The NSW Government's Solar Bonus Scheme ended on 31 December 2016.

If you're an Origin customer that was on a solar feed-in tariff of 20c/kWh or 60c/kWh under the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme, you would have received or can expect to receive our letter or email with metering information on what the scheme's closure means for you.

See below for the latest update on your solar along with our customer FAQs.


What's a feed-in tariff?

A feed-in tariff is the rate paid for electricity fed back into the electricity grid by a solar system.

The rate depends on a few things including the state you live in and when your solar system was installed as well as your metering and retailer arrangements. 

See Feed-in tariffs

Moving from gross to net metering

Gross metering means that you pay for all the energy you use and receive a payment (feed-in tariff) for the solar energy your system feeds back into the grid.

With net metering, you use your own solar energy and only pay for the extra you take from the grid - that can reduce your overall electricity bill.

How to move from gross to net metering? The first step is to have a remotely read digital meter, which we can install for you. 

More on gross vs net metering and the benefits of net metering

Waiting for a digital meter?

We’re busy installing remotely read digital meters for NSW Solar Bonus Scheme customers with gross metering. We'll provide the digital meter and the installation free of charge. 

Have a business or life support arrangements?  We'll be in touch to discuss an appointment time.

Don't want one? That's ok, but you'll need to let us know.    

I don't want a digital meter. What should I do?

Solar Boost - our higher feed-in tariff offer

Enjoy a 15c/kWh feed-in tariff instead of our standard retailer feed-in tariff plus great discounts off electricity usage charges with our Solar Boost plan. Call us on 13 24 61 to know more and sign up for Solar Boost.


Frequently Asked Questions

The NSW Solar Bonus Scheme was a government scheme that provided a feed-in tariff of 20 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) or 60 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) for eligible customers with small-scale solar or wind generators connected to the grid.

The scheme started on 1 January 2010 and applicants had to meet a number of eligibility requirements to receive a feed-in tariff under this scheme. 

The scheme ended on 31 December 2016 - a date legislated by the NSW Government when they first set up the scheme.

You would have received your feed-in tariff payments until 31 December 2016 provided you remained eligible under the scheme.

Refer to the NSW Government's Solar Bonus Scheme website for more information about this scheme.

 

60 c/kWh feed-in tariff

To be eligible for 60 c/kWh, you must have:

  • bought or leased your solar system by 27 October 2010
  • lodged your application to connect it to the grid with your distributor by 18 November 2010
  • had your solar system connected to the grid by 30 June 2012.

20 c/kWh feed-in tariff

To be eligible for 20 c/kWh, you must have: 

  • had your solar meter installed and connected to the grid by 30 June 2011 or
  • lodged the application to connect your solar system to the grid with your distributor by 28 April 2011, and had it connected by 30 June 2012.

But there are other things that affect eligibility

For example, generally for the 60 c/kWh tariff, changing the account over to someone else meant the new account holder would have only received 20 c/kWh (unless the new account holder was in a domestic relationship with the previous account holder, in which case they would have received 60 c/kWh up until 31 December 2016).

It's best to check the government's eligibility criteria.

Or if you'd like more information, give our Solar Resolutions team a call on 1800 659 511. 

Firstly through our letter that tells you:

  • what the scheme's end means for you as our customer
  • what you can expect to receive from us 
  • why a meter change makes sense, especially if you currently have gross metering and
  • our change to your Agreement terms.

The NSW Government has also mailed all eligible NSW solar customers with solar PV panels to confirm the scheme's closure.  

A feed-in tariff is the rate paid for electricity fed back into the electricity grid by a solar system.

The tariff rates depend on a number of factors including the state you live in and when your solar system was installed as well as your metering and retailer arrangements.

Gross metering solar systems have been set up to send all the solar power they generate to the grid.

This means you pay for all the energy you use in your household – and receive a payment (or a ‘feed-in tariff’) for the solar energy your system feeds back into the grid.

Net metering 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 ‘feed-in tariff’) for that excess. A net meter records the excess solar your system generates, as well as the amount of electricity your household takes from the grid. 

Generally, if your feed-in tariff is lower than the price you pay for electricity, you’re likely to be better off with net metering

Want to know more? Just click on our metering information Changing from Gross to Net Metering which explains:

  • each metering type
  • the difference between gross and net
  • upgrading to a remotely read digital meter that’s able to switch to net metering, and
  • why changing over to net metering is a good way to minimise the impact of the closure of the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme and continue to get the most out of your solar system.  

