Solar Meters Explained

Advertisement

So you installed solar panels – fantastic! But you’re not quite ready to start saving with solar just yet. First you’re going to need a new electricity meter. That’s right, you’ll likely need a new solar meter to record the energy you import and export. So, what is a solar meter? This article walks you through solar meters – what they are, where to get one, and what they cost.

What is a solar meter?

Traditional electricity meters can only measure electricity that flows one way. That is, from the grid into your house. Solar meters, however are bi-directional, which means they can also measure the electricity that your home exports to the grid.

If you have an old accumulation meter, then you will need to upgrade to a smart meter. If you already have a smart meter, then it will need to be configured so that it can measure the power you export.

Once your solar meter is set-up, you can start earning credits with a feed-in tariff to help reduce your power bill.

Compare Electricity Plans

Loading...

Gross metering v Net metering

Some households on government-funded solar feed-in tariffs of 60c/kWh might have their solar meters configured to gross metering. This setup means that all the electricity produced by your panels is sent to the electricity grid. This makes sense when the feed-in tariff is more than the usage rates you pay for electricity. This is how customers on bonus solar tariffs often turn a profit on their energy bills.

However, after solar schemes in most states ended in 2016-17, many customers had their solar meters switched to net metering. Net metering is the standard meter setup, whereby customers consume the power produced by their solar panels and simply export anything left over. Given that standard feed-in tariffs are generally no higher than 12c/kWh – depending on where you live and your retailer – it’s much harder for households to turn a profit from their energy usage.

How do I order a new meter?

Once your solar panels are installed, you should call your electricity retailer to find out what else is left to do. If you need a new electricity meter, your retailer will let you know and can help you arrange the installation.

How much do solar meters cost?

Savings on Solar

There are additional charges for upgrading your meter to solar. Costs range from about $60 to $300, depending on your state, installer, and the complexity of the upgrade. Customers who need a simple reconfigurations or minor upgrade will pay the least, while those with an old or three-phase meter are generally stuck paying the most.

What is a solar meter charge?

Solar customers in Queensland do not pay for a solar meter upfront, rather the cost of installing and maintaining the new meter is covered by what’s called a ‘solar meter charge’. Solar meter charges are daily charges that are similar to but separate from daily supply charges. They generally cost around 5 to 7 cents per day, which is slightly higher than standard metering supply charges.

Solar Plans & Prices

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4600kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. This table may include products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Brand Features Benefit Period Price(estimated**)
Alinta Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

No Fuss – Solar

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 11c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing $1,366 Go To Site
LPEBasic Plan Information

Principal Rate With Solar Generation

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 10c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing
$1,396

Link to provider unavailable

AGL Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar Savers

Conditional Discounts

  • $75 online sign-up credit

Other Features:

  • 17c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing $1,496

Link to provider unavailable

Origin Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar Boost Plus

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 19c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Plan subject to Origin T&Cs
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
2 Year
$1,554 Go To Site
mojo power logoBasic Plan Information

Energy Without Benefits – Solar

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 10c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing
$1,569

Link to provider unavailable

Click Logo
Basic Plan Information

Banksia Solar

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 12c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing
$1,570 Go To Site
Basic Plan Information

Solar Boost

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 11.5c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing $1,570

Link to provider unavailable

Amaysim Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar As You Go

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 14c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing $1,593

Link to provider unavailable

View all electricity plans listed on Canstar Blue

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. This table may include products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Brand Features Benefit Period Price(estimated˜)
Momentum Energy Logo
Energy Fact Sheet

Solar Step-Up

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features

  • 13.5c/kWh feed-in tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing
$1,298 Go To Site
Kogan Energy logo
Energy Fact Sheet

Solar Market Offer

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 12c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing $1,383 Go To Site
Amaysim Energy Logo
Energy Fact Sheet

Classic Solar

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 13c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing $1,420

Link to provider unavailable

Click Logo
Energy Fact Sheet

Banksia Solar

No Conditional Discounts 

Other Features:

  • 13c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing
$1,420 Go To Site
Origin Logo
Energy Fact Sheet

Solar Optimiser

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 12c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing

$1,420 Go To Site
CovaU Logo
Energy Fact Sheet

Smart Saver Solar

Conditional Discounts

  • 24% discount off usage charges for paying on time by direct debit

Other Features:

  • 10.91c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
1 Year $1,626
incl. conditional discount

Link to provider unavailable

View all electricity plans listed on Canstar Blue

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. This table may include products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Brand Features  Benefit Period Price(estimated**)
AGL Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar Savers

Conditional Discounts

  • $75 online sign-up credit

Other Features:

  • 21c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing $1,392
incl. conditional discount

Link to provider unavailable

CovaU Logo
Basic Plan Information

Freedom Solar

Conditional Discounts

  • 20% discount off whole bill for paying on time

Other Features:

  • 8.5c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing $1,429
incl. conditional discount

Link to provider unavailable

Origin Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar Boost Plus

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 23c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Plan subject to Origin T&Cs
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
1 Year
$1,444 Go To Site
Amaysim Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar As You Go

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 15c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing $1,463

Link to provider unavailable

Click Logo
Basic Plan Information

Banksia Solar

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 14c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing
$1,467 Go To Site
View all electricity plans listed on Canstar Blue

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on SA Power network in Adelaide but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. This table may include products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Brand Features  Benefit Period Price(estimated**)
Origin Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar Boost Plus

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 23c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Plan subject to Origin T&Cs
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
1 Year
$1,796 Go To Site
AGL Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar Savers

Conditional Discounts

  • $75 online sign-up credit

Other Features:

  • 18c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing $1,866
incl. conditional discount

Link to provider unavailable

Click Logo
Basic Plan Information

Banksia Solar

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 17c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing
$1,940 Go To Site
Amaysim Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Solar As You Go

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 22c/kWh Feed-in Tariff
  • Price estimate excludes solar FiT credits
Ongoing $1,973

Link to provider unavailable

View all electricity plans listed on Canstar Blue

Finding a good solar company

Setting up solar can be a bit of run-around, but the potential bill savings make it worthwhile. In this article, we have explained some of the basics to help you understand solar meters. If you’re having trouble with your solar meter installation, then reach out to your electricity retailer and they can help you the rest of the way. For this reason, it’s important to make sure you’re with a reliable company with trusted advice and great customer service. See what other solar customers say about their retailers with Canstar Blue’s solar satisfaction ratings.

Compare Solar Companies

Share this article

News & Tips

Sign up to receive more news like this straight to your inbox

By subscribing you agree to the Canstar Privacy Policy.

Thanks for signing up!

Good things are coming your way.

Advertisement