Firstly “Small-Scale Technology Certificates” (know as STCs) are technically an incentive scheme, not a rebate. Semantics aside, STCs deliver you an upfront discount when you install a solar power system at your home. These certificates are traded (usually by your installer) in exchange for a dollar amount which is then deducted from the cost of your installation.
The number of STCs that you’re entitled to decreases on the 1st January each year. In short, the longer you wait to install solar, the smaller your discount from the STCs will be.
Only Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited installers are able to offer STCs discounts. This is great news for you if you get 3 quotes with Solar Market, because all of the suppliers we connect you with will be CEC accredited!
In 2011, the Australian Federal Government introduced the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (or SRES) to encourage homeowners and businesses to install solar systems. STCs were introduced as the mechanism to deliver the financial incentive to people who install solar systems less than 100kW in size (For systems 100kW and bigger, Large-scale Generation Certificates, know as LGCs, apply).
An STC discount is generally applied on your quote from your installer. An STC discount is generally applied on your quote from your installer. You will usually see a total cost, the STC discount applied, and the final out-of-pocket expense after the discount. This discounted amount is generally what you have to actually pay the installer. Sometimes, you might not see the STC amount on your bill because it’s automatically applied, but you can always double check with your installer.
When your system is installed, your install will probably ask you to assign your STCs over to them so they can then trade them in exchange for the dollar amount.
Let’s take a look at how the STCs themselves are determined below…
The number of STCs your solar system is eligible for is based on the expected amount of green electricity your new solar system will generate.
4 things impact on the number of STCs and amount of discount you can receive:
Factor 1 – The size of your solar system The bigger the system, the more green electricity your system will produce, the more STCs you are eligible for.
Factor 2 – Where you live When it comes to calculating your STCs, where you live is known as your “Zone”. Your Zone is an important factor in determining how many STCs you’re eligible for and it’s based on your postcode.
As you can see below, Australia has been separated into 4 zones. This has been done to show you how much solar energy can be generated by systems within a specific area.
Each zone has its own rating; the higher the rating, the more STCs you’ll be eligible for and the higher the discount you’ll get back from your STCs. As you can imagine, this is because you’ll get more sunlight and therefore produce more clean energy when you’re in Darwin (Zone 2) compared to Melbourne and Hobart (Zone 4).
Factor 3 – When you install your system When planning your system it’s important to know – the number of STCs that you’re entitled to decreases on the 1st January each year, which means the discount you get is likely to be lower too. This is called the deeming period, and it is calculated against when the Australian Federal Government plans to completely phase out the scheme which is the end of 2030. So, however many years are left to go before it’s phased out is your specific deeming period. In 2021, it’s 10 years to go until it’s phased out… in 2022, there will be 9 years to go, and so on.
Use the table below to figure out your deeming period.
YEAR SOLAR (PV) SYSTEM INSTALLED
DEEMING PERIOD (YEARS)
Factor 4 – STC Value While the deeming period shows you that the number of STCs you can get each year decreases, the actual dollar value of each individual STC also fluctuates. Your solar installer will give you the exact value when you chat to them or check out The Clean Energy Regulator to learn more about how they’re traded.
When you take all this into account the number of STCs you’re eligible for is dependent on how big your system is, but also where you live and when you have your solar power system installed.
The reason it’s important to know about the size of your system, your zone and the deeming period is because each of these factors are part of the STC calculation. The calculation itself is as follows:
Let’s apply this formula to a real life example. Greg is planning on installing a 6.6kW solar system on him home in Cairnes, QLD in 2022 and wants to know how many STCs will be available to him. Greg simply has to multiply these values all together and he’ll have the number of STCs available to him, in this case 82.
Greg simply has to multiply these values all together and he’ll have the number of STCs available to him, in this case 82.
Calculate Your STC Discount
Once you have your number of STCs, you can multiply that by the dollar value STCs are being traded at that moment in time to get your estimated discount amount. You can check the current market value of STCs on various trading platforms like Demand Manager.
This dollar amount will be the estimated discount you’ll get on installation day. Go you!
Remember, the number of STCs awarded decreases each year till 2030. The longer you wait the fewer STCs you’ll receive and the lower your discount at installation. Use the example below as a reference to get a better idea of the trend and how it will affect the final price of your system.
State Government Rebates
We've got the most important information you need to know about rebates available in your state.
In addition to the Federal Government STC incentive, some states offer extra rebates. Click below to learn what discounts are on offer from your State Government for solar systems and batteries.
In addition to the Australian Federal Government’s STC incentive, residents in the Australian Capital Territory can access up to three Territory Government solar and battery incentives.
SOLAR FOR LOW-INCOME PROGRAM
This program is a great way for eligible households in the Australian Capital Territory to get solar and help reduce power bills. Eligible households can get up to 50% of the costs associated with solar power installation covered by a State Government subsidy.
The program will get you up to 50% off your rooftop solar installation, but is capped at $2,500.
It’s a pretty simple process; you just need to get in touch with Access Canberra by calling 13 22 81 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest and confirm that you meet the below eligibility requirements.
