Across Australia, feed-in tariffs are sitting at a historical low and are getting lower every year. This downward trend is leading many people to see solar as “not worth it anymore”, a “waste of money” or, in some cases, a “scam”.

As for Victoria, the rate remains 12.0 cents per kWh for now, but is currently under review. A new rate will be announced to apply from February if there is to be any change1.

Energy Australia’s new feed-in rates show a drop in price for three states and the addition of the Australian Capital Territory to the scheme.

The ACT government has taken steps to re-affirm its commitment to maintaining its 100% renewable electricity target in perpetuity, at the same as the territory locks-in a feed-in tariff rate for its first community solar farm.

The company said feed-in tariffs for residential customers in Queensland, NSW and South Australia will rise by between 77 and 140 percent as wholesale power price rises are set to inflate power bills across those states.

The report, by the Alternative Technology Association (ATA), says that current market indicators, including falling technology costs and rising feed-in tariffs, mean that the economics now favour larger rooftop solar systems – 5kW and above – for almost all types of households in almost all locations.

All of these energy companies have deliberately designed their contracts to be complex and difficult for the ordinary consumer to discern which one is the best value overall eg – a higher feed-in tariff could be undermined by other features in the contract.

One of the biggest barriers to decentralised energy has been the fact that as soon as a local generator wants to sell energy into the grid, full network charges apply. Even if you are only generating and consuming energy within the same apartment building or shopping centre, as soon as it goes through the customer’s meter, the network puts its hand just as deep in your pocket as if your power is coming from hundreds of kilometres away.* Depending on where you live, that can be half your bill.

The main advantage of FITs was investment security for renewable generators and protection from the volatility of the wholesale electricity markets. They also allow for generation-specific support, through setting tariffs according to the cost of different kinds of renewable generation. Setting the right tariff level has been the major difficulties of FIT schemes, with overly generous tariff setting leading to unnecessary costs for consumers.

  On September 10, 2008, the the Clean Energy Council testified before the Senate Environmental Committee’s formal inquiry into a … Read more