Oh no! What do I do when my 40 cent Feed-in tariff runs out?

 

This was the question my dad asked me last week. He received a letter from Synergy. Informing him that the 40c per kWh they were paying for his excess solar that was sent to the grid was about to end.

My Dad, along with around 70,000 other Western Australians that installed solar panels before July 2011, qualified for an extra 40 cents.

This was a great deal and meant that most of these people haven’t paid an electricity bill for almost 10 years.

Some have cashed in with Synergy sending out cheques, in some cases $2000 per year. It’s been fantastic and a huge win.

 

 

“This was a great deal and meant that most of these people haven’t paid an electricity bill for almost 10 years.”

 

While you had this, you would be crazy to get a home battery. Because no battery in the world can almost double the kilowatts in, versus the kilowatts out.

But all good things must come to an end.

The scheme was contracted to go for 10 years. So the extra 40c will disappear between June 2020 and June 2021.

Then these 70,000 households will be on the same deal as the rest of us – 7.13 cents paid for excess solar to the grid. This should end the BBQ arguments, on when is the best time to use your electricity.

 

“This should end the BBQ arguments, on when is the best time to use your electricity.”

 

So now instead of getting 47 cents per kWh/unit for there excess power, it’s now 7 cents.

Because we pay 28.8 cents to buy power (for households coming off the extra tariff), it’s now far better to use their solar energy as its produced (during sun hours). Much better than sending it back to the grid.

Of course, this brings up another issue of system size.

Is your system big enough to run your home during the day and make enough sent to the grid to offset your evening usage? Often with systems installed before 2011 they were only 1.5 to 3 kW systems.

Generally, this is not big enough.

They often need to be upgraded to bring them up to the current electrical safety standards. As well as being in poor condition.

 

What do I do when my 40cent Feed-in tariff runs out?

 

Let’s look at your options..

 

Option 1:

Do nothing.

 

This is the go-to option for most, but you will notice a large increase in your electricity bill. Likely between $100 and $300. If you do choose this option it’s still a good idea to have your system checked.

 

 

 

Option 2:

Add on to what you’ve got.

 

This is the most cost-effective option. This will mean either upgrading your existing system or installing a new system next to your old. Say if you have a 2 kW system we can install a new 3kW next to it and give you a total of 5kW. On single-phase homes, it’s fairly simple. But there can be complications in three-phase homes.

Clean NRG Solar staff will guide you through this.

 

Option 3

Replace existing with new.

This is a good idea if your solar panel system is in poor condition. Unfortunately, systems installed before 2011 were not subject to the newer electrical safety standards. The industry was very new and proper controls and training were not in place.

So there are a lot of dodgy installs out there, with Chinese inverters and questionable wiring.

These systems were generally sold by eastern states internet companies or backyard operators. Surprisingly it’s likely your panels will still be in good condition.

 

 

“So there are a lot of dodgy installs out there, with Chinese inverters and questionable wiring.”

 

Option 4

Install a battery. This option will give you the lowest power bills you can get.

Not into credit territory like the 40c gave you but around zero $$ power bills is possible with a battery.

 

“Around zero $$ power bills is possible with a battery.”

 

So the first thing to check – is your system big enough to run your house and to charge your battery? This is where options two and three are involved.

 

 

 

What do you do now that you know the options?

Still not sure what to do? Clean NRG solar staff are fully trained to help you choose the best option for you. We will spend some time looking at your situation. For example your existing Solar PV system, roof space, electricity usage, and your budget.

We can make a recommendation, then it’s up to you. Give us a call on 9244 9200 or get in touch online.

 

Come along to our free workshop “What To Do When The 40 Cent Feed-In Tariff Runs Out” on Saturday, 27th June. For more information and registration click here.

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