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The NSW Solar Bonus Scheme (SBS) ends on 31 December 2016


The NSW Solar Bonus Scheme (SBS) ends on 31 December 2016
The Government’s Solar Bonus Scheme (SBS) ends on December 31st 2016, so now is the time to think about what you want to do next.

What you need to know

Under your present arrangements you have a gross meter which sends all the electricity your solar panel produces to the grid, for which you receive the SBS rebate (known as a feed-in tariff) of either $0.20 or $0.60/kWh. If you do nothing you will continue to export all your solar electricity to the grid but the feed-in tariff will reduce to $0.06/kWh.

With this in mind, now is the time to think about changing the gross meter to a net meter. If you install a net meter, the electricity generated by your solar system is used to supply your energy requirements first, with only the unused electricity exported to the grid for which you would be paid a feed-in tariff. This can be a very cost effective way of reducing your overall energy costs and maximise the financial investment you’ve made in your solar system.

Installing a net meter also means you can take up Enova’s Solar Plus Energy Plan * which offers a feed-in tariff of $0.10/kWh.

Which type of net meter do I need?

You have a choice of two types of meter: A manually read net meter or a smart meter. There are costs involved with both.

What is a manually read net meter?

A manually read net meter is very similar to the the meter you currently have, and as the name implies continues to be read once every 3 months. If you choose this option, you will need to contact an an Approved Service Provider (ASP). An ASP is an electrical contractor who is authorised by Essential Energy to install meters on their behalf. An ASP will provide guidance on the best option for your particular situation.

What is a smart meter?

Smart meters are electricity meters that measure electricity consumption in real time, and are capable of being remotely read and operated. Smart meters enable you to have better access to data about your energy consumption. But the main advantage to you is that a smart meter can be installed before the 31st December 2016 and be remotely switched from the gross meter configuration to a net meter configuration on 1st January 2017. This means you continue to receive your $0.20/kWh or $0.60/kWh right up to the last moment, before it is switched to a net meter configuration, exporting only excess solar electricity to the grid.

Voluntary smart meter roll out

The NSW Government is committed to a voluntary roll out of smart meters. As part of this, retailers like Enova have engaged with meter providers for the installation of smart meters. If you are currently a customer of another energy retailer, your meter may have already been changed, or may be in the process of being changed. You need to discuss this with your existing energy provider. For more information about the voluntary rollout, click here.

Can I wait?

Yes. You can take a ‘wait and see’ approach and retain your existing gross meter. Talk to your energy provider.

Until 1st December 2017, having a smart meter installed is voluntary. However, from 1st December 2017, all new meters installed must be smart meters.

There’s a lot of information here and we appreciate you might need some time to consider your options. Please call us if you want to discuss your situation with one of our Enova Energy Consultants. Telephone 02 5622 1700 between 8.30am-5.30pm Monday to Friday.