A Feed-in Tariff (FiT) is a pricing mechanism whereby an electricity utility pays a customer for the excess electricity generated by the customer’s micro distributed generation systems and exported (ie "feed-in") to the grid.
The electricity produced by grid-connected customers is generally referred to as ‘distributed generation’, the most common form of which is small-scale, solar Photo Voltaic (PV) panels. Distributed generation systems are typically connected to the grid through ‘import/export’ meters. These meters record the quantity of electricity drawn from the grid separately from the amount that the micro distributed generation system feeds into the grid.
* Section 44B of the Electricity Supply Industry Act 1995 defines a “qualifying system” as a system that:
- generates electricity from either solar, wind or water;
- complies with Australian Standard AS4777; and
- has a maximum generating capacity of 10kW (single phase) / 30kW (three phase).
Up until 30 August 2013, the FiT offered by Aurora Energy on a voluntary basis was called the net metering buyback scheme (NMBS). The NMBS offered customers a ‘one-for-one’ (1:1) FiT at the regulated light-and-power tariff (Tariff 31 for residential customers) or general supply tariff (Tariff 22 for small business customers) for their net exported electricity.
In December 2012, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed on revised National Principles for Feed-in Tariff Arrangements (see Attachment B of the Regulator’s October 2013 Regulated FiT Final Report).
These revised principles outline, amongst other things, that all premium FiT arrangements were to be closed to new participants by 2014. Furthermore, all other FiT customers were to receive a ‘fair and reasonable’ value for their exported electricity. Consistent with this, premium FiT schemes are now closed to new participants and each Australian jurisdiction has determined new ‘fair and reasonable’ values for exported electricity for new FiT customers. Electricity retailers may voluntarily pass on a higher FiT amount as part of their unregulated market offers.
Consistent with the COAG reforms, and as part of the 2013 electricity reforms, the FiT rate applying in Tasmania was reviewed.
Following the release of an issues paper on 16 May 2013 and consideration of submissions received on that paper, the Government at that time announced the following policy position on 18 August 2013:
- the then current one-for-one FiT arrangement would be closed at midnight on 30 August 2013 and would be grandfathered for existing until 1 January 2019;
- customers applying to install eligible micro distributed generation systems on or after 31 August 2013 would be entitled to a feed-in-tariff rate of 8 c/kWh from 31 August 2013 until 31 December 2013;
- the Regulator would determine the Standard Feed-in Tariff Rate to apply from 1 January 2014 for all new installations occurring on or after 31 August 2013 ; and
- the Regulator would review the FiT rate on an annual basis.
Transitional Feed-in Tariff Rates
The following customers are entitled to a transitional Feed-in Tariff rate in accordance with section 44D of the Electricity Supply Industry Act 1995 :
That is, in respect of billing periods, and those parts of billing periods, that expire before 1 January 2019, these customers (‘transitional feed-in tariff customers’) will continue to be entitled to receive the FiT rates specified in the following table:
- customers that had a qualifying micro distributed generation system installed as at 31 August 2013; or
- customers that entered into a contract to install a qualifying new micro distributed generation system or extend an existing micro distributed generation system before 31 August 2013 and the new system or extension was installed and connected before 31 August 2014 (for customers that had contracts to install or extend a system before 31 August 2013 an application must have also been lodged with and approved by the distributor (TasNetworks) by 31 August 2013).
Table 1: Transitional feed-in tariff rates for transitional feed-in tariff customers
c/kWh for first 500 kWh supplied during each billing period
c/kWh for each kWh supplied after the first 500 kWh during each billing period
28.283 (including GST)
N/A - see column (1)
N/A - see column (1)
N/A - see Columns (2) and (3)
38.577 (including GST)
28.319 (including GST)
Customers with systems with generating capacity greater than 10kW continue to be eligible for the transitional feed-in rate where, prior to 31 August 2013, an application to connect a larger capacity system was submitted, and accepted by the electricity distributor.
Standard Feed-in Tariff Rates
Regulated Feed-in Tariff rates for standard Feed-in Tariff customers
The regulated FiT rates for standard FiT customers calculated in accordance with the FiT Determination are as follows:
Table 2: Regulated FiT rates for standard FiT customers by Period
c/kWh (excluding GST)
1 January 2014 - 30 June 2014
1 July 2014 - 30 June 2015
1 July 2015 - 30 June 2016
The regulated FiT rate applying from 1 July 2015 is slightly lower than the rate that applied for the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015 due to a small reduction in the wholesale electricity price (WEP) for the 2015-16 financial year. Movements in the WEP have a major impact on the calculation of the regulated FiT rate as outlined in the formula set out in the FiT Determination.
2016 Regulated Feed-in Tariff Rate Investigation and Determination
The Regulator has commenced a Regulated Feed-in Tariff rate pricing investigation.
Further information regarding the 2016 Regulated Feed-in Tariff Rate Investigation and Determination, including timeframes for the investigation, the Draft Report and the Draft Determination can be found here.
2013 Regulated Feed-in Tariff Rate Investigation and Determination
In August 2013, the Regulator was required, by the Minister of Finance, to investigate and recommend to the Government a ‘fair and reasonable’ value, to apply from 1 January 2014, for regulated FiT for residential and small businesses customers.
The Regulator’s final report (released in October 2013) and determination (released in December 2013) set out the formula for calculating relevant FiT rates and the minimum FiT rate to apply for the regulatory periods.
Further information regarding the 2013 Regulated Feed-in Tariff Rate Investigation and Determination can be found here.