As stated on the homepage the current 16 cent feed in tariff (plus the 9.8 cent/Kwh retailer contribution) available to Adelaide residents installing a solar power system is only available until 30 September 2013 – 2 months away now. Approved permission to connect needs to be before this date and you then have 120 days (from 1 October 2013) to make a booking with SA Power Networks to have your import/export meter installed.The tariff is payable until 30 September 2016, meaning, any benefit you get from the feed in tariff will be available to you for 3 years.
The benefit of this feed in tariff is realised to its maximum when the system you have installed is exporting a large percentage of the solar power generated back to the mains grid. For example if you have a 5 Kwatt solar system installed then it can be expected to generate approximately 20 KWh of energy per day. If your household is not at home for the large part of the day when the system is producing solar electricity then, as an example, if your solar system ‘exports’, say 15 KWh of electricity back to the grid the ‘credit’ you will receive (not including the 9.8 cent retailer contribution) for that is 15(KWh) x 16 cents = $2.40 per day, or in a year 365 x $2.40 = $876. So over the 3 years (until 30 September 2016) this 16 cent feed in tariff could generate a credit for you of around $876 x 3 = $2628, a not an insubstantial sum, that helps recoup your investment in a solar system. After 30 September 2013 you will only receive the 9.8 cents/Kwh ‘retailer contribution’ as a feed in tariff.
Obviously for smaller systems like a 1.5 Kwatt system or 2 Kwatt system the relative benefit of the feed in tariff is less and the percentage of power from the system sent back to the grid is the important factor – if you use all of the electricity generated by the solar system in your home (for example if you are home most of the day using washing machines/T.V’s/ air conditioning or electric heating etc) then you may well be using the majority of the power your solar panels produce and the feed in tariff becomes virtually irrelevant.
So the benefit of a feed in tariff is dependent on many factors including the size of your solar system and the amount of solar energy produced that is actually fed back to the S.A. electricity grid, as opposed to the energy produced by the system that is used in your home, offsetting the power you need to pay for from the grid.
If you do wish to qualify for the current feed in tariff do not leave it until the last minute. Keep the 30 September 2013 date in mind.
Solar Feed In Scheme S.A link is here