Thousands of solar households in Adelaide and all over South Australia could be in a bit of surprise when their electricity bill arrives in September. South Australia has several feed-in tariffs, with the first incentive being specifically generous in how they rewarded early users of solar panels according to Energy Matters.
For one, Group 4, the rate of 16 cents per kilowatt hour for surplus electricity exported will end on September 30. This group will be switched to the standard feed-in rate, which is 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour. Group 4 is made up of participants who received grid connection approval between October 1, 2011, and September 30, 2013, and who had an import/export meter installed by midnight of January 29, 2014.
This decrease of nearly 10 cents per kilowatt hour is something that will be certainly noticed, especially on electric bills of those whose bulk of solar electricity production is exported. Solar provider Energy Matters has published a brief guide for Group 4 participants on how they can make the most of their solar power system in a lower feed-in tariff scheme.
This change in the structure of the solar feed-in tariff may have some participants to seriously consider having a solar battery storage system to make better use of their solar electricity and to increase their independence from the grid. Other participants may ponder upgrading their systems because the price of solar components has gone down significantly since 2013 and the average system sizes are now larger.
Across the border in New South Wales, they’re having a similar story, but with potentially a more powerful impact in many cases. The New South Wales Bonus Scheme pays early adopters premium solar feed-in tariffs of either 60 cents or 20 cents per kilowatt hour for all the electricity they generated. These tariff rates will stop at the end of this year. Energy Matters also stated that this will have a negative impact of up to $2,400 per year on anyone who will not take any needed action.