1.1 New PV customers in NSW should have net metering arrangements
As new PV customers will not be eligible for government-subsidised feed-in tariffs, net metering arrangements are likely to provide them with higher ongoing financial benefits than gross metering. With net metering, PV customers only pay for their net electricity consumption (ie, their total consumption minus the electricity they generated and consumed in their premises at the time of generation).
1.2 The most significant financial benefit for new PV customers is savings on ongoing retail electricity bills
PV customers are still eligible for an upfront subsidy under the Renewable Energy Target scheme. This subsidy is a significant one-off benefit, and is typically used to offset most of the costs of installation.
In addition, PV customers can also derive 1 or potentially 2 ongoing financial benefits from installing a PV unit. They can save on their electricity bills, and may earn revenue from unsubsidised feed-in tariffs for electricity that is exported to the grid.
1.3 New PV customers should consider their own electricity consumption patterns as well as the potential generation from the PV unit
It is difficult to calculate an individual customer’s likely financial benefits from a PV unit, as there are so many variables. However, in considering whether to install a unit and if so, the size of the unit, customers should think about:
? their profile of energy consumption during the day, not simply their total daily energy consumption
? the potential generation from their PV unit.
The ongoing financial benefits of PV units will be more if customers consume most of their electricity during the day when they are generating electricity – or in other words, if they have a low export ratio.
1.4 New PV customers will continue to receive electricity bills
New customers who install PV units will continue to receive retail electricity bills. Only those few customers who install large PV units (for example, over 5 kW1) and have very low consumption (for example, less than 2,000 kWh per annum) have the potential to earn enough income from unsubsidised feed-in tariffs on their electricity exports to offset the price they pay for their electricity imports.