The Premium Feed-in Tariff has ended, here's what you can do
As an incentive to encourage the uptake of renewable energy systems in the state, the Western Australian state government introduced the Residential Net Feed-in Tariff Scheme for eligible solar system owners in July 2010.
The scheme provided eligible applicants with a premium rate of 40 cents per unit of solar energy exported back to the grid, with a small number of system owners receiving 20 cents per unit, dependent on the date of application.
The scheme was open for applications for new and existing solar energy systems between 1 July 2010 and 1 August 2011, and premium rates are payable for 10 years from the date of application.
What is the difference between the Feed-in Tariff Scheme and the Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme?
In addition to the premium feed-in tariff, system owners also received credits under the Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme (REBS). REBS is what Synergy pays to customers for purchasing their unused solar power, however, this scheme has been replaced by the new Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme for new applications that have been received after 7 September 2020, which pays 10c/kWh for each unit of energy exported to the electricity network between 3-9pm and 3c/kWh for each unit of energy exported at any other time. Existing systems installed before September 2020 will still be on the previous REBS, which pays 7c/kWh.
What this means for your solar power system now
As the premium feed-in tariff rates are only payable for 10 years since the application date, the scheme ended between July 2020 and August 2021. While you will continue to receive REBS payments, it means you will be receiving significantly less for your exported solar energy.
The average solar system size 10 years ago was just 2kWs; which by today’s standards would barely be able to cover modern household energy requirements. This means that the savings generated by these systems is likely to be minimal, so you could be up for some very large energy bills when your premium FiT ceases.
Can I just add more panels?
While technology has improved significantly over the past decade, it means many of the components used in these older systems are now obsolete. And because regulations have changed, new and old equipment cannot be combined. This means you cannot simply add on more panels to increase your system size. To ensure your system meets the current safety requirements and is suitable for your energy needs both now and into the future, we recommend considering having a new, larger-sized system installed.
What about warranties?
Many of the warranties for these older systems will have already expired or be close to expiring soon. For example, most panel warranties were just 10 years, with inverters only having a 5-year warranty. Therefore, it is likely that your entire system will be out of warranty now, so any faults or repairs will need to be covered at your expense.
Benefits of purchasing a new system
To ensure you’re getting all the benefits of solar and aren’t being suddenly hit with larger energy bills, we encourage homeowners who are no longer receiving their Premium Feed-in Tariff to consider purchasing a new solar power system that is able to support your current and future energy needs. An Infinite Energy energy consultant will be able to design a solar power system that is tailored to your budget and able to support your household’s energy requirements. A new solar energy system will also ensure that you have updated warranties and access to the latest technology.
Reduced electricity bills: Installing a new system that is sized appropriately will ensure that your current and future energy needs can be supported by solar power.
Claim the government’s STC rebate: when replacing your solar power system, you will be able to claim the full STC rebate allocation provided by the government before these are phased out as well, giving you a discount off the total cost of your solar power system.
Latest technology: A new solar energy system will ensure that the components selected are in line with the latest technologies, meaning better efficiency and more savings for you. Opting for systems that are battery-ready will also prepare you for when you'd like to add a battery in the future.
Support from updated warranties: Thanks to advances in technology and increased competition in the market, warranties for components like solar panels and solar inverters have improved dramatically over the past decade. Industry leaders like SunPower offer a 25-year product warranty across their entire solar panel range. In addition, all of the inverters in our product range are backed by a 10-year warranty.
Infinite Energy have been providing quality solar systems for over 10 years and have since become one of the largest and most trusted solar providers in Australia. We are also very proud to be one of the few companies who, as part of our efforts to operate as sustainably as possible, run a program to recycle 100% of the solar panels we remove from roofs.
If you would like to discuss your options for a new solar power system with one of our expert energy consultants, please contact us today by requesting a call-back or calling us on 1300 074 669, and we would be delighted to assist.