July 20, 2020

Your guide to federal government solar STCs

Homeowners who install a solar system may be able to receive a benefit under the federal government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme.

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Federal government STCs make solar affordable to more Australians.

This benefit works as an upfront discount on the purchase of a solar system, meaning it costs consumers less to move solar.

Under Australia’s Renewable Energy Target, every megawatt-hour of qualifying energy generation is eligible for renewable energy certificates (RECs). For qualifying residential rooftop solar systems, these certificates are known as Small-scale Technology Certificates (or STCs).

Assuming you’re eligible, when you install a solar system with B.Solar, STCs will be created. We will ask you to assign these STCs to us. Then we will deduct the value of them from your total system cost, so the price you pay for solar is less.

The number of STCs created depends on the amount of renewable electricity the solar system generates (or the amount of electricity consumption it reduces) (so the system size), where it’s installed (where you live) and when it’s installed (since the scheme reduces each year).

How do STCs work?

B.Solar takes the hassle out of managing the federal STC benefit by doing the work on your behalf.

The Solar Credits Program is part of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target – and under this initiative, every megawatt hour of qualifying energy generation is eligible for renewable energy certificates (RECs). For residential solar, these certificates are known as Small-scale Technology Certificates (or STCs).

In your B.Solar proposal, we have already taken into account your STCs and discounted the price of your solar system accordingly.

When the installer arrives at your home, you will assign the STCs to us and we’ll complete the registration of these certificates with the Renewable Energy Regulator on your behalf.

Doing it this way is a hassle-free way for our customers to manage the STC benefit of purchasing residential solar and enjoy an immediate deduction in their costs.

Occasionally, we are asked whether customers can redeem the STCs themselves.

They can, however, it means that the cost of their solar system is higher up-front. Then the customer will need to register their STCs on the government market exchange and wait. For most people, it’s better to assign STCs to us and avoid the red tape and delays.

Who is eligible for STCs?

Homeowners, small businesses and community groups (including schools) are all eligible for the solar panel credits program.
Unlike many government initiatives, the Solar Credits Program is not means tested. If you’re a homeowner, small business or representing a community group, you can be eligible.

The program covers grid connect and off-grid solar systems, and solar system that include energy storage (a solar battery). Energy storage does not attract extra STCs.

You are eligible for STCs when you have your system installed by CEC accredited solar installers (like the B.Solar installers). Only properly qualified installers can sign off on STCs.

The STC benefit also applies to wind turbine installations and micro-hydro systems. It even applies to your caravan, boat, shed or RV if these are your principle place of residence and they have an address (such as a caravan park).

How many STCs can I get?

The number of STCs you are eligible for depends upon your solar system size, where you live and when you buy.

The number of STCs created depends on the amount of renewable electricity the solar system generates (or the amount of electricity consumption it reduces) and the climate region where it’s installed.

In addition, the number of STCs created depends on when your solar system is installed. This scheme decreases each year and will end completely in 2030. In 2019, for example, the deeming period was 12 years. By 2020, it has reduced to 11 years, and it will reduce further, so going solar now is the best option to maximise your STC benefit.

Because Australia is a large continent with a wide range of sunshine hours across various latitudes, the nation has been divided into four zones, which is why where you live affects the numbers of STCs you’re eligible for.

Zone 1, which includes most of Queensland, has the greatest annual availability of sunlight, so Zone 1 attracts a higher STC benefit than Zone 4, which receives the least.

Speak to the friendly team at B.Solar who can help you calculate the STC component of your system discount.

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