It is important that you discuss your eligibility with your retailer prior to signing up for the minimum feed-in tariff.
Does the government support time-varying tariffs?
The Victorian Government supports the development and uptake of new energy technologies. In February 2017, the government put in place legislative amendments, prompted by a major inquiry into small-scale electricity generation in Victoria, to enable time-varying tariffs. The new time-varying feed-in tariff structure, that has been available from 1 July 2018, improves the business case for customers considering adding energy storage devices to feed-in tariff scheme eligible renewable generators. Government will continue to work with relevant agencies to ensure that these new energy technologies are appropriately considered. Customers should undertake their own assessment as to whether investing in small-scale renewable facilities will meet their individual requirements, and are encouraged to talk to their energy provider.
How do I apply for the minimum feed-in tariff?
To access the minimum feed-in tariff, you must have your solar or other type of renewable energy system fully installed, signed off by a licensed electrical inspector, and have submitted all the necessary paperwork to your electricity retailer.
This paperwork includes the:
- Solar connection form
- Electrical works request
- Certificate of electrical safety
- An accepted feed-in tariff contract with your electricity retailer
Once paperwork is submitted, to complete the eligibility process you may also need to have your metering upgraded before feed-in credits can be applied to your account.
Learn more about meters.
What happens to my electricity rates after I install solar?
In late 2015, the government introduced legislation to ensure solar customers are not unfairly discriminated against by energy retailers. Retailers are now required to provide solar customers with access to the same offers as non-solar customers. These changes took effect on 1 January 2016.
Section 23C of the Electricity Industry Act 2000 requires retailers to provide solar customers with access to the same tariffs and the same terms and conditions as non-solar customers. Whilst retailers are permitted to offer additional deals which are available exclusively to solar customers, retailers are prohibited by law from offering deals to the general public which exclude solar customers.
What property types are eligible under the minimum feed-in tariff?
The minimum feed-in tariff is available to residential households, businesses and community organisations. Unlike previous feed-in tariffs, for householders the property does not need to be your primary place of residence.
What are the system size restrictions under the minimum feed-in tariff?
The renewable energy system must be less than 100 kilowatts in size. This is based on the generating capacity (or nameplate capacity) of the system.
What types of systems are eligible under the minimum feed-in tariff?
Section 40F of the Electricity Industry Act 2000 defines a small renewable energy generation facility eligible to receive a minimum feed-in tariff. Based on this definition, the minimum feed-in tariff is available to solar, wind, hydro and biomass systems of less than 100 kilowatts in system capacity that are connected to a distribution system and generate electricity. For example, a solar hot water system is not eligible under the minimum feed-in tariff as it does not generate electricity.
I have two different types of renewable energy systems on my property. Can I claim the minimum feed-in tariff for both?
Yes, if both meet the eligibility requirements for the scheme. You will need to discuss your options with your retailer as there will be metering requirements for each system.
Can I claim the minimum feed-in tariff for multiple properties?
Yes. You will need to discuss this with your electricity retailer.
Do I need a new contract with my retailer if I sign up for the minimum feed-in tariff?
If you are exporting electricity generated from your solar panels into the grid, you are likely to require a new contract with your electricity retailer in order to receive credits, as well as pay for the electricity you consume from the grid.
Any concerns you have with your electricity contract, including signing a contract to become a feed-in tariff customer, should be raised with your electricity retailer in the first instance.
Can I change electricity retailers without forfeiting the minimum feed-in tariff?
Yes. You are free to move to another electricity retailer at any time you choose. However, you should note that retailers are only required to offer the regulated minimum rate. Retailers may choose to offer an amount over this minimum rate. However, it is important that you weigh up the increased feed-in tariff rate with the supply side of the contract (cost of consuming electricity from the grid) to understand how changing retailers may impact your bill. The Victorian Energy Compare website is a price comparator tool that can help with this analysis.
Be sure to check your obligations under your current contract with your electricity retailer. Some retailers may charge a fee if you exit the contract early. This will be specified under the terms and conditions of your contract.
Please note that only retailers with more than 5,000 customers are required to offer the minimum feed-in tariff.
I have a dedicated system (such as a hot water system, slab heating, etc.) at my property, am I eligible to receive the minimum feed-in tariff?
Yes, you are eligible if you have a renewable energy system and meet the minimum feed-in tariff eligibility criteria. However, you should research the offers available to you to find out what will suit you and the type of system you have in mind.
