THE NSW SOLAR BONUS
SCHEME IS ENDING…

But your new energy saving benefits are just beginning.

As you may be aware, the NSW Government’s Solar Bonus Scheme is ending on 31 December 2016. We’re here to help you continue maximising your solar savings with Solar Plus.

If you’re a NSW ActewAGL customer on a solar feed-in tariff of 60c/kWh or 20c/kWh you may have received, or should expect to receive, an Information Pack from us in the mail with details on what this change means for you.  So that you can continue to maximise the savings from your solar energy system after the scheme ends, we have developed Solar Plus, which offers a great range of benefits.

With Solar Plus, you’ll receive:

  • an upgrade to a smart meter
  • 12% off electricity usage and gas usage for 12 months
  • 5.5c/kWh solar buy-back rate for 12 months

Important Information

Interested in applying for Solar Plus? Here are some key things you need to know.

  • When you call us, we’ll provide you with an installation window for your new smart meter to be installed, based on when our technicians are next in your area
  • To safely install your new smart meter, your power and solar will be switched off for around 30 minutes
  • If you are dependent on life support equipment, you must let us know
  • Installs run between 8.00am–4.00pm weekdays and may take up to two hours
  • You don’t need to be home for the install but you need to make sure we can get easy access to your meter and inverter* (by leaving the gate unlocked, having pets on leads, etc)
  • We will install your new smart meter free of charge. But we may need to replace some parts (like your fuses or other parts on your meter board) and you will need to cover the costs of these site fixes
  • Installations are conducted by authorised technicians who must present their ActewAGL Identification
  • If you’d prefer not to go ahead with Solar Plus, you’ll stay on your current metering arrangement and receive a 5.5c/kWh solar buy-back rate from us from 1 January 2017

* Some inverters are installed inside garages. If this is the case for your premises, you will need to be home during your installation.

Frequently asked questions

What does the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme closure mean for me?

If you signed up to the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme, you’ve probably heard that it comes to an end on 31 December 2016. This government scheme has been running since 1 January 2010 and provides a feed-in tariff of 20c/kWh or 60c/kWh for eligible customers with small-scale solar connected to the grid. You can read more about it at www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au/energy-consumers/solar/solar-bonus-scheme/solar-bonus-scheme.

In terms of what it means for you, as long as you continue to remain eligible under the scheme you’ll continue to receive your current feed-in tariff payments until 31 December 2016, unless you have a new smart meter installed before then and it’s on a net metering arrangement.

What is ActewAGL’s offer?

As part of our Solar Plus offer exclusive to NSW Solar Bonus Scheme customers, you will receive a solar buy-back rate of 5.5c/kWh, a 12% discount on your energy usage and an upgrade to a smart meter – you can call us on 02 6248 3030 for all of the details.

What does this mean for my solar buy-back tariff rate?

You’ll continue to receive your current NSW Solar Bonus Scheme feed-in tariff payments until 31 December 2016 as long as you remain eligible. If you have your new smart meter installed before 31 December 2016, it means you’ll start receiving the new solar buy-back rate we have on offer and forgo the last few weeks you have under the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme. Give us a call on 02 6248 3030 and we can take you through our Solar Plus offer.

What is a smart meter?

Smart meters are the next generation of electricity meters. Unlike the previous generation of meters, they communicate between your home and your energy supplier using a wireless network.

Do I have to upgrade to a smart meter?

No, not if you don’t want to. However, by upgrading to a smart meter through our Solar Plus offer you’ll be eligible for a great range of benefits, including a discount on your energy bills. And keep in mind, if you are on a gross metering system and choose not to upgrade to a smart meter, it means you may not be maximising the savings from your solar energy system. We’ll be in touch soon to discuss your options and at that point you can simply let us know if you don’t want to upgrade to a smart meter. You can also call us on 02 6248 3030.

What is the difference between ‘gross’ and ‘net’ metering?

If you have a gross metering system, it means that all of the solar energy your solar system generates is sent back to the grid and you pay for all of the energy you use in your home. You receive a feed-in tariff to compensate you for the solar energy your system generates. With a net metering system, it means that your home first uses the solar energy generated by your solar system, then any excess energy is sent back into the grid. You receive a feed-in tariff as way of payment for the excess energy created. You’re likely to be better off with net metering if your feed-in tariff is lower than your electricity tariff.

