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New solar Feed-in tariff rates for 2018 from the ESC

Solar panels on a Melbourne house

The Essential Services Commission (ESC) of Victoria has published 2 new feed-in tariff rates (FiT) for electricity retailers to pay solar energy owners in 2018.

Why?

“The commission is required under the Electricity Industry Act 2000 (Vic) (the Act) to determine one or more rates that an electricity retailer must pay its customers for the electricity they export to the grid, referred to as the minimum FiT.3 This is a credit paid to small renewable energy generation facilities which use fuel sources such as wind, solar, hydro or biomass.4”

The final decision the ESC has laid out here, will apply from July 1st, 2018 and will offer 2 tariff rates to energy retailers. The retailers must select one of the tariff rates by July 2018.

1. The Single Tariff Rate

The new rate will be 9.9 cents per kilowatt hour (a reduction of 1.4 cents from the current tariff rate).

2. Time Varying Tariff Rates – breakdown:

  • Off Peak: (10pm-7am on weekdays) 7.2c per kilo-watt-hourĀ 
  • Shoulder: (7am-3pm & 9pm-10pm on weekdays) 10.3c per kilo-watt hour
  • Peak: (3pm-9pm on weekdays) 29.0c per kilo-watt hour

“A time-varying FiT provides a more granular reflection of how the value of wholesale electricity varies throughout the day than is possible with a single, flat-rate tariff. This provides the opportunity for solar owners to modify their export profile in response to higher and lower prices, if they so choose. Solar owners who modify their behaviour to take advantage of the higher rates during peak periods may be able to capture higher revenues.”

So, if you have a solar energy system with a battery in your Victorian property you can export excess energy back to the grid on a time varying tariff and earn higher returns during peak times of the day. Of course it’s down to the energy retailers to select which tariff rate they want to offer, but something to bear in mind if you’re weighing up changing your energy retailer after July 2018.

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