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Preserve Your Solar Advantage: Why Existing Premium Feed-in Tariff Customers Should Act Now

If you’re one of the many homeowners already benefiting from the Victorian Solar Premium Feed-in Tariff (PFiT), you are undoubtedly aware of the substantial financial and environmental benefits it brings. You may have very low bills or even making a credit. However, with the premium FiT set to end on November 1st, 2024, that will change dramatically so you need to take steps to maintain your solar advantage. Here’s why taking action now is crucial and how you can continue to maximize the benefits of your solar investment.

1. Plan for Post-PFiT Financial Adjustments

The end of the premium feed in tariff means you will no longer receive the higher rates for excess electricity fed back into the grid. This change will impact your household’s energy income, and it’s essential to prepare for this financial adjustment. By evaluating your current energy usage and optimizing your solar setup, you can mitigate the impact. Consider investing in energy-efficient appliances, reducing overall consumption, and exploring alternative financial strategies to replace the lost income.

2. Upgrade Your Solar System

Now is the perfect time to assess the efficiency of your existing solar system. Technological advancements over the past few years mean that newer solar panels and inverters are more efficient and durable. Upgrading your system can increase your overall energy production, allowing you to maximize the use of your solar power and reduce dependency on grid electricity. Enhanced system performance can offset the financial loss from the end of the premium FiT. Contact us to see if your system is suitable for upgrading.

Upgrade solar panels to make up for the loss of premium feed in tariff PFIT

3. Explore Battery Storage Solutions

With the premium FiT ending, self-consumption is the best way to make use of the energy generated. Previously, you would minimise self-consumption to get the most exports. Now you have to do the opposite – consume as much as possible during the day and reduce the loads at night where possible. Investing in battery storage allows you to store excess solar power generated during the day for use during peak hours or at night. This not only maximizes your use of solar energy but also reduces reliance on the grid, providing greater energy independence and shielding you from rising electricity costs. Battery storage solutions are becoming more affordable and efficient, making them a viable option for maintaining the financial benefits of your solar system.

NOTE: We do not recommend batteries unless you have enough excess power to charge a battery throughout the year. The old systems often were quite small so expanding your existing system is likely the first step to consider.

Add a battery to increase self-consumption when the premium feed-in tariff PFiT drops

4. Energy Efficiency Improvements

To offset the end of the premium FiT, consider making your home more energy-efficient. Upgrades like improved insulation, energy-efficient windows, and LED lighting can significantly lower your energy usage. The major energy consumers in most homes include air conditioning, space heating, pool maintenance and water heating. If these currently run on gas, switching to electric options such as reverse cycle air conditioning or heat pumps for hot water can greatly reduce operating costs. Pairing these upgrades with an expanded solar system can substantially decrease your overall energy expenses. Remember, the less energy your household uses, the more your solar system can meet your needs and save you money.

Install a heat pump to reduce energy costs when the premium feed-in tariff PFiT drops

5. Monitor and Adjust Your Energy Usage

Adopting smart energy management practices can help you adapt to the new financial reality. Use energy monitoring systems to track your consumption patterns and identify areas for improvement. Shifting energy-intensive activities to daylight hours when your solar panels are most productive can help maximize the use of your generated solar power, ensuring you get the most out of your system post-PFiT.

6. Stay Informed About Future Incentives

While the premium FiT is ending, it’s important to stay informed about new government incentives or programs that may arise. Governments often introduce new policies to support renewable energy adoption, and being proactive can help you take advantage of these opportunities. Keep an eye on federal and state-level energy policies to ensure you can benefit from any new initiatives.

Currently, there is a state government rebate available for upgrading / replacing your solar system since your system is now over 10 years old. There are also programs for batteries, hot water and other energy efficiency appliances. Find out more at: Solar Victoria Solar Homes Program and About the VEU Program

7. Consult with Solar Experts

Engaging with solar energy experts like 3 Phase Solar can provide you with tailored advice on how to optimize your system for the post-FiT landscape. We can conduct a thorough assessment of your current setup, recommend upgrades, and advise on the best strategies to enhance your solar energy utilization. This personalized guidance can help you make informed decisions and maintain the financial benefits of your solar investment.

Conclusion

As an existing beneficiary of the Solar Premium Feed-in Tariff, the approaching end of this incentive requires strategic action to continue reaping the benefits of your solar investment. By planning for financial adjustments, exploring battery storage, upgrading your system, enhancing energy efficiency, and staying informed about new incentives, you can navigate this transition smoothly. Act now to ensure your solar setup remains a valuable asset in your quest for sustainable and cost-effective energy solutions.

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