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Why you’ll save money with solar?

Small Scale Technology Certificates (STC)

STC’s or small-scale technology certificates are a Federal Government incentive to purchase eligible solar power systems.

Green Energy Electrical is a registered STC agent with Clean Energy Regulator as such we are able to bypass the middleman and can offer you the best possible price for your STC’s.

Small-scale Technology Certificates, or STC’s, are a tradable commodity attached to eligible installations of renewable energy systems (including solar panels, solar water heaters and heat pumps). Under the Federal Government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, when you install an eligible system, you may claim a set number of these STC’s. This number is based on the amount of electricity in megawatt hours (MWh) generated by your small-scale solar panel, wind or hydro system over the course of its lifetime of up to 15 years.

The number of certificates you can claim may vary depending on your geographic location, what you’re 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 on the Sunshine Coast might be eligible for a minimum of 31 STC’s. Solar Credits is a mechanism, which increases the number of STC’s 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 claimable by a system by using the calculators on the Clean Energy Regulator website.

How do I get money for STC’s?

First and foremost, your STC’s must be created within 12 months of your system being installed. You can assign your STC’s to a registered agent like Green Energy Electrical. We’ll give you a financial benefit for the certificates, such as a discount off the invoice, in exchange for the right to create and sell the certificates.

What happens to my STC’s once they’ve been assigned?

We’ll create the STC’s in an online system called the REC registry. They can then be listed for sale through the open STC market. The price of STC’s fluctuates depending on the demand in the market but tends to stay under $40/STC.

There is a government guaranteed price of $40/STC (excluding GST) if the seller uses the STC Clearing House. STC’s are only sold through the STC Clearing House when there is a buyer and there is no guarantee on how long STC’s will take to sell.

The demand for STC’s is created by liable entities (commonly electricity retailers) who are required by law to buy and surrender a set number of STC’s per year.

What if I want to create the certificates myself?

This is perfectly possible but you will need to do all the work ordinarily undertaken by an Agent like us. You will pay full price for your system and manage the installation of it yourself to ensure that it is eligible to claim STC’s. You will also need to create the certificates yourself on the REC Registry and have them validated by the Clean Energy Regulator.

It’s quite a complex process and the majority of our clients prefer to use Green Energy Electrical as their chosen registered agent.

For more information please visit the Clean Energy Regulator website.

QLD Solar Bonus Scheme

The Queensland Government Solar Bonus Scheme pays homeowners and businesses 8cents per kWh whenever they generate more electricity than they are using. This is known as a net feed in tariff (FiT).

The Queensland Government Solar Bonus Scheme was introduced in July 2008 and rewards homeowners and small customers (defined as homeowners or businesses who use less than 100megawatts of electricity annually) whenever they generate more electricity than they are using. This is known as a net feed in tariff (FiT).

As you would of heard July 10, 2012 the amount paid for excess electricity exported to the grid was reduced from 44 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) to 8 cents (although additional payments offered by some energy retailers will add up to an additional 8 cents to the amount paid) the scheme will be reviewed in 2013.

Existing customers who signed up for the net feed in tariff before the 10th July will continue to be paid 44 cents for any excess electricity fed into the grid and that scheme will run until 2028.

The Solar Bonus is paid for the surplus electricity after the household load is met, however, electricity supplied through an interruptible tariff (e.g. controlled load tariffs including Tariff 31 and 33) is not counted toward the household load. This means that the customer will export more electricity to the grid under this arrangement than they would if the load on the interruptible tariff also had to be met before any excess was fed to the grid.

To be eligible to receive the Solar Bonus customers must:

  • Consume less than 100MWh of electricity a year (the average home uses approximately 7.9MWh a year)
  • Purchase and install a new solar PV (photovoltaic) system (solar power system not solar hot water system), or operate an existing PV system (solar power system) that is connected to the Queensland electricity grid
  • Generate surplus electricity that is fed into the Queensland electricity grid
  • Have a connection agreement in place with their electricity distributor (Ergon Energy, ENERGEX or Essential Energy) and have appropriate metering installed
  • Have a solar PV systems with a combined inverter capacity of up to 5 kilowatts
  • Hold an electricity account with an electricity retailer

Some energy retailers such as Origin and AGL offer customers an additional FiT over and above the 44c/kWh. Currently AGL offer a total FiT of 52c/kWh and Origin 50c/kWh although these are not guaranteed and subject to change without notice (these amounts only apply to customers who signed up for the feed in tariff before the 10th July 2012).

For more information please view the QLD Government Solar site.