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.

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QLD Solar Plans with Feed-in Tariffs

Here are some of 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 from referral partners. Our database may not cover all deals available in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

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
1 YearBenefit Period $1,437.39Annual Cost** Go To Site
Amaysim Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar As You Go

  • No conditional discount
  • 14c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
OngoingBenefit Period $1,702.99Annual Cost** More Details
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** More Details
Click Logo
Basic Plan Information

Sun Light

  • 10% discount off usage & supply charges for paying on time
  • 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** More Details
View all electricity plans listed on Canstar Blue

VIC Solar Plans with Feed-in Tariffs

Here are some of 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 energy 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 from referral partners. Our database may not cover all deals available in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Brand Features Benefit Period Annual Cost**
Momentum Energy Logo

Solar Step-up

  • No conditional discounts
  • 13.5c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
OngoingBenefit Period $1,156.11Annual Cost^^ Go To Site
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
Amaysim Energy Logo

Solar As You Go

  • No conditional discount
  • 20c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
OngoingBenefit Period $1,416.65Annual Cost** More Details
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** More Details
CovaU Logo

Smart Saver Solar

  • 24% discount off usage charges for paying on time & by direct debit
  • 9.9c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
1 YearBenefit Period $1,523.28Annual Cost** More Details
View all electricity plans listed on Canstar Blue

NSW Solar Plans with Feed-in Tariffs

Here are some of 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 from referral partners. Our database may not cover all deals available in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

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** More Details
Amaysim Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar As You Go

  • No conditional discount
  • 15c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
OngoingBenefit Period $1,800.10Annual Cost** More Details
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** More Details
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 some of 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 from referral partners. Our database may not cover all deals available in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Brand Features Benefit Period Annual 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^^ More Details
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
Amaysim Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar As You Go

  • No conditional discount
  • 22c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Available to solar customers only
OngoingBenefit Period $2,475.18Annual Cost** More Details
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 retailers in QLD, VIC, NSW, SA, ACT, Tasmania and WA at the time of publication.

Queensland Solar Feed-in Tariffs

Retailer Minimum Feed-in Tariff (kWh) Maximum Feed-in Tariff (kWh)
AGL 10.6c 20c
Alinta Energy 11c 11.5c
Amaysim Energy 14c 14c
Click Energy 8c 16c
DC Power Co 15c 15c
Diamond Energy 12c 12c
Dodo Power & Gas 8.5c 8.5c
Ergon Energy 9.3c 9.3c
EnergyAustralia 16.1c 16.1c
Energy Locals 9c 16c
LPE 10c 10c
Mojo Power 9c 20c
Origin Energy 7c 20c
People Energy 0c 0c
Powerdirect 10.6c 10.6c
Powershop 9.5c 9.5c
QEnergy 8c 8c
ReAmped Energy 8c 8c
Red Energy 6c 17c
Sanctuary Energy 0c 0c
Simply Energy 10c 10c
1st Energy 6c 6c

Source: Canstar Blue electricity database/respective retailer websites, March 2019.

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

Retailer Minimum Feed-in Tariff (kWh) Maximum Feed-in Tariff (kWh)
AGL 11.3c 20c
Alinta Energy 11.3c 11.3c
Amaysim Energy 20c 20c
Click Energy 12c 18c
Commander 11.6c 11.6c
CovaU 9.9c 9.9c
DC Power Co 15c 15c
Diamond Energy 12c 12c
Dodo Power & Gas 11.6c 11.6c
Elysian Energy 9.9c 9.9c
EnergyAustralia 9.9c 9.9c
GloBird Energy 10c 10c
Lumo Energy 11.3c 11.3c
Momentum Energy 9.9c 13.5c
Origin Energy 9.9c 25c
People Energy 0c 0c
Powerdirect 11.3c 11.3c
Powershop 11.8c 11.8c
QEnergy 0c 0c
Red Energy 11.3c 11.3c
Sanctuary Energy 0c 0c
Simply Energy 11.3c 11.3c
Sumo Power 9.9c 9.9c
Tango Energy 9.9c 11.3c
1st Energy 9.9c 9.9c

Source: Canstar Blue electricity database/respective retailer websites, March 2019.

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

Retailer Minimum Feed-in Tariff (kWh) Maximum Feed-in Tariff (kWh)
ActewAGL 8c 8c
AGL 11.1c 20c
Alinta Energy 7.5c 7.5c
Amaysim Energy 15c 15c
Click Energy 12c 17c
Commander 11.6c 11.6c
CovaU 8.5c 8.5c
DC Power Co 15c 15c
Diamond Energy 12c 12c
Dodo Power & Gas 11.6c 11.6c
EnergyAustralia 12.5c 12.5c
Energy Locals 9c 16c
Enova Energy 9c 16c
Mojo Power 10c 10c
Momentum Energy 7c 7c
Origin Energy 8c 25c
People Energy 0c 0c
Powerdirect 11.1c 11.1c
Powershop 10.2c 10.2c
QEnergy 8c 8c
ReAmped Energy 8c 8c
Red Energy 11.1c 11.1c
Pooled Energy 10.53c 10.53c
Sanctuary Energy 0c 0c
Simply Energy 8c 8c
Sumo Power 11.1c 11.1c
1st Energy 5.1c 5.1c

Source: Canstar Blue electricity database/respective retailer websites, March 2019.

The NSW 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

Retailer Minimum Feed-in Tariff (kWh) Maximum Feed-in Tariff (kWh)
AGL 16.3c 20c
Alinta Energy 9.5c 9.5c
Amaysim Energy 22c 22c
Click Energy 15c 22c
Commander 11.6c 11.6c
Diamond Energy 12c 12c
Dodo Power & Gas 11.6c 11.6c
EnergyAustralia 15c 15c
Energy Locals 9c 16c
Lumo Energy 16c 16c
Momentum Energy 6.8c 6.8c
Origin Energy 10c 23c
Powerdirect 16.3c 16.3c
Powershop 10.2c 10.2c
QEnergy 8c 8c
Red Energy 16c 16c
Sanctuary Energy 6.8c 6.8c
Simply Energy 10c 10c

Source: Canstar Blue electricity database/respective retailer websites, March 2019.

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.

ACT Solar Feed-in Tariffs

Retailer Minimum Feed-in Tariff (kWh) Maximum Feed-in Tariff (kWh)
ActewAGL 8c 11c
EnergyAustralia 0c 0c
Energy Locals 9c 12.87c
Origin Energy 8c 20c

Source: Canstar Blue electricity database/respective retailer websites, March 2019.

As you can see, solar feed-in tariffs are fairly modest in the ACT, although with the market becoming more competitive in recent times, perhaps this will change soon.

Tasmania Solar Feed-in Tariffs

Retailer Minimum Feed-in Tariff (kWh) Maximum Feed-in Tariff (kWh)
Aurora Energy 8.541c 8.541c
1st Energy 8.541c 13.541c

Source: Canstar Blue electricity database/respective retailer websites, March 2019.

The newly-competitive Tasmanian energy market now gives households a second retailer to consider in the form of 1st Energy, and it’s come to the table with a compelling offer for solar customers.

WA Solar Feed-in Tariffs

Retailer Minimum Feed-in Tariff (kWh) Maximum Feed-in Tariff (kWh)
Synergy 7.1c 7.1c
Horizon Power 7.1c 7.1c

Source: Canstar Blue electricity database/respective retailer websites, March 2019.

If you live in Western Australia you unfortunately have no choice of electricity retailer, with Synergy and Horizon Power covering metro and regional areas respectively.

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.

Further reading:

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 supply 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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