Everything You Need To Know About Net Metering In Australia

Everything You Need To Know About Net Metering In Australia

Are you tired of paying high electricity bills? And are you worried about your environmental footprint? 

Many Australians feel the same way. Electricity prices are driving people to explore alternative options. One popular choice is solar Net Metering. It provides a more affordable and eco-friendly alternative to grid electricity. 

In light of the current situation, here’s everything you need to know about net metering in Australia  

The adoption of solar panels in Australia saw a significant increase. Australians increasingly turn to solar energy to combat the rising cost of living. Many average Australian households are installing solar panels or extending their existing systems. 

Australian residents have a strong reason for being ahead of solar energy use. Embracing solar panels can help ordinary individuals reduce their energy expenses and environmental impact.  

Some people go off-grid, while others enjoy solar and grid electricity. And net metering allows them to have the best of both worlds. 

Net metering lets you stay connected to the power grid while saving money on your energy bills. And it ultimately makes the transition to solar power easier. 

What Exactly Is A Net Meter?

A net meter is a device to measure the electricity consumption in your home. It displays the energy production and consumption rate. Moreover, it helps in determining the additional solar requirement your house needs. 

The meter can run backwards with net metering. And you will only be billed for the net difference. Your solar system can feed energy back to the grid regularly. Depending on your net meter type, it can return electricity to the grid every 30 minutes or at the end of each day.  

In Australia, DIY solar installations usually do not qualify for net metering or other feed-in tariffs. It’s a requirement to have a professional install your solar panels and connect them to the grid. 

What Is Net Metering With Solar Energy?

Many governments encourage their residents to produce domestic solar energy to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.  

However, relying solely on solar power might only sustain a home partially. Since solar only produces energy when the sun is shining, more production might be required. The initial cost of solar batteries can also be high. 

Ideally, a solar panel system would be connected to the grid. It allows the meter to contribute and draw power from it. Different metering techniques are used to accommodate various tariff and incentive programs.  

One of the methods is known as net metering. It involves using a meter that can count in both directions. Individuals only pay for the net energy they consume. If consumers generate more power than they use, they receive credit for the excess at predetermined rates and conditions. 

Another option is dual metering, where customers have two one-way meters. They can feed all the energy they generate back into the grid. This type of metering is useful when the appliances get electricity from the household producer at a different rate than from the grid.  

The rate at which the utility purchases excess energy is called the feed-in tariff (FiT). Australia’s FiT program has changed over the years, and the existing rates are now lower than before, encouraging users to produce just enough energy to meet their needs. 

Because of net metering, traditional homes and businesses can use solar energy while remaining connected to the grid. Net metering incentivises consumers who use solar panels and connect their system to the power grid. 

Net metering is utilised in various countries worldwide. And people using solar panels can expect to be compensated at a rate competitive to traditional grid electricity.  

In Australia, excess energy generated by solar panels is balanced at the market electricity price. Consequently, energy bills are calculated based on the difference between total energy use and the amount of energy generated by solar panels. 

Functions Of The Australian Net Metering System

grid system

With a solar Net Metering system, the sun can become the primary power source for various electronic devices like televisions, microwaves, and air conditioners. Solar panels can offset a significant portion of a home’s annual electricity consumption. 

Any surplus energy generated is sent back into the grid system. If solar energy production is less due to low output or harsh weather, it requires more grid electricity. Large-Scale batteries can complement the home’s power supply. 

Excess energy can be stored in the grid for future use. The electricity your home generates and sends back to the grid is not obliged for any penalties. And it ensures that you fully utilise solar energy and avoid increasing your tariff. 

Moreover, besides being environmentally friendly, the Net Metering system is cost-effective. Your monthly energy bills will be proportional to the energy transferred between your home and the grid. 

Measurement Of Solar Power System

In Australia, the measurement of solar power systems involves two systems: Solar Net Metering and Gross Net Metering. 

For net metering users, any extra energy generated by the household can be credited or paid for. On the other hand, with gross metering, the solar power generated is directly exported to the grid. And the user is compensated for this production. 

Gross metering utilises separate measurements for the import and export of power. Net Metering involves a two-way reading system that tracks the solar energy and the excess energy you feed into the grid. You can enjoy solar feed-in tariffs with net metering. 

Import refers to the power drawn from the grid. When your home consumes more energy than your solar panels generate, you import energy from the grid. Each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of imported electricity is charged at the retail electricity rate, ranging from 22c to 55c per kWh, depending on your tariff. 

