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Government Feed-In Tariff

If you have PV panels in NSW, you will no longer receive a feed-in tariff from the Government after 31 December, 2016. By now (2018), you should have converted from a solar Gross meter to a Net meter so that you can measure and use the energy you are generating, and export the remainder to the Grid.  If you do not change your meter, all your PV energy will be exported into the Grid for no payment and you cannot even use it yourself.

Once you have a net meter, electricity retailers will generally give you a nominal feed-in tariff of  about half the shoulder rate and a quarter the peak rate of time-of-use power.  It is clearly preferable for you to
use your own solar power as much as possible rather than export it to the Grid and then buy it back at much higher prices

Using PV panels optimally

The underlying problem is that, in most houses, there are very few appliances running during the daytime when the solar panels are producing electricity. The only general exception to this is the pool.

The average residential swimming pools use ~40% of the total energy consumption of the entire household.  While it looks superficially attractive to set up time-clocks to run the pool equipment during the day to
use the power from your panels, this can often cost you more.  This is for three reasons:-

  • The pool (along with other devices normally running in the house) can more instantaneous power than the panels produce in typical Australian homes. You need to buy the balance of the energy at
    high shoulder and peak rates.
  • It rains or is overcast on about 129 days a year in Sydney (and partially overcast on 127 days)  and you will be buying some or all of the energy at high rates on those days.  There are only 109 sunny days on average in Sydney
  • Typical PV panels do not produce enough electricity for long enough to clean your pool adequately, even on sunny days.

In almost all cases, because of the changing weather and sunshine, it makes more financial sense to simply run your pool off-peak than to use time-clocks to try to use PV power.  If you do use time-clocks, you will likely save energy but put your costs up.

Pooled Energy offers you its unique Solar Optimisation Service to assist.  With this, you will save much more energy, effectively use your PV panels and save $$.

Firstly, Pooled Energy will reduce your pool’s instantaneous power and overall energy consumption, to levels that are usually much better matched to the output of a typical PV system and minimise the need to buy expensive on-peak and shoulder energy from the Grid for the mismatch.  Pooled Energy typically makes the panel/pool match much better.

Operating via the Internet, the Intelligent Pool Controller (IPC) uses cloud and sunshine forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology to decide whether it is better on the day to run solar or off-peak.  You get
real value from your panels this way…and a better pool.  On sunny days, the pool will run as much as possible from the PV panels.  On rainy/overcast days, it will run using off-peak power the night before.  On spotty days, it will act statistically.  You save energy and $$