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[QLD] Solar Boost Plan 20c FIT @ Origin Energy

2900

Ok this deal requires some explaining so I'll do my best to give you all the details and steps to follow. Please note that this is specific to QLD, possibly even SE QLD and probably only beneficial for larger Solar Systems installed in your residential home or those who can generate high feed back to the grid per day.

Background:
I had a 15kw system installed just going on 12 months ago and shared my experience - details here. At the time it was very good value for money and I am so glad I went the larger system. I am currently predicted to have it fully paid off in under 2yrs based on credit generated through high FIT rates from energy retailers. After 1yr I haven't had a single electricity bill (was approximately $450/qrt) and have generated about $800-$1200 per qrt = $4000

When I first had it installed Origin and AGL wouldn't offer me anything competitive due to my solar system being over 10kw. Energy Australia (EA) at the time were offering 16.1c FIT so went with them. Earlier this year EA dropped their FIT rate to 11.5c and was no longer competitive. AGL then came to the party and offered me their 17c FIT rate so transferred over to them mid FEB.

This current qrt I am forecast to have a credit of just over $900. As I always do, I regularly check to see what's available and my brother who has a similar system to mine was looking to come over to AGL as well. He was with Origin at the time and upon making the move to come over to AGL, Orgin called him and offered him 20c FIT with no cap (as per their current plan of 15c FIT capped at 8kw per day then reverting back to 7c FIT) to stay.

Which brings me to this deal:
I called Origin to get the details as I was concerned they may have added in the fine print the 20c FIT is capped at 8kw but was pleasantly surprised to see it was unlimited with no cap. This deal can't be given over the phone with a typical Origin Energy Sales representative (as I found out) and had to call this number - 1800 557 700 and speak with a member from that team who can offer special rates outside of the standard.

As per the screen shot I have as the link, according to my spreadsheet (which works out exact costs by imputing exact usage and feed back to the grid figures) switching over to this Origin deal will increase my credit by approximately $800 per year. I have several other retailers costs on my spreadsheet that spits out the credit I would make and Origin beats them all.

Recap:
This would only be beneficial if you have a large solar system and can feed back to the grid a good amount (30kw+ per day on avg) and only buying back from your retailer approximately 6-12kw per day.
FIT offer: 20c/kwh
Usuage costs: 24.915
Daily Supply charge: 116.061
Daily Solar meter reading charge: 6.974 (Origin say it's $6/qrt)

Side note - A good price for a similar system to the one I have with 3 phase power (including Smart meter, slightly larger panels 330-350w and Fronius Inverter) with quality materials and workmanship is about the $9k mark now. For anyone with single phase power you can still get an 8.2kw inverter with 10kw worth of panels (have to have a Smart meter installed so it caps your feed back to the grid at 5kw/hr as per Energex regulations) with same quality as above for about $6.7k

Sorry for the long post but if you have any questions or don't understand my method/reasoning for the deal feel free to ask questions. Happy to help where ever I can. I must stress and reiterate that I am NOT affiliated with any Energy/Solar company. I just love doing my homework and research and love sharing it with others who can benefit.

Enjoy!

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Comments

  • You sir, are the real MVP.

    • Haha - why thank you. However, I am just like the 1000s of other Ozbargainers on here who love a good deal and willing to share with others :) I hope it benefits someone.

      • HAHAA!! I'm so lazy to do this. I was with EA and was going to find another deal but wasn't able to find anything so this is perfect!!!! We only have a 5kW system so won't benefit as much but still a really good deal!

        • Definitely flick EA! It was in my best interest to find something better than EA as they were dodgy and their staff clueless! I would speak to one person and then the next person I speak to would completely contradict what the other person said. One thing I can't stand is incompetence. I'm okay if you make a mistake and fix it, but EA was just full of incompetent people that I was so glad to leave them. I hope they lost a lot of customers over their FIT debacle.

          • @CrocDundee: Oh man, you think EA was bad? I'm guessing you never have been with Alinta - they were horrific!!!! I had the obudsman involved because they were sooooo bad!!!! They "approximated" my usage because they "couldn't read my meter" WTF??? It's right there.

            Yes! Will be flicking off EA and getting onto this deal! Hopefully they don't change the rate in a month.

            • @Steeeeeph: I haven't had the unfortunate experience of dealing with Alinta :) That sounds like a very frustrating ordeal. Alinta has not been competitive for Solar plans so may never have to worry but I'll put them on my blacklist as well! Thanks for the heads up…

              • @CrocDundee: Yeah they had a good deal 3 years ago when we first got the solar as they were doing 40% off usage so we stayed with them but then EA came out with a better deal.

