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All you need to know about STC ‘rebates’

Jay Dean
10 August 2021
https://www.energypartners.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/charge-elements.jpeg

STCs, or Small-Scale Technology Certificates, make buying a solar system for your home or small business much more affordable. But what are STC rebates and how do they work? Read on to find out.

Under the Solar Credit program, there are various incentives for Australian small-scale solar generators for creating renewable power. For small energy producers (for example a residential homeowner with their own solar installation) these incentives are STCs.

Essentially, STCs are tokens that you can use to get a discount against the cost of installing your home solar system. How many STCs you are eligible for varies depending on the size of your system. If you are in the market to get solar, you should be aware that virtually every price you see advertised will already have the deduction applied.

How do STCs work?.

STC rebates are given out with eligible solar systems. They can be redeemed for a dollar value that is deducted from the cost of the system at the time of purchase.

The STC program isn’t technically a rebate, and the Government doesn’t actually pay out the money you save. Instead, the Government insists that the fossil fuel industry buy STCs from solar energy generators, contributing that money so that your new solar system is more affordable (in reality it is obviously much more complicated than that, but this simplified, working version will do for now).

Am I eligible for STCs?.

The STC system has been put in place to help homeowners, schools, community groups and small business to invest in solar. It is worth noting that eligibility is not means tested.

It isn’t the home or building owner that needs to be eligible for STC, the eligibility falls on the company or person trading the Certificates.

There are some requirements on the system you get installed however, to be eligible for STCs.

Firstly, your solar system must be under 100kW. Secondly, your system must be installed and designed by an accredited professional. And thirdly, it must use both approved solar panels and inverters.

You can check how many STCs you are eligible for with the Government’s STC calculator:

https://www.rec-registry.gov.au/rec-registry/app/calculators/sgu-stc-calculator

What are STCs worth?.

The higher the STC price then the bigger the subsidy you get against your solar costs. How much you get for your STCs depends on three factors. These are: where you live in Australia, the current STC value (which varies with market conditions) and the deeming period (we’ll explain this term later).

STCs change in value based on the current demand for solar installation. Demand goes down, and the value of STCs goes up. By law, $40 is the highest price that STCs can rise to. But they can also drop if demand for solar goes up.

STC value also fluctuates based on where you live. There are four zones around Australia, and each of these has a different rating based on how much solar power can be generated in that area.

You can check which zone your property is in here:

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2014C00241/Html/Text%23_Toc382818619

Price is also determined by how long it has been since the start of the scheme, known as the ‘deeming period’. The value of STCs reduces by a 15th every year (with the scheme set to be totally phased out in 2030). The obvious up-shoot of this is that if you are considering solar, it makes sense to act before the deeming period further reduces the potential value of your discount

How much can STC rebates save you?.

The easiest way to show how much STCs could save you is to use a practical example (and don’t worry, all the numbers here are pretty standard, so you can really get a feel for it). So, let’s say you choose a 6.6kW system in Brisbane in 2021, and it costs $(10,357) for gear and installation, then you would be eligible for (91) STCs.

The current market value of STCs in your zone is $(37.00) *. So, you multiply the amount of STCs you are eligible for by the current dollar value to find your discount, which you then deduct from the overall cost of the solar system.

$(10,357) for the average cost of 6.6kW solar system including installation (91) STCs x $(37.00) *

You save $(3,367) on your new solar system, resulting in a net cost of $(6,990)

To get an exact amount, contact us now for a quote.

When you purchase your solar system from Energy Partners, we have already taken into account your STCs, deducting the cost from the price. You then assign the STCs to us, and we take care of all the admin for you, while you enjoy an immediate price deduction. Thank you STCs.

 Please note: * This is an estimate only based on the value at the time of writing. The actual value will change with market conditions.

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