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Why WA’s new 3 cent feed-in tariff isn’t as bad as you think

Posted in Industry news

Australian rooftops

Western Australia has launched a new solar buyback scheme that will reward solar owners for exporting solar power later in the day. 

From 6 November 2020, the Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme (DEBS) will introduce new time of export payments for electricity exported from solar panel systems, solar batteries and electric vehicles – 10c/kWh between 3pm and 9pm and 3c/kWh at all other times.  

This is designed to discourage solar owners from exporting solar power during the day when solar output is at its peak. Instead, solar owners will be paid more for their solar exports between 3pm and 9pm, when electricity demand increases and solar output traditionally drops off.

Plus, WA says the DEBS prices better reflect the wholesale cost of energy. Solar owners will be paid more for their solar exports when wholesale energy prices peak (between 3pm and 9pm) and less when that price is low.

If you already have solar, the new scheme won’t apply to. You can opt into DEBS if you like, otherwise you’ll remain on your current feed-in tariff (7c/kWh) unless you upgrade your solar system or add a battery.

 

What does this mean if I’m considering getting solar?

If you’re thinking about installing solar, don’t be phased. Solar is still a great investment. Western Australia is the sunniest state in Australia and with relatively low solar system prices, your system could pay itself off in just a few years and deliver you savings for many more. 

To take advantage of these new DEBS rates, you should:

  1. Get west-facing solar panels (or a combination of west and north-facing). These will generate electricity further into the evening which not only aligns with when most people use electricity, but it will allow you to take advantage of the peak 10c feed-in tariff. 
  2. Use as much of your solar energy at home during the day as possible, rather than exporting it for 3c. Whether you’re on the DEBS scheme or not, the big solar savings come from not paying for electricity, rather than earning money on your solar exports. 
  3. Get a battery – the new rates make getting a battery with your panels a smarter decision than ever. You’ll be able to use your excess solar energy to charge your battery during the day rather than exporting it for as little as a tenth of what you pay for electricity in the evening. Then when the sun goes down, you’ll be able to run your home on free solar power rather than buying electricity. In fact, thanks to DEBS, we estimate that the average customer getting solar panels and a battery today would be an additional $260 better off than the same customer doing so just a few months ago*.

 

Our solar and battery system can pay for itself in 7 years**

Designed specifically for households adding solar panels and a battery at the same time, our solar and battery package brings world-leading, tier 1 solar panels together with an Australian-designed battery solution in one streamlined, cost-effective package. 

The package comes in a range of sizes depending on your energy needs, household set-up and budget. Plus there are financing options available so you can start saving with your solar and battery system now, and pay it off over time. 

View the solar and battery package

 

If you already have solar, but want to add a battery, check out our solar battery package.

 

 

*This scenario uses a 6.6kW solar system and a ~10kWh battery, using Synergy Home Plan A1 usage rates and comparing a 7c fixed feed-in tariff versus a 3/10c feed-in tariff as per the new DEBS Scheme.

**This scenario is the 6.6kW system and a mid sized battery (7kWh). Assuming typical generation in Victoria and assuming battery gets cycled 90% of the time at 90% depth, solar savings are estimated at $1,734 ($0.20 average value of the solar generated, which could be 10c FiT and 30c usage rate at 50/50% as an example). Battery savings would be an additional $440 per annum, for total savings of $2,174.

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