      • +1 vote

        Got 20kW Fronius,no way even close to you in Melbourne. Most I have got is $43 in a month
        My savings this years as per system is ~$700
        Good on you.

      • I'd like to report that I have now made the switch to Origin Energy haha. THanks for your help!!!

        They tried to sell me on the 15c feed in tariff with a 23% discount on usage but we went through the calculations and the 20c FIT was still better with my little 5kWh solar :)

  • Thanks mate. I'll file this away when ready. In SA I'm on agl 20c FIT, uncapped. This will end in the coming months for me, so I'll change to another supplier if they don't continue their plan.

    • I'm not sure how SA rates are, sorry. This is for QLD residential. It may not help as each state is different.

    • Im with AGL too on their 20c FIT here in SA. Supply charge is 91.3c per day and 41.58 per kwH consumed (inc GST), which is higher than Origin but as we generate a lot more than we use (10KW system) its our best deal. Would be great to get a 20c FIT or higher from Origin with a lower consumption rate.

  • Great post. Thanks OP. I unfortunately cannot benefit like you, due to living in different state, and having a much smaller array, but i am thankful for your efforts. Great forward planning going for 15kw… You must have some roof space!

    • Thanks, Scorn! Yeah it's hard to compare as each state is different. The roof space was designed specifically to take advantage of a large solar system - photo here :) All facing North so gets maximum sun all day long

      • No way! I recognise that roof! You posted in the forums a while back and that was so helpful. With your advice i researched a bunch, but only have a fraction of the north facing roof you do. Thanks for your wisdom in that post. I ended up with 350w Risen panels and a 3 phase Fronius inverter (5kw), so thanks.

        Edit: just saw same link in post… Should have read closer.

  • If anyone out there knows of similar deals for VIC please let me know!

    • Sorry, MrFizz.. wish I could help!

    • in vic no chance, due to government solar subsidy and minimum fit guarantee, retailers have no incentive to devise all sort of pricing scheme to maximise benefit anymore so all will just stick with the minimum set by government, from july FIT will drop by another 2c too.

    • Nope. All I know is anyone on solar in Vic is getting screwed over in June. FIT is getting reduced while all the power companies increase their rates.

    • Thanks for responding everyone

    • Need Vic deals too - just had a 5kw system installed and starting to doubt the worth of it

      • Dont worry mate, May - July are the shittiest months. You will make money back in full in less than 5 years depending on how much you spent and how much rebate you had. I am in area with a lot of trees around and for the lady 16 months, my system produced 9.4 mWh, which in the worst case i made over $1k if i only sell back to the grid. Solar is the best thing you can do right now for your energy bills. If i can confirm the i can sell back to grid and they pay me credit, i might just install another 6.6kw system

    • I just checked origin, solarboost plan is 16c FIT usage charge is 27.87 cent supply charge 104.3 for jemena. I am planning to switch in sept when solar production his higher as my usage and supply charges are lower now.

    • Parents house is with amaysim energy currently offering 20c FIT. I know their rates are higher but parents don't use much electricity themselves so it's good overall. Amaysim also recently gave a $40 monthly mobile plan for free.

  • Any recommendations for your single phase side note system?

    • Yeah definitely. If you can afford it and have the roof space, get the 8.2kw Fronius inverter with 10kw of panels. As mentioned you'll also need to get a Fronius Smart Meter installed but all up the cost would be about 6.7k. Depending on how much sun you get throughout the day and your usage, it should pay itself off after a couple of years. Feel free to PM me if you want further details or help.

      • Damn, I'm SE Qld and put a 6.6kw system on about 4 months ago. Cost me 5k, fronius 5kw inverter and smart meter + the $500 commbank cashback. So 4.5k, with AGL right now as EA raised prices. I wish id gone bigger. I had the money and space for it. Still yet to get a bill though, was paying $700 a quarter with pool / AC / electric hot water.

        • You still did well so don't beat yourself up over it. And you'll hopefully never have a bill again, or it will be small. I tell myself the same thing when I look at my shed… "wish I built it bigger!" lol…

          • @CrocDundee: Hi OP, could you please advise what is the purpose of the Smart Meter is? Is this the same the energy distributor is required to update at switchboard I am assuming (NSW)?

            I'll be getting a solar system installed soon with a 5kW Fronius inverter WHICH has wifi-capability - is this the smart meter?

