Solar Rebates and Incentives FAQ

Vaucluse Solar Installation

What is the Solar Rebate?

The solar rebate is an incentive by the federal government to subsidise the price of solar for homes and businesses.

It isn’t technically a rebate but provides a contribution towards the cost of system based on the systems maximum output through the generation of Small Scale Technology Certificates (STC’s).

Even though customers call it a rebate, it is officially known as a financial incentive.

Section 2.1.3 of the Clean Energy Council Code of Conduct describes it as:

Any reference to Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) must be consistent with Clean Energy Regulator wording, whereby an STC is a financial incentive, not a rebate, and consumers will not qualify for any government-based financial recompense at the completion of the STC creation process.”
https://assets.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/documents/approved-solar-retailers/approved-solar-retailer-code-of-conduct.pdf

How does the STC program work?

Based on the size of your system, it will qualify for a certain number of Small Scale Technology Certificates (STC’s). Each certificate has a value that is traded using an Aggregator such as Greenbot or Formbay.

When you purchase a solar system you generally assign the STC’s to the installer which results in the price of these STC’s coming off the cost of your system, meaning you pay a lower price for the system.

As an example a 6.6kW Solar System installed in Sydney in 2020 qualifies for 100 STC’s. If each STC is valued at $35 that equates to $3,500 off the cost of the system. This means if the system cost is $8,000 (inc GST) you will only pay $4,500.

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How long is the incentive available for?

The current legislation allows for the incentive to run until the end of 2030. The incentive reduces every year before tapering off to zero in 2031.

A 6.6kW system in Sydney generates 100 STC’s in 2020, however that same system installed in 2021 will only generate 91 STC’s.

How do I apply for the incentive?

There is no formal application process for the incentive. Your solar installer will do all the work for you and you simply sign off on allocating the STC’s to them when the installation is completed.

Solar Panels installed at Sydney Harbour

Do I have to assign the STC’s to the installer?

No. Even though it makes the process much simpler to allow the installer to trade the STC’s you can choose to keep the STC’s and trade them yourself. If you choose to do this though you will need to pay the installer the full price of the system.

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How do I know how many STC’s I qualify for?

Your installer should detail the number of STC’s and their value in any quotes they send out to you. You can also use the calculator at https://www.rec-registry.gov.au/rec-registry/app/calculators/sgu-stc-calculator to work out how many STC’s a system will qualify for.

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How do I qualify for STC’s?

To qualify for STC’s you need to meet the following criteria:
1. Your solar PV system must be less than 100kW in size
2. The components used (panels and inverters) must be approved for use in Australia by the Clean Energy Council.
3. The system must be installed and designed by a CEC accredited professional.

One of my solar panels isn’t working do I get STC’s for replacing it?

No. STC’s are only generated for new installations or increased capacity. So you won’t get them for replacing a panel but you will get them for adding additional panels.

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Does the government pay part of the cost of my system?

No. The government doesn’t pay anything towards the system, instead the system cost is reduced by the value of STC’s it generates.