Solar Installation Incentives
Solar makes Sense
Rising world energy prices, good investment returns on solar systems, the continuing drive to reduce CO2 emissions and Australia’s climate are good incentives to use solar energy.
In addition, the Federal and State Governments have introduced various financial incentives to encourage the use of renewable energy. Some of these incentives have ceased and others are subject to change. The following is for general information and should be checked with the appropriate government department.
Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs)
Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) are an electronic form of currency. You receive one STC for every one megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity generated by your renewable energy system. STCs replaced Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for small-scale energy systems.
You could be eligible to receive STCs if you install a small scale energy system such as solar electricity generation or solar hot water at home.
You may not be entitled to STCs if your home is being built by a builder or property developer and the system is included as part of the building contract. In this case, STCs are likely to be created and traded by the builder.
STCs are a tradable commodity. The value of a STC is determined by the demand and supply for STCs and varies from day to day.
The only time the STC price is fixed is if it is to be traded through the ORER-managed STC Clearing House. STCs join a queue and it can take a long time for them to clear.
There are two main choices for residents in relation to STCs:
You can surrender your STCs to a registered agent in return for a discount or a cash payment at the time you buy your new system. Solarpro can facilitate this process.
You can hold onto your STCs and sell them at a future time or retire them.
The Solar Credits Scheme replaced the Australian Government’s $8,000 rebate for small-scale renewable energy systems such as household solar power systems. This scheme was not restricted by a $100,000 means test and was also available for properties that were not primary residences, such as holiday and investment properties.
Solar Credits were part of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme. When you purchased a solar power system between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2012, you received three times the number of STCs for up to 1.5kW of the system.
The Renewable Energy Target and everything associated with it is under review by the Federal Government. Please contact them for up-to-date information.
Renewable Energy Target
The Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme sets targets for the production of additional electricity generated from renewable energy sources. Australia currently has a set target of sourcing 20% of energy from renewable resources by 2020.
Electricity retailers and other purchasers of wholesale electricity (called liable parties) are required to contribute towards these increasing annual targets.
The liable parties show their compliance with the requirements of the RET scheme by obtaining either STCs or Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs). Each STC or LGC is equal to one MWh of electricity generated from a renewable energy source.
The Renewable Energy Target is currently under review by the Australian Federal Government. Please contact them for up-to-date information.
NSW Solar Bonus Scheme
The Solar Bonus Scheme for NSW was suspended in April 2011. No new applications are being considered.