Export indicates the solar energy you contribute to the grid. When your solar panels produce more energy than your home needs, you export the excess energy to the grid. You receive compensation through a feed-in tariff for each kWh of electricity exported. 

Key Points To Keep In Mind:

  • After installing your solar system, setting up your meter is essential. 
  • Customers with smart meters must configure them for net metering. 
  • Customers using basic meters will need a new meter compatible with solar energy. 
  • Upgrading to a net meter is included in the solar installation process for customers in QLD and VIC  
  • Customers in other states must request net metering from their current electricity provider. 

Different Types Of Net Metering

net metering

Virtual Net Metering

Virtual Net Metering allows you to harness the advantages of solar energy without installing solar panels on your property. Instead, it transfers and fulfils your household’s energy requirements through electricity sourced from a solar panel site. 

Aggregate Net Metering

With Aggregate Net Metering, the solar energy generated by one home or flat can be utilised to support and supply power to another dwelling. 

Remote Net Metering

Remote Net Metering is a specialised system designed to benefit farms and other non-residential customers. It enables them to accumulate significant energy credits, reducing their electricity bills. 

Benefits Of Net Metering

Net Metering offers numerous benefits to both individual homeowners and the environment. Below are some advantages that come with installing a grid-tied solar panel system: 

Lower Energy Bills

One of the main benefits of transitioning to solar power is the cost savings. If you live in a sunny state, you can expect a significant reduction in your energy expenses.  

Producing ample solar power to meet your energy consumption might enable you to earn money through Net Metering. You’ll only pay for electricity when your solar generation falls short. And any excess energy you return to the grid can be credited to you.  

Powers Multiple Spaces

Solar panels and solar panel kits can be utilised not only on your primary residence but also on secondary buildings like cabins, garages, sheds, and even electric vehicles. Whether you have an urban home or a rural farm, everyone can benefit from harnessing solar power. 

Minimises Your Carbon Footprint

Adopting solar power can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. By becoming more self-sufficient, you contribute to conserving precious natural resources. Solar energy is much more eco-friendly than electric or gas-powered generators. 

And it often encourages individuals to be more conscious of unnecessary energy consumption. 

Is Net Metering Available In Your State?

Solar energy is gaining popularity throughout Australia, but the availability of incentives and Net Metering varies among states. Not all regions in Australia are eligible for Net Metering.  

However, the following states or cities do offer Net Metering: 

  • Adelaide 
  • Alice Springs 
  • Blacktown 
  • Central Victoria 
  • Moreland 
  • Perth 
  • Townsville 

Net Metering is sometimes referred to as a feed-in tariff. These feed-in tariffs or refunds are typically offered at the discretion of different energy utility providers. As a result, the availability of these tariffs differs across the country based on the state and energy retailers 

These feed-in tariffs function as Net Metering, providing financial compensation against your energy bill when you supply excess solar power back to the electricity grid. 

What is a Feed-in Tariff (FiT)?

In Australia, every household receives payment from their electricity retailer for any surplus solar energy, which is sent back to the grid.  

This payment appears as a credit on your energy bill. The value of the feed-in tariff varies across states and among different electricity retailers. 

When your electric provider offers a feed-in tariff (FIT), surplus electricity is credited at a rate different from the retail price. Typically, this FIT is lower than the regular retail price. Your solar FiT calculation excludes production, transportation, and profits costs. 

Transitioning To Solar Energy

Now that you understand how solar Net Metering operates in Australia, you can decide if getting solar panels is suitable for your household. 

With solar power, you can reduce energy costs. Besides Net Metering, certain Australian states offer additional financial incentives to offset setup expenses partially. 

The shift to solar benefits your finances and the environment. Solar energy is renewable and conserves valuable resources. You actively contribute to reducing your carbon footprint by powering appliances with solar energy. 

So why not be a part of positive change and switch to solar panels with Solar Emporium 

Our Solar Experts are here to Help!

5 Easy Steps To Invest In Solar Energy In 2023

5 Easy Steps To Invest In Solar Energy In 2023
As technology has advanced and costs have decreased, consumers and businesses are increasingly interested in solar energy. Renewable energy sources are in higher demand since fossil fuel prices are high. Consequently, there are many ways to profit from solar energy while oil prices rises.
Therefore, we have compiled a solar investment guide showing 5 easy steps to invest in solar energy in 2023! But is solar actually profitable? Let’s see. 
  • Solar energy has become popular over the last decade as solar panel prices have plummeted. 
  • Over the next few years, solar is expected to be just as cost-effective as fossil fuels.
  • Several publicly traded companies are involved in the solar industry, ranging from PV production to panel installation.
Solar power is becoming more cost-effective and efficient at converting the sun’s energy into usable electricity. People benefit from net metering and lower energy bills by installing solar panels in homes or businesses. So what are the 5 easy steps for solar investment? 

