Solar incentives - STC's
Here are some of the solar incentives available in Australia:
Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES): This federal government scheme provides financial incentives in the form of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) for eligible solar panel installations (up to 100kW) or solar water heaters. The number of STCs depends on the system's size, location, and the amount of electricity it's expected to produce over its lifetime.
Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs): Offered by state and territory governments, FiTs provide credits or payments for surplus electricity generated by residential solar systems that is fed back into the grid. The rates and terms of FiTs vary across regions.
State Government Rebates and Incentives: Several states offer additional incentives or rebates for installing solar systems. For instance:
Victoria: The Victorian Solar Homes Program offers rebates on solar panel installations and interest-free loans.
New South Wales (NSW): The Solar for Low Income Households Program provides rebates for eligible low-income households.
Solar Loans and Financing: Some local governments or financial institutions offer low-interest loans or financing options to assist homeowners in purchasing solar systems.
Solar for Rental Properties: Programs are available in some states to encourage landlords to install solar panels on rental properties. In some cases, this includes financial incentives or rebates.
Please note that solar incentives and programs may change, vary by region, and have specific eligibility criteria. It's advisable to check with your local government authorities or consult with accredited solar installers to get the most current and accurate information regarding available incentives in your area.
STC's: Prices and what effects the price?
First of all, let me explain the so-called "rebate". This is the most common term we hear concerning what exactly are STC's. STC's are applied upfront as a discount off the cost of your system. The larger your system the larger the 'rebate'. At the time of writing (2023) a typical 6.6kW system in most parts of the country will get you 73 STC's. We have been pricing them at $38 each. Math, 73 (STC's) x $38 = $2,774.
Note: in the video below from 2018 a similarly sized system got you 118 STC's. At $38 each this would have been $4,484 (discount). Considerably greater than 2023. Each year the number of STC's you get for your solar system reduces from 31st December. So, those sitting on the fence you will pay extra.
STC's have a market value on the open market where they are bought and sold. So, like any other market there are supply and demand issues which in turn affect the price of an STC both up or down. At the time of this writing, we have had consistently high and stable pricing. This has led to much lower cost and advertised solar system deals.
Having been in solar for so long (since 2009) we have seen the earlier days where huge volatility occurred on a daily basis. Some weeks the value for the STC (in those days they were called REC's (Renewable Energy Certificates) would fluctuate by a massive $10- $20 per certificate! As a company our price list needed to change on almost a daily basis if not weekly.
One can reasonably assume that due to the number of solar systems sales and installations, there has been many new STC's created and entering the market. What will this mean? - Possible lower demand due to higher supply, therefore, lower prices for an STC. Ultimately, lower prices mean higher costs of solar for possibly the first part of 2024...
View video explaining this in more detail from 2018 (still relevant):
your STC zone determines your rebate calculation