How do I go about getting a smart meter and what does it cost?

You can call us on 02 6248 3030 and sign up to our Solar Plus offer, exclusive to NSW Solar Bonus Scheme customers. We will arrange to upgrade your existing meter to a smart meter at no cost (for standard smart meter installations only). A standard installation comprises a straight swap of your old meter to a new smart meter with no additional site fixes. In the event that you require a non-standard meter installation or remedial work, there may be some associated costs for site fixes. If agreed by you, for site fixes up to $150, we will go ahead with the install and charge the amount to your next electricity bill. If the cost of the site fix is likely to be more than $150, we will stop the install and contact you to see if you are happy to proceed.

I already have a digital meter, so why do I need a new one?

Having a smart meter installed to replace your existing meter means you’ll be able to move to a net metering arrangement, which is a good way to minimise the impact of the closure of the Solar Bonus Scheme and continue to get the most out of your solar system. Net metered solar systems are set up to send energy to your household first, before sending the excess energy back into the grid. That means only solar energy that’s not used in your home is sent to the grid – and you receive a payment (or ‘solar-buy back tariff’) for that excess. Remotely read smart meters are expected to be rolled out more broadly in the coming years. So it’s another reason to upgrade in readiness for this change.

When can I get my meter upgrade and what’s involved?

Give us a call on 02 6248 3030 and we can let you know when we’re going to be in your area. Then, if you’re happy to sign up to our Solar Plus offer, we can arrange an installation for you. As part of the process, we will arrange for a qualified electrical installer to visit your home and perform the necessary work to install your new smart meter. The process will take approximately one to two hours. During the installation the technician will need to switch-off your power and solar to ensure your new smart meter can be installed safely. At the end of the installation, the technician will leave material in your mailbox to let you know how the install went. We just ask that you help us by simply ensuring we can get access to your meter and inverter to perform the installation (unlocking the gate, letting us know if you have a dog, etc). You also need to let us know if you rely on life support equipment.

Once my new smart meter is installed, how will I see my daily usage and costs?

We are planning to develop a web-based portal in the future that will allow you to view your daily usage and costs – watch this space.

What changes should I make in my household to make the energy work best for me?

If you are currently on the gross metering system and you install a smart meter to convert to net metering you should start thinking about making the best use of your solar system during the daytime. For example, do your washing or turn on the dishwasher during the middle of the day, while the sun is shining so that you can use the energy being generated from your solar system.

What happens if I do nothing?

If you’d prefer not to go ahead with Solar Plus, you’ll stay on your current metering arrangement and receive a 5.5c/kWh solar buy-back rate from us from 1 January 2017. By doing this you may not be making the best use of your solar system for your home, as all of the energy generated will be exported to the grid.

How long does it take to make the transition?

Call us on 02 6248 3030 and we can take you through the sign up process over the phone. When we speak to you, we will be able to tell you when our installers are next going to be in your area so that we can provide you with a window date for your installation. You don’t need to be home for the installation, but we just need you to ensure that we can get easy access to your meter and inverter (by leaving your gate unlocked, letting us know if you have a dog, etc). Some inverters are installed inside garages. If this is the case for your premises, you will need to be home during your installation. Once your installation has taken place, you’re ready to go with your new smart meter.

How do I sign up to Solar Plus?

Simply call us on 02 6248 3030.

I have a property in the ACT, can I upgrade to a new smart meter there too?

Give us a call on 02 6248 3030 and we can talk about your options.

 

Want to sign up or learn more?
Call us – 6248 3030
(9.00am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday)


Things you need to know: Terms and conditions apply. You’re signing up to an ongoing contract with benefit periods. Your first benefit period will be 12% off electricity and 12% off gas (if applicable) usage charges for 12 months. This offer is available to NSW Solar Bonus Scheme customers only and is valid until 31 May 2017. Non-standard meter installations may attract additional fees which are outlined in our metering terms and conditions. All amounts are GST inclusive. ActewAGL Retail ABN 46 221 314 841 a partnership of AGL ACT Retail Investments Pty Ltd ABN 53 093 631 586 and Icon Retail Investments Limited ABN 23 074 371 207.