Solar Feed in Tariffs: Get Paid for Your Solar Energy

House with solar panels connected to electric grid

There are many benefits to investing in a residential solar PV system over biomass, wind or hydroelectric energy systems. You rely less on the electricity grid, reduce your greenhouse gas emissions through renewable energy technology, and can even increase the value of your home. But, did you know that you can get paid for the electricity your solar panels generate? Read on to learn more.

What is a solar feed-in tariff?

When your solar PV system is generating more electricity than your home uses, the excess electricity is wasted unless you have an energy capture system, such as a battery bank, or a feed-in tariff. With a feed-in tariff, the extra solar energy you generate gets sent back to the electric grid in exchange for money. Your energy provider pays you for the excess electricity you generate which shows up as credit on your energy bill. We refer to this process as a feed-in tariff because it is a special agreement between you and your energy provider.

  • How do solar panels reduce my electricity bill?
  • Solar panels allow you to reduce your dependency on the electricity grid, by generating your own energy.
  • You get paid for any excess energy you generate and send back into the grid.

The best part about solar feed-in tariffs is that the money generated from sending energy back to the grid is extra. Therefore, you can use it to help offset the costs of your solar rig.

In this way, a solar feed-in tariff allows you to have a double or triple reward for opting for solar panels.

First off, you can use your solar power to heat your water, heat your home, or even heat your swimming pool for free from the sun. Then, any leftover energy can be used to make a profit or to pay off your solar investment in addition to saving you money on electricity bills. Lastly, we cannot forget that solar energy is a form of renewable energy and every bit helps Australia reach its renewable energy target even sooner. 

Solar feed-in tariffs vary depending on your energy provider and electricity plan. Almost all energy providers offer some sort of feed-in tariff, but the actual amount can range from less than 5c/kWh up to 20c/kWh or more. If you have solar panels, it’s important to understand how much electricity your household consumes, as well as how much electricity your panels generate, in order to choose the best solar feed-in tariff for your lifestyle.

How to choose the right solar feed-in tariff

Energy providers offer a wide range of solar feed-in tariffs but it’s important to understand your solar PV system and household’s energy consumption habits before choosing the highest FiT you can find. Oftentimes, electricity plans with a higher than average solar feed-in tariff will have less (or no) discount off the reference price, while choosing an electricity plan with a higher discount will often mean a smaller feed-in tariff.

Choosing the right solar energy plan
Higher FiT but no (or low) discount off the reference price Bigger discount off the reference price and lower FiT
  • Your solar PV system is greater than 5kW
  • You use most of your energy in the evenings
  • There are conditional discounts applied to your electricity plan you might not make
  • Your solar panels are under 5kW
  • You use most of your energy during the day and export less to the grid
  • You have battery storage

As you can see, a general rule of thumb is if you know you’re going to be generating (but not using) a lot of electricity through your solar panels, you’ll probably be better off choosing the higher solar feed-in tariff even if it means a lower total discount off your electricity plan. Otherwise, it probably won’t be worth it to forego the bigger discount if you end up using most of the energy your solar panels generate anyways.

Keep in mind that the Clean Energy Council sets forth guidelines on which PV systems are eligible for other tax breaks which can be combined with a feed-in tariff to save even more.

How Much is the Average Solar Feed-in Tariff in Australia?

The average solar feed-in tariff varies widely by state. Currently, Victoria is the only state to set a minimum feed-in tariff, meaning all energy providers must offer at least 10.2¢/kWh as their solar feed-in tariff in Victoria. In other states, however, feed-in-tariffs can range from as little as 5¢/kWh (or less) to over 20¢/kWh.

Best Solar feed-in tariffs in Australia

If you’ve decided your solar PV system is large enough, and you’ll end up exporting more energy than you use, you’ll probably want to find the best solar feed-in tariff on the market. While most energy providers offer some sort of solar feed-in tariff, these are among the highest available in each state.

