Best Solar Feed-in Tariffs: Ranked by State

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House with solar panels connected to electric grid

One of the biggest pros of installing solar panels at your property is being able to benefit from a solar feed-in tariff. Read on to learn what a feed-in tariff is, learn how to get paid for having solar panels, find the best feed-in tariffs in your state, and know what to look for when choosing one.

 

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What is a Solar Feed-in tariff?

A feed-in tariff is an electricity plan that allows you to send any excess energy generated by your solar PV system back to the electric grid for payment. It's called a feed-in tariff because you feed electricity into the energy grid.

Let's break this concept down a bit further:

If your solar panels are generating more solar energy than your home uses, the excess electricity will be wasted unless you have a battery bank (to store the energy for later) or a feed-in tariff to export it to the energy grid.

Signing up for a feed-in tariff is the only way to send your excess energy back to the grid. You can sign up for a feed-in tariff through most energy providers. Once you have registered to a plan, your energy provider will pay you for the excess electricity you generate usually via credit on your energy bill.

There are several different feed-in tariff plans which offer different amounts of money for each unit of electricity (kWh) you send back to the grid.

The extra money you generate can be a good incentive for purchasing solar panels as it can help you pay off the investment sooner.

However, let's not forget the main benefits of solar panels.

Benefits of Solar Panels

 You can use your solar power to heat your water, heat your home, or even to heat your swimming pool.

 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.

 Most solar panel systems are eligible for grant money from the government which can make them even cheaper to install. (The Clean Energy Council sets forth guidelines on which PV systems are eligible for other tax breaks.)

 Solar energy is a form of renewable energy and every bit helps Australia reach its renewable energy target even sooner.

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 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.

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

The average solar feed-in tariff varies widely by state as each region has its own regulations – or lack thereof.

Currently, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia and Northern Territory are the only regions to set minimums for feed-in tariff export rates. This means that any provider offering export plans must offer the established minimum rates in these regions. Minim fed in tariff rates can range from as little as 2¢/kWh to up to 8.3c/kWh.

However, these rates are simply the minimum, meaning that usually, plans are available to offer you more money for your energy exports. Feed-in tariff rates can reach up to over 20¢/kWh.

Here is a table showing the expected minimum feed-in tariff rates for each state:

Average Minimum Feed-in tariff in Australia (by State)
StateAverage Minimum Feed-in Tariff RateMinimum Reference
NSW4.6c - 5.5c/kwhBenchmark minimum
ACT7c/kWhBenchmark minimum
VIC6.7c/kWhState-regulated minimum
QLD6.6c/kWhErgon minimum
SA4.0c - 6.0c/kwhBenchmark minimum
WA2.75c - 3c/kWkDEBS minimum
TAS6.501c/kwhState-regulated minimum
NT8.3c/kwhState-regulated minimum

The table above represents the minimum rate you should look to receive in each state. However, as mentioned before, take a look around as you can typically find better offers.

Green Power Want to still invest in renewable energy but can't afford to install solar? Green Power is a government-led initiative with Australian companies to allow anyone to invest and commit energy providers to use more renewable energy, for only a few cents per 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.

Choose your state from the dropdown list below to see the highest paying solar feed-in tariffs in your state.

Best Solar Feed-in Tariff NSW

Residents of New South Wales enjoy a lot of choices when it comes to their energy provider and solar feed-in tariffs.

NSW is also the state with the highest payout rate for 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 providerMinimum solar FiTMaximum solar FiT
Mojo Power7.5¢ / kWh22.0¢ / kWh
Origin Energy7¢ / kWh22¢ / kWh
(must purchase solar system through Origin)
Red Energy6.0¢ / kWh18.0¢ / kWh
Discover Energy6.0¢ / kWh16¢ / kWh
Nectr Energy0.0¢ / kWh15.0¢ / kWh
ActewAGL8.0¢ / kWh15.0¢ / kWh
Powershop0.0¢ / kWh13.0¢ / kWh

Best 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 are interested in installing solar panels onto your home but don’t have any yet, it's 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 providerMinimum solar FiTMaximum solar FiT
Origin Energy7¢ / kWh20¢ / kWh
(must purchase solar system through Origin)
ActewAGL7.2¢ / kWh12¢ / kWh
Nectr0.0¢ / kWh12¢ / kWh
Elysian9.0¢ / kWh9.0¢ / kWh
EnergyAustralia7.6¢ / kWh7.6¢ / kWh
Energy Locals7.0¢ / kWh7.0¢ / kWh

Best Solar Feed-in Tariffs VIC

As stated, Victoria is the only state to have a minimum solar FiT.

