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Best Solar Feed-In Tariff – WA | Profit From Solar Energy

Best Solar Feed-In Tariff – WA | Profit From Solar Energy

Western Australia isn’t like any other part of the country in terms of energy. More specifically to this topic, WA technically doesn’t have feed-in tariffs. Instead, residents here enjoy the Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme (or DEBS for short).

WA also only has 2 options for energy retailers: Synergy and Horizon Power. Both of them offer slightly different DEBS rates.

But what exactly is DEBS? Why the different rates?

This article will answer both of those questions, as well as a few other related topics you will find below. Feel free to tap on any of the bullets to skip sections but if this is entirely new to you, I recommend reading from the top down. Let’s go!

What is WA’s Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme (DEBS)?

The Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme (DEBS) is a program in which the energy retailers reward you, their customer, for exporting your excess solar energy to the grid.

In other words, you get paid for your extra solar energy.

This reduces the load on the grid, thus creating a more stable power source for everyone in your community.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? But exactly how much do you get paid for this?

Get 3 Solar Quotes From Quality Local Installers.

DEBS rates

As mentioned, Synergy and Horizon Power have slightly different DEBS rates. Both their rates are also different depending on the time of day your excess energy is being fed into the grid.

Why?

Good question. This scheme better represents the dynamics of supply and demand. There are peak rates for when the energy demand is higher, and off-peak rates for when there isn’t much demand.

  • Peak hours: 3 pm to 9 pm
  • Off-peak hours: 9 pm to 3 pm

The current DEBS rates for Synergy customers are as follows:

  • Peak rates: 10 cents per kWh
  • Off-peak rates: 2.25 cents per kWh

The current DEBS rates for Horizon Power customers are as follows:

  • Peak rates: 10 cents per kWh
  • Off-peak rates: 3 cents per kWh

Note the slight difference in both retailers’ off-peak rates. Horizon Power, in particular, has a higher rate of 3 cents.

The reason for this is that the areas that Horizon Power’s electricity system covers have a higher cost to produce energy.

Nevertheless, you and I can both agree that these rates are way lower than the price of buying electricity. This brings us to our next topic.

Why are DEBS rates so low?

The cost of buying electricity from the grid is at least 2-3x more than the current DEBS rates. Looks unfair, right? I hear you. I’d even go so far as to say it’s greedy.

A few years ago when WA’s energy buyback scheme was still known as the solar feed-in tariff, the rates were much higher. So high, in fact, that you could use the grid as a “virtual” battery.

Regardless, the reason for the low rates is that they’re pushing you to use more of your solar energy – which you absolutely should. Using as much of your solar energy saves you significantly more money than relying on DEBS.

If it’s in your budget, investing in a solar battery could allow you to use all of your energy, thus maximizing your savings. If not, no worries. There are a multitude of other ways to save money with a solar energy system anyway.

Recommended: All you need to know about solar batteries

DEBS eligibility requirements

To be eligible for DEBS, the Western Australian Government defines the following requirements (1):

  • A resident of WA with an annual electricity usage of 50MWh or less, or
  • A customer that is an educational institution like a school and university, or
  • A non-profit organization.

Moreover, your solar system must have a generating capacity that’s between 500 w and 5 kW.

If you have 6.6 kW solar panels paired with a 5 kVa inverter (the most common pairing in Australia), that counts as having a 5 kW generating capacity.

Get 3 Solar Quotes From Quality Local Installers.

How to apply for DEBS?

The easiest way to apply for DEBS is to have your installer do it for you.

Whether you’re installing a brand-new system or upgrading your existing one, your installer has the know-how to make this entire process as straightforward as it should be.

Plus, both Synergy and Horizon Power will require your system to be installed by a CEC-accredited installer anyway. You might as well have them apply for DEBS on your behalf as well.

That being said, this is where we can help. We have a network of pre-vetted installers all across Australia, including WA. We can get you 3 FREE quotes from them right now.

Conclusion

To summarize, solar feed-in tariffs in WA are replaced by DEBS. The best one is, well… the one that’s available to you. There aren’t a lot of choices when it comes to energy retailers here, after all.

Does that mean installing a solar system here isn’t worth it? The short answer is no, it’s definitely worth every single dollar, especially considering how low the prices of solar panels have gotten.

Let me end by saying this: Solar power makes you rely less on the grid. So, whoever your energy retailer is and whatever their DEBS rates are, you CAN and WILL save money if you had solar panels.

Resources:

1.     https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/energy-policy-wa/energy-buyback-schemes