1. Invest in Solar Stock

Newer reports show an average annual solar growth rate of 52%. Moreover, as the oversupply from Chinese production is met by increasing demand, the profits of solar companies are likely to increase. Solar panels are a sound investment in all Australian states, regardless of how much energy you use.
Solar panels are still a great investment in Australia. Even though the upfront cost, long-term savings, and payback time can vary greatly.
Renewable Utilities Stocks List Australia 2023 provides a detailed list of how and where to invest in solar stocks. It includes firms that manufacture solar power equipment and products for end users. Those that manufacture equipment used by solar panel manufacturers, and those that specialize in solar cell manufacturing. As of February 19, 2022, the fund had a year-to-date return of -15.59% and a three-year return of 41.10%. 

2. Invest in Land Development for Utility-scale Solar

Solar Farms are getting more common
Land development utility-scale solar is a power generation facility that provides energy to the electric grid. These are also known as solar farms. Solar farm includes small-scale and large-scale solar.
Investing in utility-scale solar land is a more targeted approach to investing in the solar industry. A combination of fossil fuels, nuclear energy, and renewable energy typically powers utilities. These plants increase in value in sunny places like Australia.
Investing in a solar power plant can provide numerous advantages, including the following:
  • Excellent return on investment 
  • Long-term contracts 
  • Cash flows tied to inflation 
  • Low volatility as a result of predictable revenue 
  • Earnings throughout the year 
  • Contributing to the growth of clean energy sources 

3. Contribute to Solar Installation Process

Most state governments provide a tax break or grant to encourage more widespread use of solar panels. As a result, the total cost after installation could be lower than the sticker price. Furthermore, tax credits for solar energy help lower annual tax bills. However, net metering is the best way to profit from installing solar panels on your roof.
Net metering allows utility customers to produce their own solar energy to feed some excess energy back into the grid. This billing method credits solar customers’ electricity consumption, lowering monthly bills. Most cities in Australia have already passed net metering legislation. But the benefits of net metering can vary for solar customers across the country depending on various legislation and implementation.
The total estimation of Savings from solar panels adds up to much higher numbers.

4. Invest in Solar Panel Manufacturing

The solar panels are on the opposite end of the solar investment supply chain. The global supply of solar panels needs to be increased to meet demand. Like many others, innovative solar PV panel manufacturing and assembly startup businesses require early-stage capital to get off the ground.
Direct investments in renewable energy benefit our environment in the following ways:
  • Enhancing energy efficiency 
  • Improving access to electricity 
  • Promoting economic development 
  • Reducing climate action 
Businesses and business owners can invest in renewable energy through onsite and offsite direct investments. Given the solar industry’s rapid growth over the last decade, investing in domestic solar manufacturing is wise. The recurring revenue could pay dividends for years, resulting in a high ROI.

5. Be A Solar Homeowner

Solar system has become more accessible
Solar panel investment is highly profitable. However, you do need some initial investment before you start saving money. In the long run, having a solar home counts as an investment because of the ROI. Check out Clean Energy Council’s solar guide to know the incentives and rebates on solar based on your area. 
You can also earn money in exchange for the green energy shared by transferring the excess energy produced by his panels to the local utility grid. You also get the added benefit of reduced electricity bills. As soon as you install solar, you’ll receive a minimal amount for your electricity bill, increasing your savings.
To get the best prices on your solar panels and various solar solutions, get in touch with us Right Now! 

Our Solar Experts are here to Help!

Science Of Solar And How Does it Work?

Science of solar
Solar energy’s popularity is no surprise to anyone anymore. P.V.s have reached many households, even in the most rural areas. Australia is taking the utmost advantage of the possibilities of solar.
Solar energy’s popularity is no surprise to anyone anymore. P.V.s have reached many households, even in the most rural areas. Australia is taking the utmost advantage of the possibilities of solar.
As solar reaches every home, people are getting more interested in the science behind solar. Therefore, we have taken the liberty to explain the science of solar and how it works. Let’s get into it then, shall we?

How Does Solar Energy Function?

