Feed in tariffs are not a new idea, countries in Europe such as Germany and Spain have been using them for more than a decade and it is the main reason why there has been such a large uptake of solar in these countries. Feed in Tariffs are not the same as the RECS scheme- they are run by the state governments and are independent of the Federal government RECs scheme.
In Australia we have two types of feed-in-tariffs, Gross and Net. A gross feed-in-tariff is where all of the power that a home owner produces is exported directly to the grid and at a premium rate. A Nett feed in tariff is where the unused portion of the electricity generated by the solar system is exported at a premium rate. Victoria currently runs a Nett feed in tariff scheme.
The Feed in Tariff is an incentive to promote the purchase of renewable energy for your financial benefit. A feed in tariff is the rate paid for any electricity your solar system feeds back into the grid. The rate which is paid varies depending on your state and whether you are eligible for a government feed in tariff or not. State Government legislation sets the rate of payment for the feed in tariff at a higher price than the standard price you pay to buy the electricity in, this helps to compensate for the money spent on installing your solar system and to brings the buyback period down even faster.
Power companies are obligated by law to purchase your excess electricity. You are still able to shop around various power companies for the best rates and move without compromising your feed in tariff scheme.