Strathbogie Shire Council

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Bogie Bulk Buy

Is it time to turn that roofspace into an asset?

In 2017-18 Strathbogie Shire Council partnered with Yarra Energy Foundation to run a solar bulk buy for residents, businesses, clubs, farms, weekenders, and off-grid properties. More than half a megawatt (550 kilowatts) of solar was purchased and installed on Strathbogie Shire rooftops which equated to over 25,000 tCO2-e effectively removed from the atmosphere over the life of our resident’s PV systems.

 

Ag solar 2018

 

Additionally, 1% of the kilowatts sold went on to be donated as kilowatts to the Nagambie Bowls Club, who submitted an application with other community groups for Yarra Energy Foundation and Cherry Energy Solutions Community Solar Donation.

This is an ongoing win for our community, as each year approximately $24,000 of solar-savings – money not heading to energy retailers – might be spent on school uniforms, a BBQ with friends, new fencing from a local business, or maybe a holiday. Solar makes Strathbogie Shire a more liveable place to be.

Some people have asked about Tariffs and what their Retailer is charging them after they installed solar.

 

What happens to my electricity rates after I install solar?

Some new solar PV customers have discovered that their retailer will update their tariff structure for hot water, heating or air-conditioning – particularly if they had off-peak rates for dedicated off-peak loads.

 

Feed In Tariff Facts

A solar feed in tariff (FIT) is a payment you receive via your electricity retailer as a credit on your bill for the excess electricity your PV system produces and feeds back into the electricity grid.

At certain times of the day, your PV panels may be producing more electricity than your household is using – especially if you are at work and haven’t set timers on your dishwasher!

Every kilowatt hour of solar electricity that an electricity retailers customers export into the national electricity grid is paid back to the retailer by the distributor.

  1. A fixed FIT is now set at a minimum of 9.9 cents per kWh for 2018-19 and your retailer must offer at least this minimum FIT. They can also offer you anything above the minimum FIT. You may note that this year’s FIT is lower than last year’s FIT of 11.3 cents. This was altered by the Electricity Services Commission because of changes to the forecast wholesale price of electricity.

  2. However a retailer may also offer a ‘time varying’ tariff which was introduced on 1 July 2018. If you choose a retailer who offers this, you could be credited between 7.1 cents and 29 cents per kWh, depending on the time of day. Time varying tariffs particularly suit those households and businesses who have installed batteries.

  3. If you are an existing solar household you can contact your electricity retailer and ask them what solar plans they are offering their customers. Remember, it’s always good to compare your retailer with the market regularly. Go to the independent Victorian Government energy price comparison site https://compare.energy.vic.gov.au/

  4. If you are offered a time-varying feed-in-tariff you can try to maximise the benefit by reducing your power usage between 3pm and 9pm on weekdays so more power is sold to the grid.

  5. If you are thinking about installing solar in the future it is worth keeping in mind that late-afternoon generation is likely to be more valuable in the future, making west-facing panels a excellent idea.

There are set guidelines for time varying tariffs which are:

Period

Weekday

Weekend

Rate: cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh)

Off peak

10pm to 7am

10pm to 7am

7.1 c/kWh

Shoulder

7am to 3pm, 9pm to 10pm

7am to 10pm

10.3 c/kWh

Peak

3pm to 9pm

n/a

29.0 c/kWh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How is the minimum FIT calculated?

The Electricity Services Commission (ESC) calculates the minimum FIT by forecasting the wholesale price of electricity for the coming year. The forecast price is only estimated for ‘solar hours’ when solar is being fed back into the electricity grid.

The minimum FIT also includes a price that is paid to account for the avoided social cost of carbon attributable to a reduction in air pollution due to the energy exported by your solar panels. This rate is currently set by the Victorian Government at 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour.

 

 What can you do?

  1. If you are an existing solar household you can contact your electricity retailer and ask them what solar plans they are offering their customers. Remember, it’s always good to compare your retailer with the market regularly. Go to the independent Victorian Government energy price comparison site https://compare.energy.vic.gov.au/

  2. If you are offered a time-varying feed-in-tariff you can try to maximise the benefit by reducing your power usage between 3pm and 9pm on weekdays so more power is sold to the grid.

  3. If you are thinking about installing solar in the future it is worth keeping in mind that late-afternoon generation is likely to be more valuable in the future, making west-facing panels a excellent idea.

 

 

 



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