Solar power plans are a scam

Lets cut to the chase. The purpose of this article is to show that the special “Solar Plans” as provided by many energy companies are a rip-off. Given the continually dwindling feed in tariff they actually cost you more and the energy companies are profiteering off Solar customers.

This article contains actual pricing and usage figures as at April 2024 in Sydney NSW, and I don’t mind naming and shaming the providers.

Let provide some background for the story…

My Solar Setup

I have a small 6.16 kw solar edge system, with LG panels which on the best day may produce approximately 38kWh. Take out what a family of 4 with a small pool uses and the maximum daily feed in would be around 25 kWh with most average days hitting mid teens.

My Plan History

I recently changed providers.

Back in Dec-2022 I switched from AGL to Powershop as they offered a great deal.

  • Rate – 28.87 c/kWh
  • Feed In – 13 c/kWh
  • Daily supply – 65.23 / day

But unfortunately over the next 16 months and through three price hikes the final straw was my feed in tariff going from 13 c/kWh down to just 6!

  • rate – 36.46 c/kWh (increase by 26.29%)
  • Feed In – 6 c/kWh (decrease by 53.85%)
  • Daily Supply – 129.12 / day (increase by 97.95%)

Not sure how they can justify these changes in only 16 months, but that is a different story..

Time for a change…

So I did my research and chose to return to AGL as for me with power and gas they offered the best pricing, but I had to decide which plan to go with and this is where the rip-off begins.

I will point out that I am highlighting AGL specifically but they are not alone, go look at any provider and they all offer similar pricing structures a.k.a price gouging.

AGL Plan Analysis

In Sydney NSW we have two plans to compare..

AGL Value Saver vs AGL Solar Savers

Lets compare the offerings

PlanRate (c)Daily SupplyFeed In Tariff
Value Saver31.135 /kWh76.406Flat 7 c/kWh
Solar Saver35.706 /kWh87.58210 c/kWh first 10 kW, 7 c/kWh after
% increase14.619%14.627%

So Lets look at the feed in tariff difference.

  • 10c/kWh for the first 10 kW.

So your first 10 kWh

  • Solar Savers FIT – $1.00
  • Value Savers FIT – $0.70

After that they are the SAME.

So for the privilege of earning 30c more in FIT AGL feel they can charge you a 14.62% price premium.. for what?

I am still connected to the energy network in the same way, there is nothing different apart from the fact they may have to pay customers an extra 30c if they feed 10 kWh into the Grid.

The tables below show 8 days of actual usage data and shows that on average the Value Plan is 36c per day CHEAPER than the SOLAR PLAN!!

Value Saver Usage

DayDaily SCDaily UsageUsage CostCost Per DayFeed InFeed InPer Day

Solar Savers Usage

DayDaily SCDaily UsageUsage CostCost Per DayFeed InFIT < 10FIT > 10Total FITPer Day

Total Comparison

DayValue SaverSolar SaverDifference
per dayper day
12.6462.994– 0.349
23.4063.786– 0.380
32.6522.935– 0.284
43.7714.142– 0.371
53.4133.719– 0.306
64.1734.590– 0.417
73.8084.284– 0.476
83.1443.423– 0.279
Total27.01229.873– 2.862
Average3.3763.734– 0.358

It’s not a big difference but over an entire year, that is $100+ dollars in your pocket not theirs!

From the Energy providers perspective if every solar customer is handing over an extra $100 to $200 a year that adds up to big dollars.

In winter I think the cost savings by staying on the Value plan will be even greater. As the affect of buying electricity when you use more power will far outweigh the $0.30 premium you may get if you put in 10 kWh.

For example, Day #2 usage was the highest so the cost of usage plus daily supply on the Value Plan was $0.68 lower on the value plan and you will never earn that back on the the feed in $0.30.

Assuming that you consistently put in a minimum of 10 kWh per day, then based upon these rates the moment you purchase more than 4.2 kWh of power you are better off on the Value plan.

On a day in winter when you use more electricity for heating if you purchase 26kWh you will be $1.00 worse off on the Solar Plan.

You may have to do your own comparison, but suffice to say I am on the Value Saver plan and not using the “Solar Saver Plan”, and in my opinion you are better off on the cheaper plan as the $0.30 more you get for feed in is outweighed by the price premium.

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