            • @anthoneeyz: Hey Anthoneeyz - No, not the same as the switchboard upgrade. Your retail company will organise someone to come upgrade your meter in your switchboard which shouldn't cost you anything (not sure about NSW but it is free in QLD, or at least should be).

              The Fronius smart meter is a separate device that is also installed in your meterbox but allows your fronius inverter to connect directly to it and gives you real time data through the fronius website and other apps. This in turn gives you an idea of how much you are generating and using at the same time. Also tells you what appliance may use a lot of electricity in real time.

              This is a good article I recommend reading. Six good reasons to invest in a Fronius Smart Meter

              • @CrocDundee: Ah, that makes sense…electricity distributors also use the term smart meter when they’re updating the meter for your solar system, that’s why I was confusing. I’m assuming the inbuilt wifi connectivity with the fronius inverter is only for production?

  • Origin just changed the plan in nsw to capped! I was spewing so ended up going to Agl for the 21c uncapped FIT

    • Nice! Yeah that is what has happened up here in QLD as well. But calling that number in my OP you speak with someone who will offer the 20c uncapped deal. They say it is locked for 12months but their fine print basically gives them the right to change it if they want.

      Based on my figures, an extra 1c FIT (20c - 21c) would generate almost $300 extra in credit per year. Not bad!

      • did they give any reason when you called the phone line? i was wondering if they assessed their users at the local grid level. ie if they have few solar customers feeding in to a local area, but plenty of normal retail customers, they are willing to offer a higher FIT. but if they had plenty of solar producers in the area they may not.

  • I'm also in SE QLD and currently with AGL. However, I only have a 5kW system.

    • What is your FIT with AGL? I know they offered 20c FIT over a year ago so if you are on that it may still be better than this Origin deal. If you are on the plan I was on which was 17c FIT then this Origin deal will be better. Happy to check for you if you can give me a rough estimate of your Daily usage (amount bought from the retailer) and avg Feed back to the grid per day.. For example, avg buy from retailer 12kw/day. Avg feed back to the grid 30kw/day..

      • I signed up with AGL in July 2018:
        Solar=$0.20,
        Peak Charge=0.2805, Daily Supply Charge=$1.089,
        Solar Metering=$0.077 (incl. GST)

        • This Origin deal will be better than that AGL plan. Easy one for me :)

          • @CrocDundee: Should we be waiting for the $200 QLD govt credit to flow? I feel like changing providers prior to it flowing may be risky…

            • @josephnds: Depending on your bill cycle I don't think it will matter. Most companies won't release your billing rights to the new solar company until your next bill is due. That is why companies say it could take up to 3 months to transfer. But in answer to your question, I think you'll be fine.

  • Your usage cost is less than 25cents/kw?! Mine is 42 in Melbourne :/

    • Have you checked around? 42c is really high, check tango or globird man

      • Tango looks really good from a brief glance and the peak/off peak hours are much better. 9-3pm vs 7am-11pm right now. Cheers! Although i can't seem to get any energy fact sheets from their website

    • Mate!! I don't know Melbourne's pricing but 42c usage costs sounds insane!? The crazy thing is 25c/kw usage is actually quite high for QLD. It's because of their high FIT that it works out best for me with Origin.

      Funny story though - I had a telemarketer call me up one night about 6months ago who said they were going to offer me the best solar plan deal if I was interested… I laughed and said, "Okay, tell me what you can offer and if it's good, I'll be interested!" The guy said he'll get his supervisor to call me straight back which I thought strange but I'll play along. Supervisor calls me straight back and says, "how does 44c/kw usage sound to you!?" I laugh and said, "Are you serious?"… The supervisor thought he had me and replied with, "Yep, and if you sign up now with me I'll give you a 10% discount making it 40c/kw usage"… I proceeded to rattle off a whole bunch of other retailers with far better usage rates than what he was offering and then talked about the Solar FIT I was on (was EA at the time so 16.1c)… His response, "I think I've called the wrong guy tonight"… Again I laughed and said that was an understatement and we hung up…

      Wow - I think I've been in ISO for too long! I'm starting to give my life stories like you actually know me and care.. lol.. I need some civilization!

      • +2 votes

        hahaha wow that's hilarious, it pays to know your stuff. Yeah telemarketers never offer a good a deal.

