How to get the best Solar Feed in Tariff

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Solar feed in tariffs

As of July 2021, nearly 3 million homes or about a quarter of all homes have a rooftop solar system in Australia. The average size of new installations is a whopping 8 kW which means around 5,800 kWh of exports based on exporting 50% of the solar electricity produced for a home in Sydney. Even for smaller installations, getting the best feed in tariff is important. But beware, often the plan with the best solar feed in tariff has higher rates for the energy that you use. It sounds a great deal to get the best solar feed in tariff, right? Read on to find out if it really is a good deal or not.

We explain how to get the best deal for your home when you have solar panels in Victoria, NSW, Queensland, SA or the ACT.

By the way, if you have a premium feed in tariff, don’t worry you keep it when you switch.

How we compared Solar feed in tariffs

The comparison is based on a 3 person household using Government benchmarks in different towns across the Victoria, Queensland, NSW, SA and ACT. There are differences between different distribution areas, particularly within Victoria and NSW, but because the picture is similar in those areas, we have shown results in one distribution area to illustrate the results in these 2 States. We used 2 different solar system sizes, 3kW which was a common size among older systems and 6kW which is more typical of systems installed more recently.

There are more than 30,000 electricity plans in these States, and we selected the applicable plans in each area and compared every single one of them. To compare them all on the same basis, we compared the cost of the plan over the year with the benchmark price, the average price charged by the big 3 energy companies, AGL, Origin Energy and Energy Australia. We’ve found that this benchmark price is a good reflection of the price paid by customers.

Summary of results

Over the 5 locations, the cheapest electricity plan costs $371 less than the benchmark price for a 3 kW system and $417 less than the benchmark price for a 6 kW system. If instead we chose the highest feed in tariff, the cost to the customer equally uncompetitive with the cheapest plan: $351 extra for a 3 kW system and $306 extra for a 6 kW system.

You can save around $350 per year or a massive 35% by getting the cheapest overall plan. Choosing the best solar feed in tariff in isolation turns out to be a poor strategy in all States and disastrous financially in South Australia and the ACT.

How much can I save per year?

Check the results for your State below.

best solar feed in tariff
Average savings from the examples below are shown here
Click on your State to learn moreVicNSWQLDSAACT
Best Plan Cost / year$968$971$1017$1117$968
Benchmark Cost / year$1239$1306$1304$1767$1397
Savings$271$335$287$650$430
Usage data from the Australian Energy Regulator. Benchmark cost is the average cost of AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia plans

Compare Plans with Solar

Comparing solar plans is not a simple matter. Solar production and power usage is very seasonal so the calculations are not easy. There are usage tariffs, daily charges and export rates to consider.

That’s where Energy Umpire come in. If you just want the best price for you go to Energy Umpire now. We compare all energy plans and calculate how much you could save.

Most importantly, Energy Umpire does not take commissions or inducements of any kind from energy companies. It’s free to find out how much you could save and it only costs $10 to get the best price and keep getting the best solar plan for a full year. It’s easy and quick to check your savings and switch. Ready to check how much you can save? It’s quick and easy.

Best Solar Feed in tariff Victoria

The Victorian Government mandate a minimum solar feed in tariff each year, unlike in other States where the is no minimum. Most power companies apply the minimum tariff as set by the Government, but some set a higher rate with a view to attracting solar customers. We set out to investigate whether getting the best solar feed in tariff in Victoria was a good deal or not.

Solar customers in the Powercor area in Victoria could save $271/year on their electricity by getting the best provider compared with the benchmark price (the average of AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia). Choosing the best solar feed in tariff in Victoria proved to be a less attractive strategy with either the 3 kW solar system or the 6 kW solar system. This plan costs $46 and $20 more respectively. We checked a few weeks ago and the gap was more than $200, so the picture can change quickly.

Victoria (Powercor)Solar 3 kW system Solar 6kW systemAverage savings
 Yearly costSavings versus Cheapest Yearly costSavings versus Cheapest
Cheapest plan $1035$901
Benchmark plan$1301$266$1177$275$271
Highest feed- in plan$1081$46$921$20$33
The benchmark plan is based on an average of AGL, Origin, EnergyAustralia

Best Solar Feed in tariff NSW

Solar feed in tariffs in NSW are set entirely by the electricity companies without any intervention by Government. So, it’s buyer beware!

Customers with Solar in the Ausgrid area in NSW could save $335/year on their electricity by getting the cheapest provider when compared with the benchmark price (the average of AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia). Choosing the best solar feed in tariff in NSW proved to be a less attractive strategy with either the 3 kW solar system or the 6 kW solar system. This plan costs $170 and $32 more than the cheapest plan respectively.

NSW (Ausgrid)Solar 3 kW system Solar 6kW systemAverage savings
 Yearly costSavings versus Cheapest  Yearly costSavings versus Cheapest
Cheapest plan $1045$898
Benchmark plan$1371$326$1242$344$335
Highest feed- in plan$1215$170$930$32$101
The benchmark plan is based on an average of AGL, Origin, EnergyAustralia

Best Solar Feed in tariff QLD

Solar feed in tariffs in QLD are set entirely by the electricity companies without any intervention by Government. So, it’s buyer beware!

Customers with Solar in the Energex area in Queensland could save $287/year on their electricity by getting the cheapest provider when compared with the benchmark price (the average of AGL, Origin and Energy Australia). Choosing the best solar feed in tariff in QLD proved to be a poor strategy with either the 3 kW solar system or the 6 kW solar system which costs $222 or $173 more respectively.

SA (SAPN)Solar 3 kW system Solar 6kW systemAverage savings
 Yearly costSavings versus Cheapest  Yearly costSavings versus Cheapest
Cheapest plan $1115$919
Benchmark plan$1372$257$1237$317$287
Highest feed-in plan$1338$222$1092$173$198
The benchmark plan is based on an average of AGL, Origin, EnergyAustralia

Best Solar Feed in tariff SA

Solar customers in the SA could save $650/year on their electricity by getting the cheapest provider when compared with the benchmark price (the average of AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia). Choosing the best solar feed in tariff SA proved to be a poor strategy with either the 3 kW solar system or the 6 kW solar system. This plan plan with the best solar feed in tariff SA costs $582 more in both cases.

NSW (Ausgrid)Solar 3 kW system Solar 6kW systemAverage savings
 Yearly costSavings versus Cheapest  Yearly costSavings versus Cheapest
Cheapest plan $1268$967
Benchmark plan$1842$547$1692$725$650
Highest feed- in plan$1850$582$1549$582$582
The benchmark plan is based on an average of AGL, Origin, EnergyAustralia

Best Solar Feed in tariff ACT

Solar customers in the ACT could save $430/year on their electricity by getting the cheapest provider when compared with the benchmark price (the average of AGL, Origin and Energy Australia). Choosing the best solar feed in tariff in ACT proved to be a poor strategy with either the 3 kW solar system or the 6 kW solar system. This plan costs $734 and $727 more respectively.

ACT (Evoenergy)Solar 3 kW system Solar 6kW systemAverage savings
 Yearly costSavings versus Cheapest  Yearly costSavings versus Cheapest
Cheapest plan $1048$887
Benchmark plan$1482$433$1313$426$430
Highest feed-in plan$1782$734$1607$720$727
The benchmark plan is based on an average of AGL, Origin, EnergyAustralia