Case study: how a Glebe resident with solar negotiated a better electricity deal

This terrace-house owner and rooftop-solar user wasn’t sure if she could renegotiate her electricity plan – and got a pleasant surprise.

Virginia Lloyd was an early adopter of rooftop solar, installing a system on the roof of her Glebe terrace house a full decade ago. “Back then, the government was offering a sensational 66-cents-per-kilowatt-hour feed-in tariff” she said. “It was a compelling proposition.”

Virginia, who works in retail property development, says she didn’t pay much attention to her solar system in the years that followed. But in 2018, her introductory feed-in tariff expired, and her quarterly electricity bills increased.

“My feed-in tariff dropped all the way down to 2 or 3 cents per kilowatt hour,” she said. “That seemed awfully low to me, so I decided to get in touch with my supplier.”

Virginia was hopeful that the cost of the electricity she bought from the grid could still be significantly offset by a feed-in tariff. Her supplier’s response encouraged her. “They were extremely receptive,” she said. “I basically just said, ‘I’m pretty sure you can do better than this’ and they said, ‘Sure’.”

“I knew that asking for a higher feed-in tariff didn’t make sense if my supply rate increased by that same amount or more, so I asked the operator to run me through the current plans. We discovered that to get the best feed-in tariff, the supply rate went up too much. It was better for me to stay on a lower feed-in tariff.”

Even so, Virginia was able to lock in a new-and-improved feed-in tariff of 8 cents per kilowatt hour without having to pay a higher supply rate. “I was surprised by just how helpful they were,” she said.

Virginia encourages other City of Sydney residents to phone their suppliers and ask for a better rate, particularly if they’re using rooftop solar. “It wasn’t intimidating at all,” she said.

Learn from other City residents and businesses

All across our local government area, residents and businesses are switching to greener sources of electricity. Here are a few of their stories:

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