A digital meter (also called an advanced meter or smart meter) is a meter that can communicate remotely with your energy provider. We call it a remotely read digital meter.

If your digital meter was installed in 2016, your gross metering arrangements remained until 31 December 2016 at which time we remotely switch you over to net metering.

Having a digital meter also means that no one needs to visit your property to read the electricity meter any more. Unlike a traditional electricity meter, a smart meter digitally reads and stores the electricity usage over short intervals, typically every 30 minutes, and then remotely sends this information to energy distributors and retailers every day.

Origin, as your energy retailer, can then pass this information on to you as the consumer.  

Generally, if your feed-in tariff is lower than the price you pay for electricity, you’re likely to be better off with net metering.

Upgrading your meter to a remotely read digital 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 metering 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 ‘feed-in tariff’) for that excess.

For more information just click on Changing from Gross to Net Metering – this information was included in our letter to gross metering customers.

Remotely read digital 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.

Origin is offering to supply and install a remotely read digital meter free of charge for our NSW Solar Bonus Scheme customers. But you do need be aware, that if our technicians come across anything that stops us from accessing your meter or completing the installation, then we’ll be in touch to discuss further, as any additional work would be at your cost.

We also need to let you know, that you’re able to choose to have a net metering arrangement installed by your distribution network service provider instead of Origin, however that’s something you may have to pay for.

For our residential customers, we’re installing digital meters for customers during 2016 and 2017. We’ll be in touch to install your remotely read digital meter when we’re next in your area. There’s nothing you need to do to prepare for the changeover.

For our business customers: There’s nothing you need to do right now. We’ll write to you to see if you’d like to go ahead with an upgrade to a remotely read digital meter, and we’ll arrange an installation time with you if so.

For our customers with life support arrangements: There’s nothing you need to do right now. We’ll write to you to see if you’d like to go ahead and arrange an installation time if so.

Check out this meter guide or the below videos:

Don’t want the changeover to a remotely read digital meter? That’s okay, it’s your choice. But if you’re a residential customer you’ll need to tell us that you don’t want one, by ‘opting out’.

How to let us know: Just call us on the number mentioned in Origin’s NSW Solar Bonus Scheme closure letter or email you’ve received and we won’t proceed. We’ll note your choice on your account.

Just click on 'Digital Meter opt out' and complete some key details in this ‘opt-out’ form and then click ‘submit’. We’ll note your choice on your account. Don’t want to fill out this form? That’s okay, you can call us on the number in your letter and we won’t proceed.

Digital Meter opt out

Our general residential customer line is 13 24 61 between 7am to 9pm weekdays, or 9am to 5pm Saturdays. Or if you’re a business customer - 1300 661 544 between 8am - 6pm (AEST), Monday to Friday. We’re here to help.

No, you don’t have to. It’s your choice, but if you’re a residential customer, you’ll need to tell us that you don’t want a digital meter. Just go to the question: I don’t want a digital meter. What should I do?

Please refer to the metering information enclosed with our letter on the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme closure for more information on gross and net metering. 

 

If you’re a residential customer and do not have any life support arrangements, you can let us know if you want to opt out at any time, right up until a few days prior to any installation.

But if we’ve given you an ‘opt out by’ date and you’ve missed this period, then we’ll try to contact the technicians in the field to stop the scheduling of a meter upgrade as soon as we can – however we can’t guarantee we’ll reach them in time.

If you’re a business customer or a customer with life support arrangements, then there’s nothing you need to do right now. We’ll write to you to see if you’d like to go ahead with an upgrade to a remotely read digital meter, and we’ll arrange an installation time with you if so.

If you want to upgrade now, we’ll take your details and put you in our batch of installations for when we’re in your area next. Just give us a call on the number in our letter.

The digital meters that are being installed meet current Australian Standards including those related to safety. Communication with the meter is undertaken using a secure cellular communications network.

A qualified electrical technician will install the digital meter. There's a couple of different providers that can do this work on our behalf. They'll identify themselves when they arrive to install a meter.

Your new Digital Meter is remotely read which means there’s no need for meter readers to visit your property. Digital meters use 3G technology, the same way your mobile phone does. The meter contains a SIM card and operates on the existing mobile network in your area to send meter reads back to your meter provider for the use of your distributor and retailer.

Once you’ve had a Digital Meter installed at your property you won’t be able to reinstall an older style manually read meter.