Can I continue to claim the minimum feed-in tariff if I decide to renovate or demolish my property and then rebuild?
Yes, you can continue to claim the minimum feed-in tariff as long as you keep fulfilling the eligibility criteria. You can decommission your distributed generation facility and then reinstall it, after the renovation or demolition of your property, without forfeiting your access to the minimum feed-in tariff scheme.
I am renting and my landlord has installed solar panels or another type of renewable energy system on the property. Can I claim the minimum feed-in tariff for this system?
Yes, you can claim the minimum feed-in tariff as the tenant at the property where the system is installed if the electricity bill is in your name. If you are the electricity customer, the minimum feed-in tariff will be associated with your electricity usage and generation and the excess renewable energy credit amount is credited against the amount to be paid included in your bill. You will need to check with your retailer that the electricity bills relating to the renewable energy system generation and consumption at that property are in your name.
If you live in a unit/apartment you will need to make sure you have a separate meter to the rest of the block for your electricity usage and generation. This is to ensure that your energy retailer can measure how much power you are feeding back into the grid and credit your bills accordingly.
If I purchase a house where the previous occupants received a feed-in tariff, can I also claim the same feed-in tariff when I move in?
Yes, you can claim the same feed-in tariff if the previous occupants were accessing the minimum feed-in tariff. However, you will need to arrange a new contract with an electricity retailer to ensure that the electricity bills relating to the generation and consumption of the renewable energy system at that property are in your name.
If the previous occupants were accessing the Premium Feed-in Tariff, you will find more information on the maintaining my eligibility page.
Is my holiday home eligible for the minimum feed-in tariff?
Yes, as long as it fulfils the eligibility requirements to receive the feed-in tariff.
I live in a retirement village - can I claim the minimum feed-in tariff?
Yes. You will need to ensure that your individual unit within the retirement village has a separate meter that is directly connected to the electricity grid. This arrangement will allow the energy retailer to properly measure how much power you are feeding back into the grid from your solar PV system and then credit your bills accordingly.
It is very important to check with your retailer to understand whether your current metering configuration qualifies for the scheme.
Is my electricity retailer obliged to offer me the minimum feed-in tariff?
If your electricity retailer has more than 5,000 customers they are obliged to offer you the current minimum feed-in tariff. This tariff is a minimum only and your retailer is always free to "top up" over and above the minimum rate if they choose to do so.
If your electricity retailer has less than 5,000 customers they are not obliged to offer the minimum feed-in tariff.
I am an existing Premium Feed-in Tariff customer; I wish to install a new solar or other renewable energy system on my property. Can I claim the minimum feed-in tariff for the second system?
It depends. If you are installing a system on a separate property, this system will be eligible for the minimum Victorian feed-in tariff.
If you are installing the system on the same property as your existing system, you will need to discuss with your distribution network provider and retailer whether both systems can be metered separately.
You will need to discuss any planned changes to your system with your retailer prior to putting them in place.
Important information for Premium Feed-in Tariff (PFiT) customers: If you are receiving the PFiT, the house that you are claiming under the relevant scheme must continue to be your primary place of residence. Additionally, the PFiT can only be claimed for one solar PV system, of 5 kilowatts or less, per property. Read more about maintaining your eligibility for the PFiT.
Once I am signed up for the minimum feed-in tariff, can I upgrade my system?
Yes. When you upgrade your system, you need to make sure the generating capacity of the system after the upgrade is less than 100 kilowatts.
Once I'm signed up to the scheme, can I replace components of my system without forfeiting the minimum feed-in tariff?
Yes. If there is a fault or any damage to the parts associated with your solar system, it is important that you organise for the equipment to be replaced by a licensed electrical contractor. This will ensure that the required paperwork to maintain your eligibility under the scheme is completed and will also ensure the safety of your system.
If you have an issue with your electricity meter, you should contact your electricity retailer as this equipment is part of the network infrastructure and should be replaced by the distribution business for your area.
Can I install a battery storage device and maintain eligibility for my Premium Feed-in Tariff (PFiT)?
Solar customers that install small-scale batteries as part of their current renewable energy system will continue to be eligible to receive feed-in tariffs for the electricity generated and exported by their system to their retailer. This means that you can install a battery and still receive the PFiT as long as you maintain your eligibility requirements as outlined in your contract.
Page last updated: 09/04/20