A comparison of solar feed-in tariffs

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With some solar bonus schemes and installation rebates drawing to a close in recent years, many Aussies have begun to consider whether solar is still a good investment.

The short answer is yes – solar is still a great way for Australian households to save on electricity – but only if you know how to find a good deal.

Most electricity retailers these days offer competitive feed-in tariffs as part of their standard product range. Some even have products specifically designed for customers with solar panels. Solar products are slightly different to standard electricity deals. While you are still charged for electricity usage and supply, you will also receive something called a feed-in tariff. In this article, Canstar Blue explains and compares feed-in tariffs across leading Australian retailers. We also look at what else customers should consider to find the best solar deal.

What is a feed-in tariff?

solar panels on a roof

A feed in tariff (FiT) is a small credit rebate that households receive for any excess electricity produced by a solar system or other small-scale generator. Simply put, unless you have a solar battery, any solar power produced by solar panels must be immediately used or it will feed into the shared electricity grid for other properties to use. For each kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity that a household’s solar system exports to the electricity grid, that property will receive a feed-in tariff of a few cents, usually between 7 and 16 cents per kWh. Feed-in tariffs are not paid out cash in hand, rather they apply as a deduction on your regular bill. A high feed-in tariff can help drastically reduce what you pay for electricity, that’s why it’s so important to shop around for solar deals.

Compare Electricity Plans

QLD Solar Plans with Feed-in Tariffs

Here are the cheapest published solar-specific deals from the retailers currently on our database for QLD. These costs are based on a typical three-person household living on the Energex network in Brisbane, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of price. Use our comparison tool above for a specific comparison in your area. Annual cost estimates exclude solar payments. This table includes featured products.

Brand Features Benefit Period Annual Cost**
Alinta Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

HomeSaver Plus Solar

  • 28% pay on time discount off usage charges
  • 11c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
2 YearsBenefit Period $1,437.39Annual Cost** Go To Site
Amaysim Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar 2

  • 15% discount off usage & supply charges for paying on time and by direct debit
  • 14c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
OngoingBenefit Period $1,663.78Annual Cost**
Origin Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar Boost Plus

  • 4% guaranteed discount off usage charges
  • 20c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Only for customers who purchase solar PV with Origin
2 YearsBenefit Period $1,736.56Annual Cost**
Click LogoBasic Plan Information

Sun Light

  • 10% discount off usage & supply charges for paying on time and by direct debit
  • 8c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
OngoingBenefit Period $1,761.64Annual Cost^^ Go To Site
AGL Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar Savers

  • No conditional discount
  • 20c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
2 YearsBenefit Period $1,806.52Annual Cost**
View all electricity plans listed on Canstar Blue

VIC Solar Plans with Feed-in Tariffs

Here are the cheapest published solar-specific deals from the retailers currently on our database for Victoria. These costs are based on a typical three-person household living on the Citipower network in Melbourne, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of price. Use our comparison tool above for a specific comparison in your area. Annual cost estimates exclude solar payments. This table includes featured products.

Brand Features Benefit Period Annual Cost**
Globird Logo

Solar Plus

  • 35% discount off usage & supply charges for paying on time and by direct debit
  • 10c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
OngoingBenefit Period $1,216.93Annual Cost^^ Go To Site
Momentum Energy Logo

Solar Step-up

  • No conditional discounts
  • 15c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
OngoingBenefit Period $1,234.85Annual Cost^^ Go To Site
Amaysim Energy Logo

Solar 2

  • 18% discount off usage & supply charges for paying on time and by direct debit
  • 18c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
OngoingBenefit Period $1,290.73Annual Cost**
Click Logo

Sun Light

  • 12% discount off usage & supply charges for paying on time
  • 12c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
OngoingBenefit Period $1,385.17Annual Cost^^ Go To Site
Origin Logo

Solar Boost Plus

  • 16% guaranteed discount off usage charges
  • 25c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Only for customers who purchase solar PV with Origin
2 YearsBenefit Period $1,443.58Annual Cost**
View all electricity plans listed on Canstar Blue

NSW Solar Plans with Feed-in Tariffs

Here are the cheapest published solar-specific deals from the retailers currently on our database for NSW. These costs are based on a typical three-person household living on the Ausgrid network in Sydney, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of price. Use our comparison tool above for a specific comparison in your area. Annual cost estimates exclude solar payments. This table includes featured products.

