Government Grants: Solar Incentives for Homeowners
July 18, 2023

Installing solar panels has become a popular choice for homeowners in Australia, not only for its environmental benefits but also due to enticing government incentives. Currently, two federal government incentives are available to support homeowners in their transition to renewable energy: Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) and Feed-in Tariffs. Let's explore these incentives and see how they can make going solar even more rewarding.

Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs)

STCs are an essential part of the federal government's initiative to promote the adoption of renewable energy systems, including solar panels, among small businesses and households.

Eligibility for STCs

To be eligible for Small-scale Technology Certificates, homeowners must meet the following criteria:

  1. Install the solar system one year before applying for and claiming STCs.
  2. Ensure that all accessories and components of the solar system are listed on the Clean Energy Council (CEC) approved list.
  3. Verify that the solar accessories meet Australian standards and comply with electrical safety regulations set by state, federal, territory, and local governments.
  4. Engage with a CEC accredited installer, designer, and retailer for the installation.
  5. The solar system's capacity should be less than 100kW, and its annual electrical output should not exceed 250MWh.

STCs Value and Market Dynamics

The value of Small-scale Technology Certificates is influenced by supply and demand in the open market. However, the STC price can never exceed $40 per certificate. As of now, the current STC price is $39.30 per certificate.

The number of certificates received depends on factors such as the solar panel's capacity, installation date, and system's location. Homeowners have the option to sell their STCs in the open market, as electricity retailers are mandated to purchase an annual quota of these certificates. Alternatively, homeowners can sell their STCs through their installation company, albeit at a slightly lower price to cover administration costs.

Phasing Out of STCs

Homeowners must be aware that the number of STCs they can receive will gradually decrease each year until 2030 when the government will phase them out entirely.

How to Apply for STCs

Applying for and claiming STCs is typically managed by solar installers on behalf of the homeowners. The value of the STCs is then passed on to the homeowner through the overall cost of the solar system. CEC qualified installers carefully handle the paperwork to ensure that the claims are processed correctly and efficiently.

By taking advantage of Small-scale Technology Certificates, homeowners can not only make their homes more energy-efficient but also capitalize on valuable incentives offered by the government. Investing in solar energy not only contributes to a greener future but also proves to be a financially rewarding decision for those looking to lower their carbon footprint and reduce electricity bills.

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