What is solar power?

What’s not to like about turning sunlight into savings? Whether you’re contemplating a new solar installation or trying to work out how to make the most of an existing system, you’ve come to the right place.

Solar power is a type of renewable energy that involves capturing radiation from the sun and converting it into electricity. It’s the largest renewable energy source in Australia right now and expected to play a big part in our future energy mix. Really, it’s quite clever that humans figured out how to do this!

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A plant with electrical plugs

Saving money from solar energy in a piggy bank

What are the benefits of solar panels for your home?

A home solar installation gives you the power to harness clean, renewable energy for use in your home, reducing the amount of electricity you pay for. You can also earn bill credits (via your solar feed-in tariff) by sharing what you don’t use with the grid.

A home solar setup can:

  • TickReduce your power bills
  • TickHelp the transition to renewables
  • TickReduce your carbon footprint
  • TickIncrease the value of your property
  • TickLower exposure to energy market volatility

How does a home solar system work?

To make electricity, solar panels absorb light and use it in a way that creates electrical energy. That energy is converted into the type of electricity we use in our homes. So long as panels produce enough energy, the electrical items in our homes get the power they need from the sun, instead of relying on electricity from the grid.

Home solar power system

Answers to your home solar questions

How much money will I save by installing solar panels?

  • Your feed-in tariffYour feed-in tariff. A feed-in tariff (FiT) is the amount you receive from your power company for the solar power you make and send to the grid. A higher FiT can see a larger solar credit on your power bills. But a FiT isn’t everything. You need to keep an eye on your regular usage rate as well (especially if you tend to use more power at night). Watch out for solar promotional rates with a sting in the tail.
  • The size of your solar systemThe size of your solar system. In general, larger systems generate more power, which means less reliance on the grid. It makes sense to get a system that matches as closely as possible to your actual household energy needs, and the size of your roof.
  • Where you live.Where you live. Sunny locations perform best but it is possible to get a lot out of solar installations almost anywhere in Australia. Feed-in tariffs are also calculated by location and differ by state.
  • How you use your power.How you use your power. In most cases, the biggest savings benefit from solar comes from using what you make rather than collecting solar credits through your feed-in tariff. For example, running appliances, or charging an electric vehicle on a sunny day may serve you better than a house earning solar credits – grid usage rates are usually significantly higher than feed-in tariffs.

    For example, a Victorian customer in the Powercor network on the Victorian Default offer (VDO) flat tariff and minimum feed-in tariff, could save around $300 more a year if they consume 3kwh more of their solar power during the day each day, rather than use that same energy in the evening when they’re having to use energy from the grid. Running the dishwasher and a load of washing would be enough to use 3kwh

How long will it take for solar to pay itself off?

Most Australian solar installations cover their install costs in the first 4-8 years. If you use a lot of your own power during daylight hours, you’ll recoup costs at the speed of light, well, almost.

According to the Victorian State Government, installing rooftop solar panels saves Victorian households an average of $1073 per year on annual electricity bills.

What does the solar installation process look like?

Here are the steps it takes to get your solar installed, your meter updated and shiny solar credits flowing your way.

  • Step 1Step 1. You sign on with your solar installer of choice.
  • Step 2Step 2. Installers get permission from the distributor to do your install.
  • Step 3Step 3. Once approved, solar panels get installed on your house.
  • Step 4Step 4. Your installer submits their paperwork, indicating work is complete.
  • Step 5Step 5. We send you a Solar Authorisation Form (SAF) to sign which gives us permission to make your solar meter bi-directional and complete a tariff change if required.
  • Step 6Step 6. We’ll work with the network (VIC) or a metering company to get the right meter installed. You might need an upgrade or reconfiguration.
  • Step 7Step 7. We confirm the work is done and notify our billing team.
  • Step 8Step 8. Solar credits start coming your way for any excess solar power you send to the grid.

How long will it take?

We can’t give you a precise time estimate because there’s a lot of steps in the process that rely on your solar installer (they put the panels on your roof) and your energy network (power lines and metering) – not to be confused with your energy retailer (that’s us).

However, we’ve helped enough clients troubleshoot the process to know where things are most likely to get stuck.

What’s the holdup?

So, you’ve got your panels – where are the credits? If you aren’t seeing solar credits on your bill yet, you might be stuck at one of these two steps:

Step 4 – Look out, it’s a doozy. We can’t get moving until your solar installer submits their paperwork. They might need a little nudge to remind them to send their paperwork to us at newconnections@momentum.com.au or to the distributor if you’re supported by Citipower, Powercor, United Energy, Ergon or Energex.

Pro tip: ask them for a copy or to loop you in on their contact with us.

Step 5 – Just give us a sign. Double check you’ve signed and returned your Solar Authorisation Form (SAF) to us. You’re so close to the finish line, but we do need a signature to have your distributor check (and potentially switch out) your meter so we can see what you’re producing and accurately credit your bill.

Pro tip: To avoid delays and multiple visits from your network make sure there’s clear (and safe) access to your meter. Unlock the gate, restrain the dog, trim that prickly pear.

If you’ve tried everything without luck (or just need some moral support) our customer support team will do their best to help you get to the bottom of things.

Our current solar feed-in tariffs

Here are our current retailer feed-in tariffs for Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia:


Market offers

Standing offer













These rates include GST where applicable. If you remain eligible for a legacy government scheme with a higher FiT, we will pay you in line with the scheme.

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