A wide range of rebates are available to buyers installing energy saving devices, such as solar power systems (PV), solar hot water systems and heat pumps in their homes.
While each State operates their own rebate systems, which are accessible through the links at the bottom of this page, the Commonwealth Government offers rebates in two specific areas:
Hot Water Systems
The Commonwealth Government offers a rebate of $1,000 to people upgrading from an electric hot water system to solar, and $600 for people upgrading from an electric hot water system to Heat Pump.
These rebates are available on application after the installation is complete and has been approved by the Local Authority in which area the installation is made.
When you buy from Planet Power, your local Planet Power store will help you with the documentation to help you submit your rebate claim as part of the service.
Additionally, your new solar hot water system or heat pump will attract a certain number of Small Scale Technology Certificates (STCs), depending on the energy rating it achieves. This can be taken either as a point of sale discount or you can choose to manage them yourself. More information on STCs and how they can work for you is contained in the section below, “Small Scale Technology Certificates”.
Solar Power Systems (PV)
The Commonwealth Government makes a considerable contribution to the capital cost of your new solar power system by the creation of STCs, which are explained fully below.
State Governments also contribute to ongoing power cost reduction after installation of a solar power system through a system of Feed-in tariffs, which allows you to feed excess power generated by your system back into the electricity grid and for you to be paid for that electricity. Full explanation of the Feed-in Tariff system that applies in your particular State is available through the links to the various State Rebate sites listed at the bottom of this page.
Small Scale Technology Certificates
As of 1 January 2011, Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) replaced Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for all eligible Solar Hot Water and Small Scale Solar Power Systems. The Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator explains how STCs work for you.
What are STCs?
STCs are a tradeable commodity attached eligible installations of renewable energy systems (including solar panels, solar hot water heaters and heat pumps).
When you install an eligible system under the Federal Government’s Small Scale Renewable Energy Scheme, you may claim a set number of these STCs. This number is based on the amount of electricity in megawatt hours:
- Generated by your small scale solar panel, wind or hydro system over the course of its lifetime of up to 15 years; or
- Displaced by your solar water heater of heat pump over the course of its lifetime of up to 10 years.
How Many STCs will I Receive?
The number of STCs you can claim will vary according to your geographic location, what you are installing, whether your installation is eligible for Solar Credits and/or the size and capacity of the installed system. For example, a 1.5kw solar panel system in Melbourne might be eligible for a minimum of 21 STCs, while a solar water heater in Hobart might be eligible for a minimum of 20 STCs.
Solar Credits is a mechanism that increase the number of STCs that can be created for eligible installations of small-scale solar panel (photovoltaic – PV), wind and hydro systems.
You can calculate the number of STCs available by using the Office of Renewable Energy Regulator’s online calculator, found at www.orer.gov.au.
How do I get Money for STCs?
Firstly, your STCs must be created within 12 months of your system being installed. You can assign your STCs to a registered agent (such as Planet Power). We can give you a financial benefit for the certificates, such as a point-of-sale discount off the quoted system price in exchange for the right to create and sell those certificates.
Neither Planet Power nor the ORER sets the STC price used by Planet Power. This is set by the market and provided by STC traders (companies that buy the certificates and trade them through the clearing house).
If you choose to trade your own certificates, payment for them or the right to create them is a matter between you and your chosen trader.
Receiving Your Discount at Point of Sale?
If you choose to transfer your STCs to Planet Power, you must complete the Trader’s STC Assignment Form provided by Planet Power in order to assign the certificates and receive the point-of-sale discount. You must also provide or sign any other documentation required by Planet Power or an installer acting on Planet Power’s behalf.
These documents are an essential part of the eligibility process and must comply with legislated requirement for your installation.
What Happens to my STCs once they have been assigned?
The Trader creates the STCs in an online system called the REC Registry. They are then able to be listed for sale through the open STC market or the ORER-managed STC Clearing House. The price of the STCs fluctuates depending on market demand, but ends to stay between $20 and $40 per STC. There is a Government guaranteed price of $40 per STC (excluding GST) if the seller uses the STC Clearing House. However, certificated take some time to clear this way, thus delaying payment to the seller.
The demand for STCs is created by liable entities (commonly electricity retailers) that are required by law to buy and surrender a set number of STCs per year. Surrendered STCs are invalidated by ORER and cannot be bought or sold again.
Creating STCs Yourself?
This is perfectly possible, but you will need to do all the work ordinarily undertaken by a Trader. You will pay full price for your system and manage the installation of it yourself to ensure that it is eligible to claim STCs. You will also need to create the certificates yourself in the REC Registry and have them validated by ORER. You can then either:
- Find a company that will purchase small numbers of STCs and arrange a contract for their sale; or
- Use the ORER-managed STC Clearing House to sell your certificates for a fixed price of $40 (excl. GST) per STC.
STCs are placed in a queue for sale, where they wait until a buyer is available. The sale can be immediate or may take many months – there are no guarantees on how long your STCs will take to sell.
When the STCs are transferred to the buyer you will receive the money for their purchase. Planet Power can provide you with a step-by-step guide to simplify this process.
As this whole process can be complex, most householders prefer to use a trader.
How do I know my Renewable Energy System is Eligible for STCs?
Your new solar water heater or heat pump is eligible if it is listed in the Register of Solar Water Heaters. Your new solar panel system is eligible if its components are listed in the Clean Energy Council (CEC) list of accredited components and it is installed by a CEC accredited installer.
You can find this register on the ORER website.
What is the Purpose of the Small Scale Renewable Energy Scheme?
The Scheme encourages the purchase of solar water heaters, heat pumps and small-scale solar panel, wind and hydro power systems by offering a financial benefit to owners through the assignment and/or sale of STCs.
What is ORER?
The Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator is a statutory agency established to oversee the implementation of the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). These schemes are implemented through the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 and the accompanying Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001.
The Act aims to:
- Encourage the additional generation of electricity from renewable sources;
- Reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the electricity sector; and
- Ensure that renewable energy sources are sustainable.
ORER has the power to enforce compliance requirements as listed under the Act and Regulations.
This information has been provided to you from information sourced from the ORER brochure, What you need to know about Small Scale Technology Certificates (STCs).
More information about STCs and the Federal Government rebate system is available from the ORER website www.orer.gov.au
We can help you understand how the STC rebate system can work for you. Get in touch with Planet Power today or phone 1300 769 371.
Each State and Territory in Australia offers its own incentives to residents of that State or territory to encourage the installation of energy saving devices in the home. These are additional to the rebates offered through the Federal Government’s STC system and can be a great help in further reducing the upfront cost of your new solar, wind or hydro power system or solar water heater or heat pump.
To find out the State rebates that apply in your corner of the planet, CONTACT PLANET POWER NOW, or go to the relevant site as shown below: