Residential Solar Sponge Plan Comparison

Solar Sponge Tariffs

Looking to compare Solar Sponge Plans?

In July 2020, some electricity networks in NSW, Queensland and South Australia introduced “solar sponge” tariffs for households. These encourage users to ‘soak up’ cheaper power during the day when there is an abundance of solar energy. So these Time Of Use tariffs come with an off-peak period in the middle of the day – from 10am-3pm or even longer. In July 2021, all five Victorian electricity networks followed suit and introduced simplified time of use tariffs with off-peak periods applying from 9pm-3pm (18 hours per day) including peak solar generation hours.

Solar sponge tariffs can offer substantial savings for non-solar households as well as some solar households, who can take advantage of the low electricity rates in the middle of the day. We’ve summarised the energy plans currently in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.

We are huge fans of solar sponge tariffs as they offer the double saving of lower network charges and lower daytime wholesale electricity rates and importantly incentivise households to consume lower cost renewable energy during the day. By shifting consumption to the middle of the day, households can reduce their use at peak evening periods and overnight when more fossil fuels are needed to meet grid demand. We expect that the majority of consumers will be financially better off on these tariffs. For practical advice on switching tariffs and the latest network tariff rules check out WATTever’s Changing Tariffs Guide

Do you need a new meter?

If you have solar, you should already have an interval or smart meter at your property. A smart meter measures energy usage in 30 minute (or less) increments. With a smart meter installed, you can ask your existing or new retailer to switch to these tariffs. 

However, if you only have an accumulation meter, then you will need to contact your retailer to have your meter upgraded. This new meter will likely be a smart meter which reports energy usage (and solar export) daily to your retailer. Smart meters remove the need for a meter reader to visit your property. Plus they also give you access to more detailed usage and solar export data, either in the retailers online portal or you can request this from your network.

Want to find the best deals for you?

Low usage rates are important, but to find the best deal for your homes unique energy use, you’ll want to see the cheapest combination of rates, daily charges, controlled load rates and feed-in tariffs (if you have solar). We make it easy to get it right when you compare with WATTever’s comprehensive electricity comparison. You’ll see a personalised cost ranking of all publicly listed electricity plans, based on your energy use to help you make serious savings. We include all retailers, tariff types, discounts, solar feed-in tariffs, input for concessions and more. For extra tips check out our essential guide to comparing electricity properly.

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^ Rates shown include GST and all available discounts. Plans are updated weekly from retailer’s Basic Plan Information Documents (BPIDs)/Energy Price Fact Sheets