Federal Solar Rebate to be reduced up to $5,069 in 2020

As the end of the year swiftly approaches so does the annual decrease of the Federal Government Solar Rebate. The Solar Rebate, which entitles households and small businesses to large subsidies when purchasing and installing solar PV systems will lower come January 1st, meaning customers buying solar PV systems from this date forward will not be entitled to as large of a rebate as what is available now. The rebate is set to decrease anywhere from $100- $5000+ dependent on the size solar system you intend to purchase.

How does the Solar Rebate work?

solar savings

The solar rebate officially known as the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) provides those purchasing solar PV systems with a substantial rebate based on the amount of small-scale technology certificates (STCs) that the system is permitted to. STCs are certificates which system owners or installers can trade in exchange for an upfront discount to the cost of a solar system. STC’s have a dollar value which can fluctuate depending on market demand, changes in Government and other factors in the  industry.

The larger the solar PV system the more STC’s a system is entitled to, the more STC’s, the greater the rebate. Every year on January 1st the amount of STC’s a solar system is granted decreases meaning the rebate decreases.

Note: Only CEC approved solar PV systems installed by CEC accredited installers are eligible for the rebate.

How much will the Solar Rebate decrease by?

The larger the solar PV system, the greater the rebate and the more significant the difference will be come January 1st. As a quick guide, below is a table displaying the current rebate and STC’s available VS. the decreased rebate and STC’s come January 1st.

System SizeState2019 Rebate2020 RebateRebate Difference
3kWWA, QLD, SA, NSW, NT$1,813 | 49 STC's$1,665 | 45 STC's$148
VIC, TAS$1,554 |42 STC's$1,443 | 39 STC's$111
5kWWA, QLD, SA, NSW, NT$3,034 | 82 STC's$2,812 | 76 STC's$222
VIC, TAS$2,627 | 71 STC's$2,405 | 65 STC's$222
7kWWA, QLD, SA, NSW, NT$4,292 | 116 STC's$3,922 | 106 STC's$370
VIC, TAS$3,663 | 94 STC's$3,367 | 91 STC's$296
9kWWA, QLD, SA, NSW, NT$5,513 | 149 STC's$5,032 | 136 STC's$481
VIC, TAS$4,699 | 127 STC's$4,329 | 117 STC's$370
99kWWA, QLD, SA, NSW, NT$60,717 | 1,641 STC's$55,648 | 1,504 STC's$5,069
VIC, TAS$52,059 | 1,407 STC's$47,730 | 1,290 STC's$4,329

**Please note as the STC value can fluctuate anywhere between $34-$40 these are estimations based on the STC value at $37.

solar rebate

How to calculate the STC rebate

As mentioned earlier STC’s have a dollar value which can fluctuate depending on market demand, changes in Government and other factors in the industry. The value has fluctuated between $34-$40 throughout the Solar Rebate scheme but is currently sitting around the $36-$37 mark.

A simple way of estimating the rebate amount is to multiply the STC $ value by the amount of STC’s a system is entitled to.

As a example; A 5kW system is entitled to 82 STC’s in 2019. As the STC value is currently at $37 the calculation would be 82×37= $3034. This means you could purchase a 5kW solar system valued at $9,000 for under $6,000 when using the $3,304 rebate.

Why does the rebate amount vary by location?

For the purpose of the Solar Rebate, Australia is segmented into zones ranging from 1-4. What zone an area is has been determined by how much clean, renewable energy a solar system can generate in that location. In simpler terms the more sunshine an area gets the more STC’s a system installed in that area will receive. Locations in Zone 1 receiving the highest amount of STC’s and those in Zone 4 receiving the least.

Find out your postcodes zone rating here.

Solar Victoria’s Panel Rebate to also drop!

For those in Victoria the reduction to Solar Victoria’s Panel Rebate will also take place in January, with the value plummeting from $2,225 to $1,888. Read more on the decrease to Solar Victoria’s Panel Rebate here.

Now is the time to do your research!

Now is the highest rebates will ever be and missing out could have you paying thousands more towards a solar system. Don’t wait until the end of the year to do your research, start speaking to installers and compare quotes to get the best value system for your needs.

Request 3 Quotes and start speaking to CEC accredited installers about your rebate entitlements!

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Beginners Guide to Solar Power

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.