All energy providers in Victoria must offer at least 6.7¢/kWh for the solar energy their customers generate. This is because the state of Victoria has set a regulatory minimum for solar feed in tariff offers. While this is a great consumer protection practice that ensures nobody a bad deal for exporting their energy, 6.7c/kWh is still relatively low versus current deals on the market.

Here is a table showing some of the highest paying solar feed-in tariffs in Victoria:

Best Solar Feed-in Tariff VIC
Energy providerMinimum solar FiTMaximum solar FiT
Origin Energy10.2¢ / kWh20¢ / kWh
(must purchase solar system through Origin)
1st Energy6.7¢ / kWh11.7¢ / kWh
Tango Energy6.7¢ / kWh10.1¢ / kWh
Elysian Energy0.0¢ / kWh10.0¢ / kWh
Momentum Energy6.7¢ / kWh10.0¢ / kWh
ReAmped Energy6.7¢ / kWh8.7¢ / kWh
Dodo6.7¢ / kWh8.0¢ / kWh

If you opt for a time varying feed-in tariff in VIC, the hours and rates are as follows:

PeriodWeekday HoursWeekend HoursMinimum Feed-in Tariff Rate (c/kWh)
Off-peak22:00 - 7:0022:00 - 7:006.7 c/kWh
Shoulder7:00 - 15:00
21:00 - 22:00
7:00 - 22:006.1 c/kWh
Peak15:00 - 21:00n/a10.9 c/kWh

Best Solar Feed-in Tariffs QLD

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. Here you can expect to get a standard 6.6c/kWh for your feed-in tariff.

However, If you live in South-East Queensland, you can choose your energy provider and this means you are also able to shop around for the best solar FiT in Queensland.

Here is a table showing the highest paying solar feed-in tariffs in South East Queensland:

Best Solar Feed-in Tariff QLD
Energy providerMinimum solar FiTMaximum solar FiT
Origin Energy6¢ / kWh18¢ / kWh
(must purchase solar system through Origin)
Mojo Power5.5¢ / kWh18.0¢ / kWh
(Time if use capped at 5kWh/ day)
Discovery Energy6.0¢ / kWh16.0¢ / kWh
(Capped at 3.28kWh/day)
AGL Energy5.0¢ / kWh12.0¢ / kWh
(limited to systems under 10kWh)
Nectr0.0¢ / kWh11.5¢ / kWh
(Capped at 10kWh/day)
Red Energy5.0¢ / kWh11.5¢ / kWh
(Capped at 5kWh/day)
1st Energy6.0¢ / kWh11.0¢ / kWh
GEE Energy5.0¢ / kWh11.0¢ / kWh
(Capped at 10kWh/day)

Best 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.

Here is a list of the highest paying solar feed-in tariffs in South Austrlia:

Best Solar Feed-in Tariff South Australia
Energy providerMinimum solar FiTMaximum solar FiT
Origin Energy8¢ / kWh21¢ / kWh
(must purchase solar system through Origin)
Discover Energy6.0¢ / kWh16.0¢ / kWh
(capped at 3.28kWh/day)
1st Energy8.0¢ / kWh13.0¢ / kWh
Nectr0.0¢ / kWh12.0¢ / kWh
AGL5.0¢ / kWh12.0¢ / kWh

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.

There are two important factors to consider when choosing a solar feed-in tariff:

  • Discount off the reference price
  • Export payout rate
Yellow Solar Panel

Oftentimes, electricity plans with higher than average export rates will have a lower discount off the reference price or offer no discount at all.

This is because some suppliers believe offering a discount and a payout rate is too much of an advantage to customers.

However, the opposite is also true: choosing an electricity plan with a higher discount will often mean a smaller feed-in tariff.

Therefore, with most feed-in tariffs the discount off the reference price and the payout rate are constantly in competition.

For this reason, it's best to consider your needs, the size and output of your panels, and how much you expect to send back to the grid on a regular basis.

If you have a small PV system and won't be sending much energy back to the grid, you may want to opt for a plan with a higher discount off the reference price and vice versa.

In the table below we show you when it pays to choose a higher payout rate vs when to choose a higher dicount price:

How to Choose a Feed-in tariff

Choose a Higher Payout Rate if:

Choose a higher reference price discount if:

  • 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 a lot of extra electricity through your solar panels, you’ll should choose the higher solar feed-in tariff despite receivibg 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.

Solar Energy isn't the only form of renewable energy that can save you money on your energy bills. Check out our articles on biomass, wind and hydroelectric energy systems.

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