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Is there any Federal Rebate available to help me pay for my solar power system?

Yes there is still a solar rebate available ranging from approx $1000 for smaller solar power systems to over $3000 for 5kW size solar systems. The rebate can vary in line with the trading value of small-scale technology certificates (STCs).

The detailed information is as follows: Solar Credits are provided in the form of tradable certificates called small-scale technology certificates (STCs) for eligible small-scale renewable energy systems including solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.

While it is possible for owners of renewable energy systems to create and sell the STCs themselves, in practice, solar power system installers often offer a discount on the price of an installation, or a cash payment, in return for the right to create the STCs. Householders considering installing small-scale renewable energy systems are encouraged to shop around for the best deal.

One STC is equivalent to one megawatt hour of electricity generated by your solar PV power system. The price of STCs changes according to market conditions. In the past three years one STC traded as low as $16 and as high as $38. As the owner of a solar PV power system, you can register, sell, trade or surrender STCs for systems up to 100kW.

What are the two ways I can be paid for my small-scale technology certificates (STCs/solar rebate)?

  1. Assign your STCs when you purchase your solar PV system to a registered agent in exchange for a financial benefit which may be in the form of a delayed cash payment or upfront discount on your solar PV panel system.
  2. Create the STCs yourself by finding a buyer and then selling and transferring them in the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Registry.

The level of subsidy will depend on a number of factors, including the location the solar system, the size of the system and the price of STCs at the time the system was installed.

Australia is divided up into various zones based on how much renewable energy can be generated by a solar panel in a given area. So the same sized system installed in Melbourne or Hobart (Zone 4) receives fewer STCs than those installed in Sydney (Zone 3) or Darwin (Zone 2) because Melbourne and Hobart have less sunshine so less solar energy is produced by your system, and therefore less CO2 abatement achieved.

The table below shows the different rebate for a similar system in various cities.

Ending how the STCs are traded

These rebates change regularly, depending how the STCs are traded and you should talk to your nearest LG installer to get the updated information. You can also look up information on the internet regarding small-scale (renewable) technology certificates.