Solar Feed In Tariffs In Australia

A solar feed-in tariff is the amount you are paid per kilowatt-hour for surplus solar electricity exported from your PV system to the mains grid. This is also referred to as the “buyback rate”.

Feed-in tariffs are often confused with Australia’s ‘solar rebate’. The national rebate (subsidy) is a different incentive offering a point of sale discount on the price of a new solar power system. It can be worth thousands of dollars (and is still very much alive and kicking).

Feed in tariffs are also still available across Australia, but the rates are less generous than they used to be some years ago. However, this doesn’t make solar power any less of a good investment – in fact, it’s quite the opposite; particularly given how the cost of installing solar power has plummeted over the years.

The buyback rates paid were initially very high to encourage the uptake of solar panels, back when solar power systems cost 3 to 4 times the price they are now. The incentive worked. The solar industry is now well-established and prices for Australian solar PV systems are the lowest in the world, thanks to high uptake and efficient installers.

Solar feed in tariffs have also dropped due to reductions in wholesale electricity pricing during daylight hours – and this is partly thanks to the rooftop solar energy revolution.

Feed-in tariffs are a handy bonus, but the greatest value in owning a solar power system is gained by maximising self-consumption of the electricity it generates.

How Solar Feed In Tariffs Work

When your rooftop solar panels generate more electricity than your home is using at the time, it isn’t wasted. This surplus energy flows into the mains electricity grid for others to use. Feed-in tariffs are the payment you receive for exporting that energy to the grid.

Solar feed-in tariffs for new rooftop solar energy systems have been generally quite low for the past few years, and while there was a rate boost in July 2017, the higher rates subsequently started to drop again due to decreases in wholesale electricity prices.

As wholesale electricity prices skyrocketed in 2022, some states also lifted solar feed-in tariff rate instructions or guidance. But there were decreases in others due to the dampening effect so much solar energy being in the grid has on wholesale electricity prices during the day.

Regardless of the ups and downs in rates, solar’s very strong value proposition will remain.

Some Australian households also still benefit from high feed-in tariffs they obtained in the past; having locked in a higher buyback rate as explained below with what are now legacy programs. But often in those cases, if these solar households upgrade their systems, they lose their “premium” FiT rate.

Solar households with batteries may also be able to receive higher feed-in tariff rates through participation in a VPP (Virtual Power Plant).

Compare Feed-in Tariffs In Your Area

The best and easiest way to find and compare the solar feed-in tariffs currently offered by electricity retailers in your area is to use our electricity plan comparison tool and enter your postcode. But bear in mind the highest rates don’t always represent the best overall plan – I explain this more below.

Current Feed-in Tariff Rates By Australian State & Territory

The range in current solar feed-in tariffs for each state and territory in Australia are shown on the pages below.

Click on the state or territory to be taken to a page with more detailed information on that region’s current buyback rate and historical solar feed-in tariff information.

Feed in tariff rates and detailed information for:  

Feed-in Tariff Rates Used To Be High

Around 2010 when buying rooftop solar power in Australia was far, far more expensive than it is now, feed-in tariffs were much more generous and some state/territory programs locked in a timeframe for how long these rates would apply to those who signed up.

As a result, there are some households in Victoria who will receive a 60 cent feed-in tariff rate until 2024, Queenslanders who will receive 44 cents buyback rate until 2028, South Australians getting 44c per kWh  until 2028, and people in the ACT who will receive a rate 47.5 cents until 2031. To find details on these legacy feed-in tariffs, click on the state or territory above.

Highest Feed-in Tariff Rate Is Not Necessarily The Best

In NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT, current feed-in tariffs are only what electricity retailers offer and can range from nothing up to 20 cents.

But the highest feed-in tariff is not necessarily the best and nor may it result in the lowest electricity bills. What you should be looking for is an electricity plan offering a balance of generous feed-in-tariffs, low usage tariffs and low daily charges. Click here to compare feed in tariffs and energy plans Australian electricity retailers offer solar owners.

Feed-in tariff comparison tool

How Can I Tell What My Current Feed-in Tariff Rate Is?

Rates may and do vary between electricity retailers. If you are not sure what the feed-in tariff you are receiving is, it should be on your electricity bill. If you can’t find the buyback rate, you can call your electricity retailer to check this information.

A Solar Feed-in Tariff Is Different From The Solar Rebate

As mentioned, solar feed-in tariffs are a payment for electricity sent into the grid after solar panels have been installed, while the solar rebate lowers the up-front cost of buying a solar power system. For most installations, the solar rebate (which isn’t really a rebate but a point of sale discount) provides a discount of several thousand dollars.

Australia’s solar rebate is being gradually phased out over the coming years and will come to an end on the 31st of December 2030. While technically it is not a rebate, that is what it is commonly called and why we tend to reference it this way.

Help! My Electricity Bill Says I’m Not Getting Any Feed-in Tariff!

If you have rooftop solar panels and you’re not receiving any feed-in tariff, it probably means your electricity plan doesn’t have a buyback feature. This can be rectified either by changing your energy plan or by changing your electricity retailer.

Some people have not received their solar feed-in tariff because of red tape. My parents weren’t getting theirs and when they looked into it they were told it was because there was an error on their application form. They would need to pay either an electrician or a solar installer to fill in a form to correct it.

In response to this my father instructed them to place the application in an uncomfortable location – and as a result they still aren’t receiving the incentive. 

 To get your quotes, please enter your postcode: