1. Choosing your electricity retail offer
- To take up a feed-in tariff, you will need to create a new contract with an electricity retail company of your choice.
- Shop around for the deal that best suits you as different electricity retailers may offer different prices and different terms and conditions. Read more about what's on offer.
- When you change to a feed-in tariff plan, you will most likely be transferred to peak and off-peak electricity pricing. Compare offers carefully. Many people will benefit from peak and off-peak rates. Learn more
- Be sure to also check with your electricity retailer about:
- whether your dedicated off-peak rates might change, if you have off-peak hot water, space heating or air-conditioning
- whether you can keep your existing electricity purchase discounts
- administration fees (if any)
- how Renewable Energy Certificates are handled
- what happens to excess feed-in tariff credits
Please note that as of June 2013 all distributed generation systems in the Powercor distribution area require a technical pre-approval check regardless of system size. These pre-approvals expire in 90 days by which date the Solar Connection Form, Electrical Works Request and Certificate of Electrical Safety will need to have been received by Powercor. Under certain circumstances this expiry period may be extended. Powercor have advised that pre-approvals are usually processed within 8-10 working days.
In the SP AusNet distribution area, a technical pre-approval check is required for all distributed generation systems greater than 4.6kW in capacity.
In the Citipower distribution area, technical pre-approvals are required for any distributed generation system over 4.6kW and/or that is supplied by a Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) line.
In the Jemena and United Energy distribution areas pre-approvals are required for distributed generation systems greater than 10kW.
For more information, including any associated fees, please contact your electricity distributor.
3. Installing solar panels
- Shop around for quotes from different solar installers. A list of accredited installers of solar PV systems is available at www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au
- Ask if you will receive any Renewable Energy Certificates as part of your solar installation or whether they will be transferred to the solar installer.
- Take time to compare quotes from solar PV installers.
- Be wary of claims that you will never pay an electricity bill again after installing solar. Read more about misleading claims about solar
- Find out about the paperwork involved and work with your installer to make sure it's submitted to your electricity suppliers promptly.
- Ensure that the type of renewable energy system you are planning to install is available under the Feed-in Tariff.
4. Upgrading your electricity meter
- To access the feed-in tariff, you may need a new electricity meter which can measure both the power you use (imports) and the power you send to the grid (exports). This meter will record your power imports and exports every half hour.
- Depending on where you live, you may get an interval meter or a smart meter when your solar panels are installed. Interval meters will eventually be replaced with a new smart meter when the rollout reaches your area. Read more about Smart Meters.
5. Already have solar panels?
- If you already have a solar system installed and think that you may be eligible to receive a feed-in tariff, contact your electricity retailer and ask about their best offer. Compare this offer with a few other retailers' offers.
- If you already have a the Transitional or Premium feed-in tariffs, you can switch between retailers for the best offer for you. But you can’t switch retailer under the Standard Feed-in Tariff as from 1 January all electricity retail companies will only offer the new wholesale based rate.
5. Additional financial support
- Sustainability Victoria and the Federal Government may also offer additional support if you’re installing solar or other renewable energy. Read more about other support
- Read more about the paperwork involved in installing solar
- Read more about feed in tariffs