Brand Features Benefit Period Annual Cost**
CovaU Logo
Basic Plan Information

Freedom Solar

  • 20% pay on time discount off usage & supply charges
  • 8.5c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
OngoingBenefit Period $1,731.00Annual Cost**
Amaysim Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar 2

  • 28% discount off usage & supply charges for paying on time and by direct debit
  • 17c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
OngoingBenefit Period $1,775.68Annual Cost**
Origin Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar Boost Plus

  • 3% guaranteed discount off usage charges
  • 25c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Only for customers who purchase solar PV with Origin
2 YearsBenefit Period $1,855.29Annual Cost**
Click Logo
Basic Plan Information

Sun Light

  • 18% discount off usage & supply charges for paying on time
  • 12c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
OngoingBenefit Period $2,022.30Annual Cost^^ Go To Site
View all electricity plans listed on Canstar Blue

SA Solar Plans with Feed-in Tariffs

Here are the cheapest published solar-specific deals from the retailers currently on our database for SA. These costs are based on a typical three-person household living on the SA Power network in Adelaide, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of price. Use our comparison tool above for a specific comparison in your area. Annual cost estimates exclude solar payments. This table includes featured products.

Brand Features Benefit Period Annual Cost**
Amaysim Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar 2

  • 33% discount off usage & supply charges for paying on time and by direct debit
  • 20c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
OngoingBenefit Period $2,073.09Annual Cost**
Origin Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar Boost Plus

  • 10% guaranteed discount off usage charges
  • 23c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Only for customers who purchase solar PV with Origin
2 YearsBenefit Period $2,209.01Annual Cost^^
Click Logo
Basic Plan Information

Sun Light

  • 24% discount off usage & supply charges for paying on time
  • 15c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
OngoingBenefit Period $2,351.57Annual Cost^^ Go To Site
View all electricity plans listed on Canstar Blue

List of feed-in tariffs in Australia

Feed-in tariffs vary markedly across states and retailers. Below is a state-by-state breakdown of the largest feed-in tariffs offered by leading retailers in NSW. In the case of Origin, its Solar Boost Plus product is only available for customers who have purchased their PV panels through the retailer.

Queensland Solar Feed-in Tariffs

Electricity company Solar product Feed-in tariff (per kWh)
AGL Solar Savers 20c
Alinta Energy All products 11c
Click Energy Solar Bright 16c
EnergyAustralia All products 16.1c
Ergon Energy All products 9.369c
Origin Energy Solar Boost Plus 20c
Red Energy All products 11.5c
Simply Energy All products 10c
Powershop All products 9.5c
Dodo Power & Gas All products 8.5c
Amaysim Energy Solar 2 14c
Powerdirect Market Offer 10.6c

The table displays the maximum feed-in tariff offered by each listed retailer at the time of writing.

Aside from Ergon Energy, all Queensland retailers have free reign to set their own feed-in tariffs. Those with solar specific deals tend to offer higher rates.

Victoria Solar Feed-in Tariffs

Electricity company Solar product Feed-in tariff (per kWh)
AGL All products 11.3c
Alinta Energy All products 11.3c
Click Energy Click Solar 18c
EnergyAustralia All products 9.9c
Globird Energy Solar Plus 10c
Lumo Energy All products 11.3c
Origin Energy Solar Boost Plus 25c
Red Energy All products 11.3c
Simply Energy All products 11.3c
Powershop All products 11.8c
Dodo Power & Gas Market Offer 11.6c
Amaysim Energy Solar 2 18c
Momentum Energy Solar Step-up 15c
Powerdirect Residential 39 11.3c

The table displays the maximum feed-in tariff offered by each listed retailer at the time of writing.

Victoria is the only state to impose a legal minimum feed-in tariff on a competitive energy market. As of July 2018, the minimum FiT is 9.9c. As you can see, some retailers simply offer the bare minimum, but there are some solar specific products with much higher rates. The introduction of the minimum flat-rate FiT was accompanied by the introduction of time-varying FiTs. Under new laws, all retailers must offer either a single rate FiT, time-varying FiT, or both.

