The end of the year is looming up upon us. While many including myself are looking forward to the break, there is something happening on the 1st of January that isn’t a hangover or a New Year’s Resolution.
For those that have owned solar before 2013 the Solar Legacy Feed in Tariff officially comes to an end.
For a bit of backstory, many years ago Tasmanians used to be paid a 1:1 Feed in Tarrif. This equated to around 28 cents per kw/hr. This was the rate that was paid to any left over power you didn’t use within your own home.
In the year 2013 that particular tariff was brought to a close, as well it should, because it was becoming clear over the longer term it just wasn’t sustainable. The prices for solar components had dropped by at least 1/2 and in some case 2/3’s, so the shot in the arm that the Solar Feed in Tariff provided to a fledgling industry was given, was now no longer required.
So no new solar customers have had access to the 1:1 for 6 years now. Did it slow down solar sales? Not really. It was only the payment for the left over power that was never used that was changed so a well designed and applied solar system is always going to save you money no matter what the pencil pusher does. It wasn’t as though you were not going to get paid for your export to the grid, you just got paid less for it. For all existing solar customers before 2013 they had their 1:1 feed in tariff for an additional 5 years and this was then called the legacy solar feed in tariff. Then last year at the final minute the state government gave the 2013 solar customers a reprieve and offered another 12 months of 14 cents.
They went from 28 cents to 14 cents and as of the 1st of January it will be 9.3 cents.
Rightly or wrongly there has been a bit of angst about this but it is what it is and quite simply, any power you self consume is worth what you pay for it and your left over power for everyone from the 1st of January is 9.3 cents.
Now what can you do about it and I’m going to list these options for cheapest to most expensive.
Option 1 is to do nothing. Your solar system is still making power. Your still consuming it most likely on Tariff 31 and exports still get sent the grid. The cost for this option is $0
Option 2 is to change to tariff 93, fit a timer to your hot water cylinder. This enables much more self consumption and reduce what you send back to the grid. A very easy way of increasing the value of your solar system’s production and helping your back pocket.
You will need an electrician and DMS Energy will hopefully be your first port of call and the cost will be between $200 to $600 depending on whether your board has a main isolation switch or not. Older board tend not to have one newer board do. This is the lowest cost to improve your situation in regards to solar and I think everyone should do it sooner rather than later as there is going to be a huge rush for this come the new year or more importantly the 1st power bill into the new year.
Option 3 is to add more solar. Either a whole new system or add to the existing. One way of combating a lower solar export rate is to send more of it back to the grid. Though more importantly, many people out there got stuck with small solar systems and have been for the last 6 years as to make any changes was to lose your Legacy solar feed in tariff. As of the 1st of January those shackles have been unlocked and I suggest everyone call 1300 502 599 or call into 56 Sheffield Rd Spreyton to talk about your options. This option has been the most popular with those who have been prepared to forgo the 5 cents extra they were getting to beat the rush in 2020. Also keep in mind while no decision has been made yet we are expecting a new limitation from TasNetworks to either cap the amount of panels we can have at 5kW or 5kW of export limitation. Whichever way it’s going to go, it’s going to be less and your choices will be limited. So there will be a rush as we have had people popping in all year dotting their I’s and crossing their T’s ready to pounce in the new year. So don’t miss out on install spots and don’t dilly dally as your choices will most likely be limited soon.
Finally Option 4
Add battery storage. For those that get a little bit offended about sending their power back to the grid for 9.3 cents you don’t have to, as you can store it and use it yourself later on. I have a battery on my place and it’s the coolest thing I’ve ever bought. Virtually no power bill and I’m black out proof. Is it a great financial choice? Probably not the cheapest of the 4 options but they are walking out the door quickly.
If you want to pop into 56 Sheffield Rd Spreyton we have a fully operational battery system in our showroom where you can check out.
Time to start thinking about what comes next.