Here is an important statement from the Department of Primary Industries regarding the Victorian Feed-in Tariff solar power cost:
The transitional Feed-in Tariff is closing to new customers.
This tariff offers 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. This solar power cost rate is slightly higher than the average retail rate consumers pay for electricity.
To be considered for the transitional Feed-in Tariff, you must submit all paperwork by 30 September 2012. Conditions apply. Read more about the closure for new customers below.
Once signed up for the transitional Feed-in Tariff and receiving credits, you will be able to access these solar power cost rates until 31 December 2016, provided you continue to meet the eligibility criteria.
If you do not qualify in time for the transitional Feed-in Tariff, you will be able to apply for the reduced standard Feed-in Tariff, of 8 cents per kilowatt hour. This is based on the wholesale rate of solar power, will be available to eligible premises producing sustainable electricity from a range of sources, with the addition of new technologies expected in early 2013.
All Victorian electricity retailers with more than 5,000 customers must offer the transitional Feed-in Tariff, but they may offer different packages and terms and conditions. The scheme replaced the premium Feed-in Tariff which closed to new customers in 2011.
Transitional Feed-in Tariff solar power cost closure
To be considered, for the transitional Feed-in Tariff you must have your solar PV system fully-installed, signed-off by a licensed electrical inspector and have submitted all paperwork to your electricity suppliers by 30 September 2012.
- Solar connection form (to your electricity distributor).
- Electrical works request (to your electricity retailer).
- Certificate of electrical safety (to your electricity retailer).
- Transitional Feed-in Tariff application form (to your electricity retailer).
It can take several weeks to complete these steps. You should confirm conditions and timelines in any written contracts and follow-up with your solar power installer and electricity suppliers if you notice delays.
Double-check that all forms are accurate and all mandatory fields are complete. If possible, email the forms so you have a record of submission and retain a copy of all documents for your files.
Once paperwork is submitted, to complete the eligibility process you will also need to have your metering upgraded and have Feed-in Tariff credits being applied to your account by 31 December 2012.
The transitional Feed-in Tariff solar power cost is available to households, community organisations and small businesses. To be considered for the transitional Feed-in Tariff, you must:
- Have a solar PV system no greater than five kilowatts in size.
- Be claiming for your principal place of residence (if you are a household).
- Consume 100 megawatt hours or less of electricity per year (if you are a small business or community organisation).
- Claim only one solar PV system per site (if you are a small business or community organisation operating across multiple sites, you can claim for one system per site).
- Have bi-directional metering in place that measures two-way electricity flows and records them on a half hourly basis.
If your solar system capacity is greater than five kilowatts you could instead be eligible for the standard Feed-in Tariff.
Eligible premises with an effective transitional Feed-in Tariff contract in place will continue to receive this solar power cost rate until 31 December 2016, provided they remain eligible.
To have an effective contract you need to have solar panels fitted, the correct meter installed and be feeding electricity back to the grid by 31 December 2012.
Switching electricity companies
You are able to switch electricity companies or contracts and continue to receive the transitional solar power cost rate once you have established your eligibility. Before switching, check if there are any exit fees under your existing contract.
The transitional rate is linked to the property where the solar panels are installed, so when moving house a customer cannot take the transitional Feed-in Tariff with them. Similarly, any house which is signed up to the transitional Feed-in Tariff solar power cost rate will remain eligible until 2016, even if it is sold and new residents move in.
Adding new solar panels
You will become ineligible to continue receiving the transitional solar power cost rate if you add additional solar panels, boosting your generating capacity after scheme closure. This is because the scheme was designed with a cap on the total installed capacity of solar panels across the state
If you have an oversized solar inverter (for example a four kilowatt solar inverter with 1.5 kilowatts of solar panels) you will still forfeit your access to the transitional rate if you upgrade your existing generation capacity after scheme closure.
You can replace existing solar panels for maintenance reasons, for example, due to storm damage, without losing the transitional Feed-in Tariff solar power cost. You just need to make sure the replacement does not exceed the original generating capacity of your system.
If you would like to install additional solar panels and forfeit your transitional solar power cost rate of 25 cents, you may instead be eligible to apply for the new standard Feed-in Tariff, of 8 cents.