In accordance with the original intention of Parliament, and as set out in the Electricity Industry Act 2000, the schemes ended on 31 December 2016. Both were only designed to run for a limited period. The Transitional Feed-in Tariff (T-FiT) was set up for five years, commencing on 1 January 2012. The Standard Feed-in Tariff (S-FiT) commenced in January 2008.
From 1 January 2017, customers coming off the schemes have accessed the same market offers for feed-in tariffs that are available to other solar customers. This means that they transferred onto the current feed-in tariff scheme.
The current feed-in tariff is set at a minimum of five cents per kilowatt hour for excess electricity fed back into the grid. Some retailers may voluntarily choose to offer a higher rate but are not obligated to do so.
From 1 July 2017, solar customers on the current minimum feed-in tariff will move onto a new rate, as determined by the Essential Services Commission. This new tariff rate better reflects the true energy value of the electricity customers provide to the grid.
The government encourages customers to shop around to find the best energy offers available. The Victorian Energy Compare tool is an independent price comparator that helps Victorians find and compare electricity, solar and gas retailer tariffs and check if they could save money by switching to alternative offers.
History of the Standard Feed-in Tariff
The Standard Feed-in Tariff (S-FiT) arrangements closed to new applicants on 31 December 2012.
The S-FiT generally provided a 'one-for-one' rate*, based on the retail electricity rate paid by the customer, for excess renewable electricity generated by eligible properties across Victoria.
Customers with solar or other renewable energy systems, such as wind, hydro or biomass, with a system size of less than 100 kilowatts were able to access the scheme prior to its closure. However, in 2012, for the period that the Transitional Feed-in Tariff (T-FiT) was open to new applicants, there was no requirement for electricity retailers to offer the 'one-for-one' S-FiT to solar PV customers with systems of 5kW or less. Provided they met the relevant eligibility criteria these customers would generally have been offered T-FiT.
The specification of a 31 December 2016 end date was in response to the recommendations of the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission as part of its review into distributed generation and feed-in tariffs in 2012.
*It should be noted that in some cases, the 'one-for-one' rate may have been a feed-in credit based on peak and off-peak rates. In other cases, the standard feed-in rate may have been a flattened rate incorporating both the peak and off-peak components of your supply rate.
History of the Transitional Feed-in Tariff
The T-FiT replaced the Premium Feed-in Tariff in 2011 and closed to new customers on 31 December 2012.
The T-FiT scheme offered eligible properties with small-scale solar PV systems of five kilowatts or less a minimum credit of 25 cents per kilowatt hour for excess electricity fed back into the grid.