With the introduction of the solar power net feed in tariff to Queensland comes a great opportunity to maximise the return on your solar power system. Here at Gold Coast Solar Power Solutions we recommend you implement the following to see your investment in renewable power bring you the maximum returns possible.
Please note that this article is in regards to the now obsolete QLD 44c solar power net feed in tariff. If you are not already on the 44c feed in tariff please click here
The 44c solar power net feed in tariff works by paying you a higher rate for any excess or surplus power that you produce and feed back into the grid. Therefore to maximise your return, it will work out in your favour to import as much of your solar power to the grid as possible. On the Gold Coast and in the whole of Queensland you are paid a minimum of 44c per kWh for this surplus solar power, electricity you buy to power your home from the grid is currently charged at around 31c a kWh.
What you need to do is minimise the amount of power you use when your solar panels are generating power, so the renewable power you produce is going straight back into the grid, not just being used up inside your home. To achieve this, use your power hungry appliances early in the morning or from late afternoon onwards, not during the middle of the day when your solar power output is at it’s highest.
This strategy will obviously work out best if no one is at home during the day, as very little power will be being used whilst no one is home. Your solar power will be powering any loads that you have on such as fridges and stand-by loads, then as soon as they are covered you would have surplus solar power going back to the grid at a higher rate via the net feed in tariff.
Solar Power Net Feed in tariff rate
On the Gold Coast there are two solar power net feed in tariff’s available, and it all depends when you lodged your paperwork with Energex as to which one is applicable. The old Queensland 44c solar power net feed in tariff was for a minimum of 44c per kWh paid for solar power that is in surplus to your power consumption. Some electricity retailers are prepared to pay a higher rate for your solar surplus, with Urth Energy currently paying up to 54c per kWh for your surplus solar power via the solar power net feed in tariff.
If you are a new solar power customer and have just recently lodged an application with Energex or are looking to in the near future then you will be receiving the new Queensland solar power net feed in tariff which is set by the electricity retailers. With this solar power net feed in tariff a whole different strategy has to be used. Check it out here.
Size of your solar power system
With any solar feed in tariff it is going to save you the most power and therefore money by installing the largest system your site and budget can handle, as the larger the system the more surplus power will be fed back into the grid at the higher rate via the feed in tariff. Another benefit with the larger systems is that your property will always be using some power, whether it be fridges or stand by loads. These appliances that are using power during the day need to be powered by your solar power system before power is fed back to the grid in surplus.
Can you add more solar panels to your solar power system? Find out here
If you are using between 600 to 800 Watts of power throughout the day it will take a 1kW solar power system to just cover your daytime usage before even really beginning to send any power back to the grid as surplus via the net feed in tariff. If you look at that example a 2kW solar power system will really only produce around 4.5 kWh of solar power per day that is actually going back to the grid as surplus, as the rest of the solar power is being used to just power your property.