The conclusion of the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme is fast approaching. Those who are signed up to the scheme hopefully do know that they need to change their Gross Solar Meter to a Net Solar Meter before the 31st December 2016 in order to benefit from their solar PV system.

A Net Solar Meter will allow the household or business with solar PV installed to utilise the self-created electricity for their own needs first before any excess energy is exported to the grid.

A Gross Solar Meter exports 100% of the solar energy back to the grid. Under this setup, a household or business with solar PV installed cannot use the solar energy generated. The Gross Solar Meter enables those who were signed up to the Solar Bonus Scheme to maximise their return or rebate. Depending on the date of sign-up, signatories to the scheme were paid either 60c or 20c per kWh of solar energy that they exported to the grid.

Those who still have a Gross Solar Meter installed as of January 2017 will continue to feed 100% of their solar energy back into the grid but will only get the feed-in tariff that is offered by their energy retailer. Most energy retailers will only offer solar customers a feed-in tariff of around 5 or 6c per kWh.

Solar Bonus Scheme customers have the choice of two types of solar ready meters. They can opt for a standard Net Solar Meter – often referred to as a dummy smart meter.  This meter has the same functionality as the Gross Solar Meter except it allows self-consumption of the solar energy. This type of Net Solar Meter will still need to be read by the network operator.

The most sophisticated and modern form of metering is called Smart Metering. A Smart Meter is the most advanced type of electronic revenue meter. Smart Metering will allow for remote meter reading. This means an end to on-site meter reads by the Network Service Provider. Contrary to popular belief, a Smart Meter allows for various types of tariff and billing structures.

As of the 1st July this year – the NSW Government has removed regulation of retail electricity prices. Previously the Independent and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) regulated the cost of Power in NSW. The purpose of this deregulation was to make electricity plans and offers more competitive.

One of the associated benefits of this deregulation were changes to the rules regarding metering provision. Previously, meters could only be supplied by the network service provider – being either Essential Energy, Ausgrid or Endeavor Energy. This deregulation means that your energy retailer can now arrange the supply and installation of a Smart Meter.

Some of the major energy retailers servicing NSW are offering to install Smart Metering for FREE.

Coffs Solar Energy can also offer a FREE Smart meter through a collaboration with Powershop. Click HERE to register for a FREE Smart meter.

If you are currently getting a 60c feed-in tariff for all exported solar energy and you do switch to a Smart Meter before the 31st December 2016 then you will then continue to receive a 60c feed-in tariff for all your exported solar energy. This rebate will continue up until the 31st December 2016.


Coffs Solar Energy can assist solar clients with making the right choice. We can facilitate a FREE Smart Meter or we can (under our level 2 service provider licence) supply single or three phase Net Meters or Dual Meters. Call 66522718 for assistance.


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