NSW Solar Feed-in Tariffs

Electricity company Solar product Feed-in tariff (per kWh)
AGL All products 11.1c
Alinta Energy All products 7.5c
Click Energy Click Solar 17c
EnergyAustralia All products 12.5c
Origin Energy Solar Boost Plus 25c
Red Energy All products 11.1c
Simply Energy All products 8c
Powershop All products 10.2c
Dodo Power & Gas Market Offer 11.6c
Amaysim Energy Solar 2 17c
Powerdirect Market Offer 11.1c
CovaU Freedom Solar 8.5c
Momentum Energy SmilePower Flexi 7c

The table displays the maximum feed-in tariff offered by each listed retailer at the time of writing.

The New South Wales regulator recommends a feed-in tariff of at least 6.9c/kWh, however as you can see, most retailers exceed this suggestion. Most of the better known retailers in the state do not have any specialised solar products, while the few companies that do often have much higher feed-in rates than their competitors.

South Australia Solar Feed-in Tariffs

Electricity company Solar product Feed-in tariff (per kWh)
AGL All products 16.3c
Alinta Energy All products 9.5c
Click Energy Click Solar 22c
EnergyAustralia All products 15c
Lumo Energy All products 16c
Origin Energy Solar Boost Plus 23c
Red Energy All products 16c
Simply Energy All products 10c
Dodo Power & Gas All products 11.6c
Amaysim Energy Solar 2 20c
Powerdirect Market Offer 16.3c
Momentum Energy SmilePower Flexi 6.8c

The table displays the maximum feed-in tariff offered by each listed retailer at the time of writing.

South Australia has had quite a surge in feed-in tariff rates recently. Most retailers now offer FiTs upward of 15c/kWh, although it seems some didn’t get the memo.

Can I receive a premium solar feed in tariff?

You may have heard about feed-in tariffs as high as 60c/kWh. Sounds nice right? Unfortunately these premium solar feed-in tariffs are only available to homeowners who installed and registered their solar systems many years ago – generally before 2011, depending on the state. This means you are not eligible for a premium tariff if you’ve only installed solar in the past few years, or plan to do so shortly. Unfortunately, there’s no sign of any new solar bonus schemes in the near future.

Queenslanders and South Australians who signed up to a solar bonus scheme before they closed will continue to receive a premium tariff until 2028. Victorian bonus scheme customers will also receive their premium FiT until 2024. Unfortunately for New South Wales solar bonus customers, the scheme came to its scheduled conclusion at the end of 2016 and all customers were reverted to a standard rate.

Should I choose a larger discount or higher FiT?

Some retailers, most notably Click Energy, have multiple offers for customers with solar panels. Its range of products might include a deal with a high feed-in tariff and low discount, a deal with a low feed-in tariff and high discount, and sometimes, an offer somewhere in between.

So which should you choose, the better FiT or larger discount? Unfortunately the answer isn’t clear and it will depend on your personal circumstance. Consider the following points.

Consider choosing the higher FiT if…

  • You have a large solar system (5kW or more)
  • A lot of solar is exported to the grid from your house because no one is home during the day to use it
  • There are conditions attached to receiving the discount which you’re not sure you can meet

Consider choosing the higher discount if…

  • You have a small solar system (less than 5kW)
  • You use most of your solar power through the day and export very little to the grid
  • You own a solar storage battery

Solar monitoring technology can give you insights into your electricity usage habits and help you make a better informed decision about which plan is best suited for your home.

How to find a good deal on solar

money and solar panel puzzle pieces

A large feed-in tariff is definitely nice, but you shouldn’t just assume a bigger feed-in tariff means it’s a better deal. You should always look at the energy price factsheets when comparing electricity products. Keep an eye out for ‘solar metering charges’. These are daily fixed charges that certain retailers apply to solar customers. It’s also not uncommon to find solar products with large feed-in tariffs charging higher electricity usage or supply rates, so you need to consider if the trade-off is worth it.

If you have a large solar system, say 5kW or over, then you will most likely be better off on a deal that provides a high feed-in tariff, even if it means slightly higher electricity usage rates. A bigger feed-in tariff may also be attractive for households that are hardly home during the working day to use their solar power and consequently have most of it exported to the energy grid. Conversely, customers with small solar systems or a storage battery probably won’t export much solar to the grid and should focus on cheap electricity rates over feed in tariffs. The same applies if you’re home during the day and tend to use up all your solar power.

Now, while rates are important, so is customer service. If you truly want to make the most from your investment in solar, you need an energy retailer that will help you at every step of the process. To see which solar energy companies are meeting customer expectations, check out Canstar Blue’s solar provider customer satisfaction ratings via the link below.

Compare Solar Providers

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