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Solar Rebate

The SRES and STC ‘Government Rebates’ explained:

Our government is focussed on clean, green energy and has developed a ‘rebate’ to assist households, small business and community groups with the cost of installing a solar PV system. The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme works by issuing Small-scale Technology Certificates (STC’s) to eligible households. These ‘certificates’ are based on the expected output of your solar power system over a 15 year period, with one STC being the equivalent of 1 megawatt- hour (MWh) of renewable energy.

Therefore, if you install a solar power system today, these schemes are worth a rebate of about $700 per kW installed. This equates to around $3,500 off a typical 5kW system, which is usually applied at the point of sale.

There has been continuing talk of the rebate being ‘under threat’ by a government review, the good news is that the review has passed and the government has decided to allow the scheme to stay in place until at least May 2017.

However, what most people don’t realise is that the dollar value of this ‘solar rebate’ could take a dive at any time over the next 2 years. The reason being, that the STC (or Small-scale Technology Certificate) system has been designed to ‘self regulate’. This means is that if the solar market expands or increases, the value of the ‘rebate’ goes down in step with the ‘STC price’. This STC price can legally be valued from $0 to a maximum of $40. The higher the STC price the more ‘rebate’ you will get. At the time of writing this, the STC is basically as high as it can be. This translates into a rebate of approximately $700 per kW you purchase, but if anything causes a rush on solar systems then the rebate will probably drop and could go under $350 per kW installed.

STC’s can almost be described as a sort of renewable energy currency, which can be bought, traded, and sold, and their value will fluctuate according to supply and demand. As STC’s are created by a calculation on the expected output of your solar power system, they can be created as soon as you have your system installed. So, your solar power system does not need to produce any power at all before the STC’s are created. Taking our beautiful Gold Coast weather into consideration, it can be expected that our solar power systems will produce more power, therefore systems installed in sunnier locations are eligible for a larger number of STCs, while less sunny locations can not claim quite as many.

In effect, these Small-scale Technology Certificates provide an up-front discount for homeowners who purchase solar power systems for their homes or businesses.

If you need some clarification about the rebate scheme, please feel free to contact Hinterland Solar & Electrical Solutions now.

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