    • more like time of use rate or fake news, last time i heard SA won the tropy for around 50c/kwh, VIC average is around 24c/kwh

      • Yeah, it's time of use rate but it's like 7am-11pm and even outside these hours it's something like 22cents. Maybe it's time I shopped around, I'm with Red and was with Origin before which were much more expensive. I remember Red being the cheapest when I first joined.

        • I remember looking into Red several months ago but didn't find them competitive at all up here in QLD. I think they have their FIT capped at 5kwhr/day as well. They were that bad they didn't even make the top 6 on my spreadsheet of retailers :/

          • @CrocDundee: I disagree, my spreadsheet indicates otherwise. Alinta home deal and reamped handshake were the top two, with the current red energy rates coming 3rd and $37 annually behind Alinta. With the 10,000 Qantas bonus points, $50 sign up referral gift card and $30 Qantas hotel voucher was a good move. I modified the spreadsheet I posted earlier for others to evaluate. As always though YMMV.

            • @MToTheFrame: I'm not sure what plan you are on with RED so depending on that, you might well be better off. I had someone contact me to check their current RED energy plan they are on and it was an older plan with a solid FIT and it actually did come out better by about $20-$30 per year over the rest (ReAmped being 2nd best).

              Obviously households have different usages so the comparison sheet helps to know which one is best :) RED energy current plans are not competitive but there older ones might be. Again, varies depending on the households usage and production… As you said, YMMV.

        • If you can switch to single rate do it. Why pay double for many hours? Its not worth going to time of use at all.

          • @lainey13: yeah I always saw single rate plans but wasn't sure why it was never offered or enquired about them. Would there be any reason I wouldn't be able to go on a single rate plan?

            • @bkhm: I've enquired before and there's a cost to change the meter type but as far as I know it's just a config change so no reason not to do your calculations and see whether it is worth switching to single rate. When I did the calcs it made no sense to me that only 8 hours for 5 days were off peak, when I have lights/fridge/computer etc running for the other 16 hours that would cost me double or triple! Sure I could delay some things to the weekend or overnight but it wasn't worth the 'saving'.

  • How does being in credit work these days? Do you still actually get a refund? I thought I’d seen that the best you could end up with was a $0 bill. I’m starting to look at a solar PV system for our new house.

    • Yeah i wonder the same. If they do give money back, i might install another 5kw system.

    • Very simple, I call the company up when my bill is generated. They give me the option of holding the credit over to next months bill or refunding back into my account. I always take the refund back into my bank account option and it is done within 3-5 business days.

      • With Origin you can request the refund on their website and it will be in your account in 3-5 business days.

    • Each time I close my account with my energy company, I email them my bank account details and instruct them to deposit the credit amount into it.

      • Or you can pay your gas and internet bill with that credit. I am on AGL so I normally pay my gas bill with my solar credit. AGL do not have internet plans as of now. If you are on origin you can pay internet bill as well.

        • yeah true - pay anything else you have with your retail company. Don't get me started on internet plans now.. I'll be here all night! ;)

    • It depends on who you're with. You really need to track down the terms and conditions (solarquotes have done a lot of the legwork) because there are some like Alinta who don't pay out credits - meaning you lose them if you leave.

  • Currently with origin in Brisbane, on 15c/kw just checked my bill. I'm still paying a few hundred per bill however.

    Just moved into my new olace, silly question, bit how do I check how big my system is? Takes up most of the roof so would say it's fairly decent. Can't believe I didn't find that out when I purchased 🤣🤣

    • haha - well that is a first! Check the quote they gave you if you still have it?

    • See if you can (safely) look at the sticker on the back of a panel or find out the model of panel and its Watt rating, then multiply that by the number of panels on your roof.

    • Look at your inverter, that is the best indication of how big your system is.

  • Fantastic detail OP. I’m riding the 50c FIT on my 5kw system all the way till it ends.

  • Small but important corrections.

    You don't export (aka generate) kW per day. You export kWh per day. kW is a rate of energy flow. kWh is actual energy.

    In particular you mention a cap - it's either 8kW OR 8kWh per day. The former could easily still amount to 40+ kWh per day. There's a significant difference there.

    Also significant is that single phase is usually limited to 5kW of generation.

    • My bad - the post got too long so didn't proofread it… However, the principle of the deal remains the same :) Good pick up though!

    • It was 8kWh per day but from 1st July 2019 Origin removed that cap - I just read their energy fact sheet. Though the benefit period is only 12 months and after that it's reverted back to normal tariff.

  • Anything for victorians?

  • would it be possible to get your solar specs and also your Excel sheet? In the process of looking at getting solar for my place. Cheers

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