Tasmanian Tariff and FiT changes from 1 July 2024

The Tasmanian Economic Regulator has released the feed-in tariff rate and approved Aurora’s standing offer prices that come into effect on 1 July 2024. The solar feed-in tariff (FiT) rate for 2024-2025 will drop from the current rate of 10.869c/kWh  to 8.935c/kWh. This decrease is primarily due to the lower wholesale electricity price for 2024-25.

Aurora’s standing offer prices for residential and small business customers (tariffs 31, 41, 22, 93, 94) will increase, on average, by 0.5% with some increases in daily charges and reductions in energy usage (c/kWh) charges. The effect of lower wholesale prices has been offset by increased TasNetworks and metering charges.

The more important changes for all customers, including solar owners, relate to the available tariffs. The traditional fixed rate tariffs (31 & 41 for residential and 22 for small business) will no longer be available for new connections. The arrangements for existing connections are more complex, but basically, at least for Aurora customers, customers can stay on their existing tariffs unless they choose to move to the newer time-of-use tariffs (93 for residential and 94 for small business). Customers will not be able to change back from time-of-use tariffs to fixed rate tariffs.

Most residential customers are likely to be better off with the time-of-use tariff. This is also true for most small business customers, but because their usage patterns are more diverse there are some business customers who would be significantly better off staying on a fixed price tariff. While new customers and existing customers on time-of-use tariffs are not able to access tariffs 22, 31 and 41, Aurora has committed to introducing new Market Retail Contracts for both residential and business customers who want a flat rate tariff, but the prices for these have not been released yet.

There are four different schemes offering concessions to electricity customers. These are summarised on the “Electricity bill relief” tab on the Aurora Tasmanian energy prices webpage.

From 1 July, TasNetworks will be offering a “residential time of use consumer energy resources” tariff (TAS97) with a super off-peak charge between midnight and 4am. This could be very attractive to customers with automated electric vehicle charging, and possibly also for charging residential batteries. Unfortunately Aurora is not offering this arrangement as a retail tariff but it might be offered by other retailers.

Take home message for customers:

  • The reduced feed-in tariff is a slight disadvantage for solar owners, but it should be noted that the same wholesale price reduction that reduced the FiT rate has also reduced the charges for energy from the grid.
  • As always the maximum benefit from solar comes from using electricity at the time solar is generating.
  • All Aurora customers should sign up for the aurora+ app. There is no additional charge for this app and if you are on a time-of-use tariff it will show you when electricity is cheaper.
  • If you are on a time-of-use tariff, moving energy use to off-peak times will save money. If you have an electric storage hot water service, the easiest way to do this is to get an electrician to install a timer on it so that it does not heat water during peak periods.
  • If you have solar and an electric storage hot water service the timer should be set to heat your water during the daytime off-peak period when you are likely to have excess solar generation.