All retailers with more than 5,000 customers must offer eligible new customers the minimum Victorian Feed-in Tariff rate. Existing customers under the Premium Feed-in Tariff scheme must be on a feed-in tariff contract and be receiving the minimum rate – this includes if the customer wishes to change retailers. The rates you are charged for electricity, and the terms and conditions offered can vary with each retailer.
It is important to shop around and to do as much research as possible on available feed-in tariff offers and associated electricity consumption rates before purchasing your solar panels or renewable energy system.
Why does the scheme have contracts and terms and conditions?
The contract and its terms and conditions are only there to protect you - the consumer. It sets out the obligations of all parties involved and makes sure that all information is available so you can compare offers and negotiate better contract arrangements with your electricity retailer.
Before you can start being credited for solar power you must sign a contract with your electricity retailer.
You should always read through and familiarise yourself with your electricity retailer's terms and conditions before signing. If you don't understand the document, ask your retailer for more help and advice.
What you will be credited
All retailers with more than 5,000 customers must offer feed-in tariff (FiT) contracts at a minimum rate set by government. Retailers with less than 5000 customers are also able to offer a feed-in tariff contract, however, if they do, they must offer the minimum rate for each tariff.
Will my retail tariff change as a consequence of accessing a feed-in tariff? Why do retail rates differ from feed-in tariff rates?
The FiT rate reflects the energy value of the electricity that customers provide to the grid. The FiT rate is not directly comparable to the retail electricity price that customers pay because the retail price includes the costs of sourcing and delivering electricity to customers. For a typical electricity retailer this can include the wholesale cost of electricity, the costs of IT and billing systems, regulatory compliance, taxes and customer service. In addition, retailers are required to pass on network charges associated with the use of the poles and wires to transport electricity to households and businesses.
If electricity retailers were required to pay FiTs at a rate equal to their electricity prices, retailers would need to recover the additional costs by raising retail electricity prices for all customers, including non-solar customers. These increased costs would be an unnecessary and unfair burden to other Victorians, particularly as the price of solar and batteries continue to fall.
Existing feed-in tariff customers and customers wishing to access the minimum feed-in tariff should speak to their electricity retailer about what retail tariff offers are available in conjunction with their feed-in tariff.
If a customer is not satisfied with the offer they may wish to shop around by accessing the Victorian Energy Compare tool on the Victorian Energy Saver website.
Comparing pricing offers
The majority of households consume between 50 per cent and 65 per cent of their annual electricity needs during peak times (typically 7am to 11pm weekdays), and between 35 per cent and 50 per cent of their annual electricity needs during the off-peak times (typically 11pm to 7am weekdays plus all weekends). This means for the average household, there could be some opportunities to save.*
When comparing offers, you should also consider:
- How much of your electricity consumption you might be able to shift to off-peak, cheaper times
- How much of your electricity usage will be supplied by solar panels (generally during the day during peak times)
- What value you'll receive from a feed-in tariff for the extra electricity supplied to the grid during the day.
Visit Victorian Energy Compare
*Note that these times and rates may vary, depending on your electricity retailer. Retailers may also be able to provide information about your usage profile to assist you with calculations about the benefit of the feed-in tariffs to you. Also check with your electricity retailer whether their published rates reflect Eastern Standard Time (EST) and whether they are adjusted for Australian Daylight Savings Time (AEST).
Page last updated: 09/04/20