In order to be eligible for this program, you need to:
Hold an Australian Government Pensioner Concession Card;
Be a homeowner in the Australian Capital Territory and;
Not already have rooftop solar installed
There are also a few other requirements that you’ll need to meet in terms of eligibility. These include roof orientation and size, as well as shading and other factors.
These are assessed on an individual basis, but you can read up on things like roof orientation and size here. The Territory Government has recently announced that the first round of the program has ended, so if you’d like to register your interest about future rounds or programs, you can send an email to the address listed above.
NEXT GENERATION ENERGY STORAGE PROGRAM
The territory government in the ACT is using the Next Generation Energy Storage Program to provide financial support to homes and businesses that are installing battery storage systems. The program requires installers to apply the rebate for battery installations on residential and business premises, so the best part is that this rebate is automatically included in the cost of the system quoted to you by your solar battery installer.
Now, the important part… your eligibility! In order to be eligible for a rebate under this program, your battery system must:
Be a new system that has not already been supported by the program;
Be connected to the electricity grid;
Be coupled with solar panels and;
Include a new inverter
SUSTAINABLE HOUSEHOLD SCHEME
The Sustainable Household Scheme will help the government provide interest-free loans of anywhere between $2,000 and $15,000 to eligible households in the ACT for any of the listed products:
Rooftop solar panels;
Household battery storage systems;
Electric heating and cooling systems;
Hot water heat pumps;
Electric stove tops;
Electric vehicle charging infrastructure;
Installation costs for these products
The loans will be offered in collaboration with Brighte, the territory government’s financial finance partner for the scheme. You can read more about the scheme here.
If you’re a homeowner, business or not-for-profit organisation in the Northern Territory, we’ve got great news for you!
In addition to the Australian Federal Government’s STC incentive, in the NT you also have the Home & Business Battery Scheme.
HOME AND BUSINESS BATTERY SCHEME
You can apply for a $6,000 grant through the state Government’s Home and Business Battery Scheme. If you’re a homeowner that also owns a business, you can do 2 separate applications and access the grant for both your home and business.
You’ll be eligible for the grant regardless of your electricity provider. However, if you currently get a premium feed-in tariff rate through Jacana Energy, you’ll be transferred to a standard feed-in tariff rate when you access the scheme.
So, let’s look at eligibility. You can apply for the grant if you are:
A registered owner of a residential property in the Northern Territory;
A registered Northern Territory business or;
A not-for-profit or community organisation operating in the Northern Territory in either owned or rented premises
The property you intend to use the grant on can be owner-occupied or be an investment property, but you’ll only be able to do one application per property and per homeowner.
You can use the funding to buy a solar power system along with an eligible battery and inverter. You can also use it to buy and install an eligible battery and inverter on their own provided you’ve already got a solar power system installed at the property Eligible batteries must have a 7-or-more kilowatt hour capacity.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use this scheme to fund and install solar panels and inverters where they are not being installed along with a battery.
In addition to the Australian Federal Government’s STC incentive, residents in South Australia have access to three State Government incentive programs.
HOME BATTERY SCHEME
In addition to the Australian Federal Government’s STC incentive, residents in South Australia have access to the Home Battery Scheme.
The Home Battery Scheme gives all those with solar power systems access to State Government subsidies and low-interest loans for batteries. These subsidies and loans are available to help pay for a home battery system and new solar power systems if needed.
This scheme is available to all South Australian residents and is calculated based on the kilowatt hour capacity of the battery you purchase. Energy Concession Holders in South Australia are even eligible for a higher subsidy, which helps incentivise the scheme for low-income households.
The scheme will continue to be phased down as more households take advantage of it.
Energy Concession Holders can access up to $300 per kilowatt hour of their chosen battery systems;
All other households can access up to $200 per kilowatt hour of their chosen battery systems;
All other households can access up to $200 per kilowatt hour of their chosen battery systems;
The maximum subsidy available per installation is $2,000;
Only residential properties are eligible and only one subsidy is available per property;
Only approved eligible equipment to be installed by a qualified provider;
The applicant must be the owner of the property or have consent from the owner to install a solar battery system
SWITCH FOR SOLAR
The South Australian State Government is now allowing eligible concession holders in specific suburbs the opportunity to access cheaper, cleaner electricity with its new Switch for Solar program. This program will give one thousand eligible households the chance to have a solar power system installed at no upfront cost, in exchange for their concession payments.
Those that are eligible will be offered the chance to make this exchange for a period of 10 years, getting a 4.4kW solar power system installed. Let’s see if your suburb is on the list.
Tea Tree Gully
VIRTUAL POWER PLANTSo, if you’ve read this far… odds are you’re interested in a home battery in South Australia. Joining a virtual power plant can also be a great way to reduce your upfront costs and reduce your power bills even further.
A virtual power plant (or VPP) is a network of solar and battery systems that work together as one big power plant to generate, store and feed energy back into the grid. The systems can be found in many suburbs and controlled using Wi-Fi technology and other complicated software to charge and discharge energy from solar batteries when required.
VPP operators give back to households in return for those that join the scheme. These can include discounts on your solar and battery systems or flexible rent-to-buy plans, credits on your power bill and more! You can read more here to see the complete list.