Solar feed-in tariffs NSW

New South Wales residents enjoy a lot of choices when it comes to their energy provider and solar feed-in tariffs. Many providers in the state are increasing their FiT rates, so those who live there can earn even more with their excess electricity.

Best solar feed-in tariff NSW
Energy provider Minimum solar FiT Maximum solar FiT
Origin Energy 7¢ / kWh 22¢ / kWh
(must purchase solar system through Origin)
ReAmped Energy 0¢ / kWh 21¢/kWh
(For the first 5kWh/day)
AGL 9.5¢ / kWh 17¢ / kWh
Click Energy 10¢ / kWh 16¢ / kWh
Enova Energy 0¢ / kWh 12¢ / kWh

Solar feed-in tariffs ACT

Due to the regulation of the energy market in the ACT, solar feed-in tariffs aren’t as high as in other states. However, if you don’t yet have solar panels, but are interested in installing them onto your home, it might be worth looking into Origin Energy’s Solar Boost Plus plan which offers 20¢/kWh if you purchase your solar PV system through them.

Best solar feed-in tariff ACT
Energy provider Minimum solar FiT Maximum solar FiT
Origin Energy 7¢ / kWh 20¢ / kWh
(must purchase solar system through Origin)
EnergyAustralia 9.5¢ / kWh 9.5¢ / kWh
Energy Locals 9.5¢ / kWh 9.5¢ / kWh
Red Energy 0¢ / kWh 9.4¢ / kWh
ActewAGL 8¢ / kWh 8¢ / kWh

Solar feed-in tariffs VIC

As stated, Victoria is the only state to have a minimum solar FiT. All energy providers must offer at least 10.2¢/kWh for the solar energy their customers generate. While on the one hand, this is great for people looking for a lower FiT but higher discount, this also means that there are fewer high solar feed-in tariffs for those with bigger solar PV systems

Best solar feed-in tariff VIC
Energy provider Minimum solar FiT Maximum solar FiT
Origin Energy 10.2¢ / kWh 20¢ / kWh
(must purchase solar system through Origin)
1st Energy 10.2¢ / kWh 15.2¢ / kWh
Momentum Energy 10.2¢ / kWh 13.5¢ / kWh
Amber Electric 12¢ / kWh 12¢ / kWh
Dodo 12¢ / kWh 12¢ / kWh

Solar feed-in tariffs QLD

If you live in South-East Queensland, you can choose your energy provider and therefore shop around for the best solar FiT. If you live in rural or regional Queensland, where Ergon Energy is the only energy provider, your solar feed-in tariff is set by the Queensland government.

Best solar feed-in tariff QLD
Energy provider Minimum solar FiT Maximum solar FiT
Origin Energy 6¢ / kWh 18¢ / kWh
(must purchase solar system through Origin)
ReAmped Energy 5¢ / kWh 17¢ / kWh
(for the first 5kWh/day)
Red Energy 6¢ / kWh 15¢ / kWh
(for the first 5kWh/day)
AGL 8¢ / kWh 15¢ / kWh
Momentum Energy 7¢ / kWh 13.5¢ / kWh
Ergon Energy
(Regional QLD)
7.861¢ / kWh 7.861¢ / kWh

Solar feed-in Tariffs SA

While South Australia has some of the highest electricity rates on the market, customers also get access to some relatively high solar feed-in tariffs. Many energy providers in the state have recently increased their maximum feed-in tariff rates, so you now have more providers to choose from if you’re looking to maximise your solar output.

Best solar feed-in tariff South Australia
Energy provider Minimum solar FiT Maximum solar FiT
Origin Energy 8¢ / kWh 21¢ / kWh
(must purchase solar system through Origin)
ReAmped Energy 0¢ / kWh 19¢ / kWh
(for the first 5kWh/day)
Click Energy 10¢ / kWh 17¢ / kWh
AGL 12.4¢ / kWh 16¢ / kWh
Simply Energy 10¢ / kWh 15¢ / kWh

Call us to find a better deal for your home!

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