No, as the customer of electricity at the property, you're authorised to allow us to install a Digital Meter.

If our technician finds any pre-existing problems with your wiring, they’ll let you know – and you might need to contact your landlord so they can organise an electrician to fix the issues

If you’re a residential customer, you can let us know if you want to opt out at any time. If we’ve given you an ‘opt out by’ date and you’ve missed this period, then we’ll try to contact the technicians in the field to stop the scheduling of a meter upgrade as soon as we can – however we can’t guarantee we’ll reach them in time.

For information on how to opt out see our question above I don’t want a digital meter. What should I do?

Yes. An outage is required to ensure that our technician can safely complete the meter upgrade.

For a straight-forward meter exchange the installation may take up to 1 hour with the power turned off for up to 30 minutes.  

If your meter set up is more complex, the installation may take up to 3 hours with the power turned off for up to 1.5 hours.

For Origin customers on market agreements:

When we sent you our letter or email on the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme closure we attached an update to your agreement – we did this so that we’re able to install your new digital meter.

We’ll also be able to interrupt your electricity supply for short periods if it’s necessary to install or do other work on the digital meter. 

For Origin customers on standing agreements:

Our existing standing contract for electricity supply with you doesn’t cover the digital meter installation.  So you’ll see that we attached your new metering agreement to go with your existing standing contract – we did this so that we can install your new digital meter.

We’ll also be able to interrupt your electricity supply for short periods if it’s necessary to install or do other work on the digital meter.  

The NSW Solar Bonus Scheme ended on 31 December 2016 and it’s up to each retailer to determine what they offer to their customers from 1 January 2017.

As part of our exclusive Digital Meter offer, for our NSW Solar Bonus Scheme customers with a digital meter installed, we’re offering a special solar feed-in tariff  – see below. 

  • For customers with a digital meter installed – you would’ve heard from us recently about our solar feed-in tariff offer. For more on this offer: residential or business. Don’t want this offer? You’ll receive our standard feed-in tariff of 6c/kWh*, as well as any other benefits that form part of your electricity agreement. 
  • If you’re waiting for a digital meter to be installed – don’t worry, we’re installing meters as quickly as we can and you’ll hear from us when we’re in your area. You’ll receive our standard feed-in tariff of 6c/kWh*, as well as any other benefits that form part of your electricity agreement.

After you receive a meter, you’re able to choose our solar feed-in tariff offer. For more on this offer: residential or business. Don’t want this offer? You’ll receive our standard feed-in tariff of 6c/kWh*, as well as any other benefits that form part of your electricity agreement.

  • For customers who don’t want a digital meter – you’ll receive our standard feed-in tariff of 6c/kWh*, as well as any other benefits that form part of your electricity agreement.
  • New customers switching to Origin - this offer is also open to NSW customers who’d like to switch to Origin and have a digital meter currently installed. Sign up over the phone on 13 24 61 or online for your home or business.

* Standard retailer feed-in tariff. Feed-in tariff rate is GST-inclusive (if any) and subject to change.

Our offer is based on whether you have a digital meter installed at your property.

  • Existing Origin customers who have a digital meter installed – click here for residential or business customers.
  • Existing Origin customers who are waiting to have a digital meter installed – see question above
  • New customers switching to Origin - this offer is also open to NSW solar customers who’d like to switch to Origin and have a digital meter currently installed. Sign up:
    • Over the phone on 13 24 61 or
    • Online for your home or business
 
We have great discounts available from time to time on our current electricity offers that you can check out. And we don’t limit our discounts just because you have solar.
 
 

Origin currently offers a feed-in tariff of 6c/kWh* to our NSW solar customers.

Yes, it’s possible our 6c/kWh* may change in the future. It can change from time to time but in any event we will always let our customers know if it does.

We consider the 6c/kWh rate reflective of the current market rate for energy exported to the grid by solar electricity systems. 

* Standard retailer feed-in tariff. Feed-in tariff rate is GST-inclusive (if any) and subject to change. 

No. If you’re currently receiving a total solar feed-in tariff of 6c/kWh*, then you’re receiving Origin’s feed-in tariff rate of 6 cents per kilowatt hour.

This FAQ is for our eligible customers who were on the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme's 20c/kWh or 60c/kWh feed-in tariff and therefore does not apply to you or affect you. 

* Standard retailer feed-in tariff. Feed-in tariff rate is GST-inclusive (if any) and subject to change.