As many of our Solar Bonus Scheme customers are aware the Solar Bonus Scheme will be ending 31st December 2016.

To smooth over this transition please review the following information.

As always we are here to help and will keep you updated throughout this process.

Why is the scheme ending at the end of 2016?

As the scheme is government subsidised, all energy providers have been passing on these subsidies to eligible customers. The Solar Bonus Scheme has always been legislated to close on 31 December 2016, in accordance with the original intention of Parliament and set out in Section 15A of the Electricity Supply Act 1995. The NSW Government have confirmed they are ending the Solar Bonus Scheme, as planned.

What are my options?

Change to a net metering system.

This will enable you to use your solar power in your home the instant it is being produced. Any excess is exported back to the grid at a rate determined by your retailer (approx 5 – 8 cents/kWh).

Important Advice: To maximise your system’s value once you are on net metering you should aim to MINIMISE the amount of power you export to the grid by using it in your house. This means a change of habit to use energy during daylight hours the day. We recommend where possible using appliances between 10am and 2pm to get the maximum benefit from the solar power. It is important to stagger the usage of appliances not run them all at once.

If you remain on gross metering you will receive very little return (approx 5 – 8 cents/kWh) for the power exported back to the grid, hence we do not recommend this option.

How do I change to net metering?

Most energy retailers are coordinating this service for their customers free of charge. Some retailers such as AGL have begun emailing their SBS customers. We looked into the big 3 retailers and currently their position is:

  • AGL Free to customers, scheduled for December 2016
  • Origin Free to customers
  • Energy Australia are offering four basic plans following the meter changeover
Plan Feed In Mthly Charge
Basic $0.061 $10
1 (inc monitoring and panel clean) 1yr $0.080 $16
2 (inc monitoring and panel clean) 2yr $0.100 $18
3 (inc monitoring and panel clean) 3yr $0.122 $20

External providers such as Superior Solar can complete this for you however the cost for network fees and labour would be $500+.

We recommend you contact your retailer to confirm all the details.

Does my solar system need to be upgraded for net metering?

You DO NOT need to have any additional upgrade to your solar system for this process. There is no need to purchase additional components or change your system in any way to accommodate this process.

Can I add batteries to maximise the net feed in tariff?

Superior Solar can and has provided battery storage capability to grid connected solar power systems. However given the cost of this cutting edge technology it will not maximise your savings at this point in time. Choice recently reviewed the payback time on the new Telsa battery systems which supports this position.

Choice Tesla Powerwall Pay Back Time Review

As pricing for battery technology reduces, investing in power storage will become more viable, we suspect in around 2 – 3 years.