depend on a variety of factors. These include:
The Sun Tax is a plan for a two-way pricing system for exporting solar energy to the grid. As interest in solar energy increases, as do solar exports. The issue is that the electricity network wasn’t meant to handle huge amounts of exported electricity during peak times by solar customers.
Potentially starting 2024-26 (depending on where you live), the Sun Tax will introduce a tariff for customers who export energy to the electricity grid during peak times.
Will I still get a solar feed-in tariff?
Absolutely. In fact, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) will likely increase feed-in tariffs to encourage electricity exporting during off-peak hours. The Sun Tax is also attempting to nudge customers into storing their energy with a solar battery storage system so customers can become more self-sustainable.
These changes are set to hopefully lower overall energy bills and improve the efficiency of the electricity grid without flooding it with energy and causing instabilities.
1 Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal NSW – ‘All day solar feed-in tariff rates’ – Accessed July 2022.
2 Victoria State Government – ‘Minimum feed-in tariff review 2022-23.’ Accessed July 2022
3 Essential Services Commission – ‘Minimum feed-in tariff’ – Accessed 19/10/2021
4 Queensland Government – ‘Market feed-in tariffs in South East Queensland’ – Accessed July 2022
5 Queensland Government – ‘Solar feed-in tariff for regional Queensland’ – Accessed July 2022
6 Queensland Competition Authority – ‘Regional Queensland feed-in-tariff 2022-23’ – Accessed July 2022.
7 ACT Government Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate – ‘Rooftop solar’ – Accessed July 2022.
8 Government of South Australia – ‘Solar feed-in payments’ – Accessed July 2022.
9 Jacana Energy – ‘Solar update: Changes to the Premium Solar feed-in tariff’ – Accessed July 2022.
10 The Government of Western Australia – ‘Energy Buyback Schemes’ – Accessed July 2022.
11 Office of Tasmanian Economic Regulator – ‘Feed-in Tariffs’ – Accessed July 2022.