It is important that you discuss your eligibility with your retailer prior to signing up for the current 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 will be available from 1 July 2018, improves the business case for customers considering adding energy storage devices to FiT 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 current feed-in tariff?
To access the current 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?
Any customer installing solar panels or another renewable energy system may have their electricity rates updated as a result of the installation. You should therefore always check with your electricity retailer about the possible change to your tariff structure before purchasing your panels to ensure you can make an informed decision.
This is particularly important if you currently have off-peak electricity rates for hot water, heating or air-conditioning. You may not be able to keep your current rates for dedicated off-peak loads if you accept a feed-in tariff. Make sure you consider this prior to signing-up for solar panels or a renewable energy system, or if you are already on a feed-in tariff offer before switching offers.
Many feed-in tariff customers will be offered "time-of-use" pricing – that is, a peak rate for power purchased during the day, and an off-peak rate for power bought at night and on weekends.
These rates provide an opportunity to save, particularly if you can transfer any of your electricity use to cheaper, off peak times. For example, you can use washing machines and dryers on weekends or use timers or delay start functions on appliances during the week.
What property types are eligible under the current feed-in tariff?
The current 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 current 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 current feed-in tariff?
The current feed-in tariff is available to solar photovoltaic and other forms of solar (with restriction - see below), wind, hydro and biomass systems of less than 100 kilowatts in system capacity. Other forms of renewable energy systems may also be declared to be eligible for the scheme in the future.
Note: Restrictions apply to the types of solar or other renewable energy systems that are included under legislation to receive the current Feed-in Tariff. The renewable system must generate electricity, therefore a solar hot water system is not eligible under the current feed-in tariff.
I have two different types of renewable energy systems on my property, can I claim the current 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 current 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 current 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 current 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 current 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 current feed-in tariff?
Can I continue to claim the current feed-in tariff if I decide to a) renovate my property? b) demolish my property then rebuild?
Yes and yes. You can decommission your distributed generation facility then reinstall it, after the renovation or demolition of your property, without forfeiting your access to the current 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 current Feed-in Tariff for this system?
Yes. As the tenant at the property where the system is installed, the current Feed-in Tariff will be associated with your electricity usage and generation. You will need to arrange this with your retailer as the electricity bills relating to the solar or renewable energy system generation and consumption at that property will be 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?
Current Feed-in Tariff: Yes, However you will need to arrange a new contract with an electricity retailer.
If the previous occupants were accessing the Premium, Transitional or "one-for-one" Standard Feed-in Tariff, you will find more information on the maintaining my eligibility page.
Can I claim the current Feed-in Tariff for my holiday home?
Yes. Unlike previous schemes, under the current Feed-in Tariff scheme the distributed generation facility does not need to be located at your primary place of residence.
I live in a retirement village - can I claim the current 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 current 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 which opened on 1 January 2013. 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 current Feed-in Tariff.
I am an existing Premium, Transitional or Standard Feed-in Tariff customer; I wish to install a new solar or other renewable energy system on my property. Can I claim the current 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 ensure that both systems are 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 customers: If you are receiving the Premium Feed-in Tariff (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 current 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 current 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.