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STCs: Make hay while the sun shines

The time to avail of STCs is now, before the price reduction


What are STCs?

Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) is the official term for Australia’s residential solar rebate. 

The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme creates a financial incentive for individuals and small businesses to install eligible small-scale renewable energy systems such as solar panel systems, small-scale wind systems, small-scale hydro systems, solar water heaters and air source heat pumps.

Under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, eligible small-scale renewable energy systems are entitled to a number of Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs)

The number of certificates that can be created per system is based on its geographical location, installation date, and the amount of electricity in megawatt hours (MWh), that is:

  • generated by the small-scale solar panel, wind or hydro system over one or five years, or a single maximum deeming period, or
  • displaced by the solar water heater or heat pump over the course of its lifetime of up to 10 years.

As a guide, one certificate is equal to one megawatt hour of eligible renewable electricity either generated or displaced by the system.

Source: Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme

Why did the Australian government introduce STCs?

It was introduced to encourage people to opt for renewable energies and thereby reduce carbon emissions and save energy resources. 

The Australian Government offers financial incentives for installing solar systems in the form of STCs. Australia is divided into 4 zones and depending on the zone you live in, the applicant will receive a certain number of STCs per kilowatt for an eligible solar system. Each STC is worth $35 – $40 AUD and amounts to a saving of about 25 – 30%. 

How do STCs work?

Installers like Solar Power Nation take care of the STCs for you. STCs are calculated depending on the zone that you reside in or the kind of renewable energy system installed. These are factored into and calculated when the quote is asked for and will reflect as a point-of-sale discount on your quote. 

On the day you install the solar systems, you will need to assign your STCs over to your installer or authorized agents and await the benefits. 

Because of the long process, it is a lot easier for you to let the installer take care of the STC’s. 

STCs work toward Australia’s Renewable Energy Target. When you opt for this scheme, each megawatt of renewable energy that is installed is eligible for Renewable Energy Certificate (RECs) that can be used for both small-scale as well as large-scale renewable energy.  The small-scale RECs are also known as Small Scale Technology Certificates (STCs).   

How are STC’s calculated?

According to Zones

Since Australia is divided into four zones based on how much renewable energy can be generated by a solar panel in a given area, first check what zone you fall under by your postal code. This makes it easy for you to calculate the STC benefits you can avail according to the zone you want to get the installation done. If you want to calculate your STCs, use this handy  calculator

When your system is installed

Small-scale technology certificates are provided ‘up front’ for the systems’ expected power generation over a 15-year period or, from 2017, from the installation year until 2030 when the scheme ends.

The STC scheme is set to phase out by 2030. What this means is that the number of STCs you get per kW of solar installed is decreasing each year. There were 11 years remaining to avail STCs in 2019, 10 years in 2020 and as we near 2030, these years will reduce accordingly.

The deeming period for solar PV systems decreases by one year for all systems installed after 1 January, 2022. For systems installed in 2022, the deeming period is a maximum of 9 years, one year less than the 10 years for systems installed in 2021. This change will reduce the number of small-scale technology certificates (STCs) that solar PV systems may be eligible for.

Since the STC scheme is being terminated and the deeming period will reduce each year, if you want to avail the benefits of going solar, the time is now, before December 31, 2021. Most solar panel installers will also offer financial incentives that will make your transition to going solar easy. You can visit our website to get more details and our team of experts will help you with the necessary requirements.

Interested in going solar? This is the right time to take advantage and avail of the best offers before the STCs reduce. View our special offers and get a quote for your requirements. 

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