WA Government launches Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme (DEBS)

Rooftop solar panels on suburban home (energy upgrades)
Rooftop solar panels (Image: Shutterstock)

WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston has launched the Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme (DEBS), which introduces payments for energy exported to the grid from eligible home batteries and electric vehicles.

To support the uptake of batteries and electric vehicles, the McGowan Government will extend buyback payments to export from these sources in the same way as rooftop solar. 

DEBS will apply to eligible households, schools and not-for-profits installing new solar panels or batteries, or upgrading their existing solar panel system (up to a five kilowatt maximum). 

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Under the new scheme:

  • Electricity exported between 3pm and 9pm will earn 10 cents a kilowatt-hour (kWh);
  • Electricity exported at other times will earn 3c/kWh.   

Until November 6, 2020 DEBS customers will receive the Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme (REBS) to allow Synergy and Horizon Power to complete software and technical upgrades.

The new pricing better reflects the cost of electricity at different times of day, with the 10c provided during the greater demand period when wholesale cost of electricity is high.

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REBS customers will not be affected by these changes, unless they choose to switch to DEBS; install a battery, which is not currently eligible for REBS; or upgrade their solar panel system.

Minister Johnston said Western Australia is undergoing a massive energy transformation, with one in two households expected to have solar panels by 2030.

“This new scheme encourages households to make the most of their solar energy, when it is plentiful in the middle of the day, which not only benefits them but also supports the grid,” he said.

“It encourages households to install batteries and west facing panels, which helps stretch solar generation into the afternoon-evening peak, extending the time to benefit from the sun’s rays.

“Introducing DEBS is part of the McGowan Government’s plan for a greener energy future.”

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