The feed-in tariff is a charge per kWh of energy exported or sold to a utility power grid that comes from grid-tied solar photovoltaic systems. For that reason, grid-tied systems are often referred to as "grid tie." But is it possible to use tariffs in order to increase the return on investment? It is feasible, but let us explain how.
There are two main types of pricing structures provided by electrical power providers. The first is known as a flat rate structure, where the cost of the purchased kWh is fixed by the provider and remains the same throughout the day. As well as the time of use structure, which has different prices based on different times of the day, there will be off peak and high peak rates. High peak time is normally afternoon to evening, and off peak occurs in the night. Normal time occurs during the rest of the day hours, however in some areas, the kWh charges may reach 51 cents per kWh during high peak.
From a solar economics perspective, different pricing structures will have similar results, however some electricity retailers may only choose one of these pricing models, so whether one or the other in these cases is your only option. However, if they offer both, then you need to check your electricity consumption pattern and how you use electricity throughout the day, in order to determine which structure is most beneficial for you. It is not needed for time of use tariff since you have already used/consumed the electricity during peak charging periods, and a flat tariff would be more advantageous. An example: if you return home between 2-3pm, and use a lot of electricity up until the night, then you have already used the electricity during peak load, so there is no need for time of use tariff since it is useless, and the flat tariff would be more beneficial. It's best to use time of use tariff if you have battery capacity and can charge it when it's most convenient for you.
Your supplier of solar photovoltaic systems is capable of assisting you in selecting the right tariff structure based on your electricity consumption pattern and can provide analysis, such as a feed-in tariff analysis.
Another important consideration is the solar energy meter, as time of use tariff structure requires a special meter, unlike flat rate structure that does not require a special meter, and can operate with a regular meter. Before buying and installing the solar power system energy meter, make sure you know what tariff you will use.