The science behind solar power is amazing. Solar energy generates electricity by converting the sun’s energy. The sun generates two types of energy, which are electricity and heat. Both are produced using solar panels, ranging in size from residential rooftops to “solar farms” spanning acres of rural land.
The sun functions as a natural nuclear reactor in the solar system. It emits photons, which are tiny portions of energy that travel 149.6 million kilometers to our Earth. It travels for about 8.5 minutes. When photons strike a solar cell, they dislodge electrons from their atoms.
A solar panel comprises multiple cells, and multiple panels can be attached together to form a solar array. The more panels you can install, the more energy you can generate. An electrical circuit is created when conductors are connected to a cell’s positive and negative sides. When electrons flow through such a circuit, electricity is produced.
Every hour, enough photons collide with our planet to generate power. It is enough to meet the world’s energy needs for an entire year!
Solar system entirely depends on the Sun
Solar panels convert sunlight into D.C. (direct current) electricity when the sun shines. The solar inverter converts this electricity into A.C. (alternating current) power for use in your home. Instead of drawing power from the power grid, your home appliances like fridges, ovens, heat pumps, dishwashers, heaters, and so on.
Any excess electricity generated by solar panels not used by appliances is returned to the grid or used to charge a solar battery. Also, excess electricity can be transferred back to the main electricity grid. Electricity retailers are charged a feed-in tariff for any electricity returned to the grid.
A smart monitor tracks solar records such as electricity generation, consumption, and export. In addition, it can provide data for electricity billing.
Although it’s not a requirement, according to Clean Energy Council, solar systems work best when positioned on the north-facing side. Considering average Australian structures, the panels get better exposure to enough sunlight on the north side. The panels get power without disruption, shaded by trees, power lines, or other structures.

Fundamentals of Photovoltaics

You’ve probably already heard of P.V. These are famously used in solar panels. Whenever the sun shines on a solar panel, the P.V. cells in the solar panels absorb energy. This energy generates electrical charges that move in response to an internal electric field in the cell. As a result, the flow of electricity is maintained.
P.V. solar panels comprise solar cells packaged in various types of glass. Solar cells, like semiconductors, are made of silicon. They contain a positive and a negative layer that works together to form an electric field, much like a battery.
Most solar panels are covered in aerospace-grade conductive adhesives and proprietary substances to protect these cells. The process also minimizes degradation from environmental exposure.

Looking Back at Solar

Humans used solar energy as early as the seventh century B.C. They used sunlight to light fires by reflecting the sun’s rays onto shiny objects. Later, in the third century B.C., the Greeks and Romans used mirrors to harness solar power to light torches for religious ceremonies. 

A 19-year-old French physicist, Edmond Becquerel, discovered the photovoltaic (P.V.). He was actively working on it while experimenting with a cell made of metal electrodes in a conducting solution in 1839. He noticed that when the cell was exposed to light, it produced more electricity. Later, it became a photovoltaic cell. 

Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller, and Gerald Pearson created the silicon P.V. cell at Bell Labs in 1954, the first solar cell capable of absorbing and converting enough of the sun’s energy to power standard electrical equipment. 

And now, to everyone’s surprise, satellites, and spacecraft are powered by solar energy! 

Enough about Solar! What Exactly are Solar Farms?

Solar farms are solar parks or fields. These are large areas of land with interconnected solar panels spread across many acres to harvest large amounts of solar energy. Solar farms can simultaneously power a single home or building. And large-scale solar farms are designed to feed electricity generation directly into the grid.

Is Solar Truly a Green Energy Source?

Science behind solar function is quite amazing
Yes, solar energy is a renewable and infinite energy source that produces no harmful greenhouse gas emissions – energy is released as long as the sun shines.
Solar panels have a low carbon footprint because they last for 25 years or more without losing efficiency. Furthermore, because the materials used in the panels are increasingly recycled, the carbon footprint will continue to decrease.

But Can Solar Panels Provide Power at Night?

Technically, Solar panels do not generate electricity at night. To generate electricity, photovoltaic cells in solar panels require sunlight. But the bright side is, solar panels do provide two indirect solutions for nighttime energy.
You can continue to benefit from their energy production after the sun goes down. By using solar battery storage and net metering, your tension for not being able to use solar power at night goes away. So, how do solar panels work at night? The answer is solar storage and net metering. These are the two possible indirect routes.
Solar energy is transforming how we power our lives. Electric grid net metering and solar battery storage allow the solar system to provide power when your solar panels are unused. Giving you comfort around the clock. 

Our Solar Experts are here to Help!