High feed-in tariff? How to make the most of it

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High feed-in tariff? How to make the most of it

Thousands of Queensland homeowners installed solar during the original solar boom, locking in a high feed-in tariff in the process. Technology has come a long way in the last 10 years and many systems are now approaching the end of their operational life. The question is however, how can you make the most of your 50 cent feed-in tariff now and right up to 2028? Read on to find out.

What is the high feed-in tariff in QLD?

The Queensland Government introduced the Solar Bonus Scheme (high feed-in tariff scheme) in 2008. The scheme offers a feed-in tariff of 44 cents per kilowatt-hour (c/kWh) for surplus electricity generated by eligible solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and exported into the electricity grid. The scheme was available to residential and small business customers who consume less than 100 megawatt-hours (MWh) per year and installed up to 30 kilowatts of grid-connected solar PV. The scheme’s objectives included making solar PV systems more affordable, stimulating the solar power industry and encourage energy efficiency. Queensland electricity distributors including Energex, Ergon and Essential Energy pay the tariff through credited the customer’s electricity bill.

When does the high feed-in tariff end?

The Solar Bonus Scheme will end on 1st July 2028. After this time, energy distributors will no longer pay the high feed-in rates through your the customer’s retailer.  There’s never been a better time to upgrade your system to take advantage of their high feed-in tariff until 2028.

Why upgrade a perfectly good system?

Most solar systems on the high feed-in tariff are now more than 10 years ago. Back in those days, solar installations were substantially more expensive than they are today. Due to this, many customers chose to install a larger inverter and a smaller array. The most common system that we see at Goodhew from the early solar boom era is a 3kW inverter rating but only 2.2kW or so of panels (i.e 12x 190W panels).

Additionally, at 10+ years old, most systems start to show incremental decreases in month-on-month production. This is a normal process which happens as the system ages in-line with manufacturer guidelines.

What is the return on investment?

Like all solar systems, the ROI is considerable when compared to the cost of electricity. By upgrading your existing system while still on the high 44c, 50c or 55c feed-in tariffs, you will see a great return on investment over the next 6 years through to 2028.

An example of the ROI has been analyzed in the following case study. John is a long-time customer of ours, having installed his first solar system over 10 years ago. In John’s case, he had already been approved for a 5kW inverter so had lots of capacity to upgrade. His system was still in working order but John, like many others who installed solar around the same time, started to see month-on-month production decrease incrementally.

Before upgrading his system, John was receiving approx. $515 in feed-in credits for the 90 days to March 2020. In 2021, after the upgrade, John received over $1120 for the same quarter. This means that John’s new system will fully pay for itself within 4 years – well before the 2028 cut-off. John’s is on track to add an additional $4000 in credit (on top of his existing credit) before 2028

High feed-in tarriff return money in hand

How do I ensure my high feed-in tariff is protected?

When looking to update your solar system, it is important to choose a trusted solar company with extensive experience in upgrading systems. Your installer will be able to check your inverter rating through the energy distributor’s portal. Keeping this inverter rating is key to maintaining the high feed-in tariff. This can be done by installing a new inverter that is the same size or smaller than that which is approved.

Find out more

Goodhew Electrical and Solar are the experts in solar installations, having installed over 15,000 systems since 2007. At Goodhew, we only use the highest quality components, installed by qualified and experienced trade-qualified electricians. Contact us today for more information and to receive your obligation free quote.