Does Bill Hero handle solar?

Yes! If solar is present in your bill, Bill Hero will include it in your comparison.

Solar appears as a separate line-item in each bill, displaying kWh exported, the feed-in tariff (FiT) rate earned per kWh exported, and the total dollar value of those exports. 

All the other elements of your electricity bill are subject to GST, and the individual line items may be displayed either with or without GST. Solar feed-in revenue is GST-free, so the dollar amount displayed on the bill for solar FiT is the amount that will be applied.

Bill Hero handles solar by taking the total solar kWh exported amount from your bill, and using that in the calculation of what you would have been charged under every other plan available to you—so if there's a competing plan that offers a higher feed-in tariff, then the dollar value of your solar kWh export will be higher for that plan, and this will be included in the comparison.

Solar is only one element of your bill, and Bill Hero compares on the overall bill amount, not only on the solar component. So it's possible that a competing plan might offer a great solar feed-in tariff, but the consumption charges may not be so great, and that plan may not rank very well overall.

Bill Hero finds the plan that would have delivered the best overall outcome for you, including feed-in tariff, consumption and connection charges, along with any other elements in your bill like discounts and incentives.

QLD solar meter charges

If you live in Queensland, you'll see a separate solar meter fee line item in your bills. This fee can vary between retailers, and it's not always documented in the fact sheets for each retailer, so it's not possible for Bill Hero to reliably include this fee in our comparison.

Bill Hero treats the solar meter fee as a once-off fee and excludes it from the comparison. If this affects you, you will see in your results email summary that the bill amount, which includes the solar meter charge, will be different to the comparison amount, which is the dollar amount Bill Hero will base the comparison on.

Capped solar system size plans

Some retailers make their plans and feed-in tariffs available only for households with solar systems below a certain kW rating. Bill Hero handles this by filtering out these plans if we know your solar system is above the cap. For new Bill Hero subscribers we ask a question about solar size as part of the sign up process. You can also inform us of your solar via Bill Hero support at Hello@BillHero.com.au, so that your comparison results will automatically be filtered to exclude any plans you're not eligible for due to your solar system size.

Block rate feed-in tariffs

It's becoming more common that retailers offer feed-in tariffs, where the feed-in rate changes after a kWh exported threshold is exceeded. There may be two or more steps in the solar FiT rate.

Some retailers have started using a $0 stepped rate to deliver the same outcome as a capped solar plan. For example they might offer a higher FiT rate for the first step, a lower FiT step for the second step, then $0 FiT beyond that. 

Bill Hero handles stepped FiT rates, including $0 rated steps automatically, and will price the value of your kWh exports accordingly.

VIC minimum FiT

In Victoria, the Essential Services Commission sets a mandated minimum FiT that must be offered by retailers. The minimum rates are defined as a single FiT rate to be applied to all exports, and as time-of-use rates to be applied to ToU exports. Retailers are free to offer FiT rates higher than the minimum if they choose to. Bill Hero uses whatever is the FiT offered by each retailer to calculate the value for your solar kWh exported under each plan in your comparison.

Premium feed-in tariffs

Bill Hero can detect when your bill includes a premium feed-in tariff, which is a high rate of FiT offered under legacy state-based schemes that are no longer available for new solar installations, but are still current for households who were early adopters and installed their solar when these schemes were in operation. 

If you're eligible for a premium FiT, it's common that your bill will include both a premium FiT component and a retailer FiT component. These elements can sometimes be broken out into separate line items in your bill, but not always. Bill Hero handles premium FiT by separating any retailer FiT revenue from the Premium FiT revenue. The Premium FiT component is transferable when you switch between retailers, and the dollar value of this Premium FiT component does not change, so it is automatically added into the comparisons for each competing plan. The Retailer FiT component depends on whatever FiT rate is offered by each retailer, and Bill Hero calculates the dollar value for that component for every plan in the comparison.

Premium feed-in tariff schemes

There are a variety of legacy state-based schemes set up a decade or more ago that offered premium feed-in tariffs for early adopters of solar. None of these legacy schemes are available for new solar installations.

In general, your eligibility for these schemes does not change when you switch between retailers, and the published solar feed-in tariff that the retailer offers usually is applied in addition to any premium FiT you're also entitled to.

The still operating schemes include:

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