Solar Rebates in NSW 2014
Posted: 26 Oct 2014
Financial solar rebates and incentives in New South Wales have changed dramatically over the last 5 years making it difficult to find a simple answer on what you are eligible to receive when you purchase a solar system in today’s terms.
In short, households installing solar in New South Wales are eligible for two types of rebates. The first is a federal government rebate which generally comes in the form of an upfront discount off the price of your system. This rebate is called the Solar Credits Scheme and has been around since August 2009, when it was introduced by the federal Labour government. The second comes in the form of something called a feed-in tariff where any surplus power generated from the solar system is fed back into the grid, and you receive credit on your electricity bill.
With this in mind, how much can households expect to receive for each kWh (kilowatt hour) they put back into the grid and what kind of financial assistance can people expect in total from rebates in NSW? While the answers can only be rough estimates, this article will enlighten you on the rebate system so that you can make more informed choices regarding solar power in the future.
Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme
This is a federal government initiative to increase the amount of renewable electricity produced in Australia. The main focus of the scheme is subsidising people who install a small-scale rooftop solar system. How much you will be subsidised will depend on the size of the system and your location, but it will generally take a sizable $1-4,000 chunk off the upfront cost of installation.
Net Feed-in Tariffs
Net feed-in tariffs are the only sort of feed-in arrangements available in NSW and throughout Australia. This system pays you for surplus energy that goes back into the grid. Any energy that is not exported is used by the home. The financial benefit of net metring is not relying on electricity from the grid, which reduces your quarterly bill.
The NSW Government announced that they had closed applications for the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme on May 13, 2011. New solar power customers are no longer eligible for the scheme.
New customers in NSW can only receive a feed-in tariff from individual electricity retailers. Unfortunately, there is no mandatory minimal feed-in tariff for the state, which means retailers can value exported solar power as they wish. In some cases, retailers will offer nothing.
It is best to shop around to see who can give you the best rate from for the feed-in tariff. To find out how much retailers are offering in NSW, click here. These prices are likely to change, so it is advisable to contact the retailers directly to find out what they are currently offering.
Households that receive the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme will continue to do so. The 20c or 60c/kWh tariff will still apply as long as customers meet the criteria for each scheme.
How much can I expect?
It is cost-effective to have a solar power system installed for three reasons.
- The cost of solar photovoltaics has dropped due to the small-scale renewable energy scheme and strong competition from manufacturers in China.
- Solar power will drastically reduce your electricity bill because you are not using energy from the grid.
- The price of electricity has steadily risen over the past few years in NSW with a push from power companies to increase it yet again to maintain their networks
IPART (Independent Pricing & Regulatory Tribunal) is recommending that a minimum feed-in tariff be introduced in NSW. For 2014/15, they believe retailers should pay at least 5.3c/kWh for solar energy going back in the grid. That’s lower than their previous suggestion of 6.6/kWh. Whether this rate plateaus or drops further remains to be seen. At this point in time it is very difficult to predict.
The Australian Government is currently reviewing the incentives which give a rebate to customers installing a solar power system. The outcome of this review is uncertain, however there is some speculation that it could end as early as 2020, in which case it would be prudent for customers to install a solar power system sooner rather than later.
Are you thinking about getting a solar power system?
Purchasing a solar power system can seem overwhelming because there are so many factors to consider. However, we offer a service that gives you three quotes from installers in your area – and best of all, it’s free!
Simply provide us with details about your property and the type of solar power system you were considering and we’ll take care of the rest. It’s as easy as that.
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