The average temperature of Queensland all year long is 29℃. This makes it very sustainable for solar energy. This is why the Australian government created the national rebate program – the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. In Queensland, this is called the Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC) Program.
The program was created to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases in the electricity sector and encourage the use of sustainable and renewable energy sources.
How Does It Work?
The program works by allowing large-scale power stations and owners of small-scale systems to create generation and technology certificates for every megawatt-hour of power they generate. Electricity retailers who supply electricity to residential and commercial users, buy these certificates, who will, in turn, pass on to their customers to be used as an upfront discount off the cost of the system or cash payment.
Small-scale technology certificates are created after the installation of an eligible solar system and are calculated based on the amount of electricity from non-renewable sources the system produces or replaces.
How Do I Use Small-scale technology Certificates?
There are two ways a solar system owner can use the small-scale technology certificate:
- Assigning It to a Registered Agent – You can assign the right to create the small-scale technology certificates to a registered agent once your small-scale system has been completely installed. You will receive an upfront incentive based on the market price of the certificates when the system was installed. The price of the small-scale technology certificates varies depending on the supply and demand. Majority of small-scale system owners prefer assigning the right to create the certificates to a registered agent because it is a much simpler and faster process compared to trading certificated themselves in the open market or through STC clearing house.
- Claiming the Small-scale Technology Certificates Yourself – Claiming the certificates yourself is also an option although this choice involves a much more complicated process. Here is how you do it:
– Check the eligibility of the small-scale system that will be installed.
– Determine the quantity of the small-scale technology certificates you need to claim for your system.
– Obtain and complete all compliance paperwork.
– Create an account in the REC registry.
– Create the small-scale technology certificates int he REC registry. This must be done within 12 months after your small scale system is installed.
– Get the certificated validated by the clean energy regulator.
– Find a buyer for the certificates or place them in the STC clearing house.
How Much Rebates Do I Get?
Currently, the Federal Government under the Federal Government Scheme will subsidise approximately $630 for every kW you install. For a standard 5 kW renewable energy solar system, you can get up to $ 3,150 subsidy.
The financial incentive should encourage everyone to create our own small-scale renewable energy system. Greenhouse gas emissions are getting worse and global warming is getting more advanced each year.
The subsidy amount mentioned above is not a fixed amount. The value fluctuates depending on the supply and demand. Current legislation also states that the rebate is reduced by 1/15 every year until it reaches $0 by the year 2032. One cannot predict how much installation and the small-scale technology certificates will cost each year but we can show you how much it will cost today. Click here for a quotation!
As an additional incentive, the government allows feed-in tariffs to encourage individuals and small businesses to get in with the program. Feed-on tariffs will pay you for excess electricity your renewable energy system generates and feeds into the main grid.
The feed-in tariff for regional Queensland is set each year by the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA). As of July 2020, the feed-in tariff rate is $0.07861 for every kilowatt-hour.
Interest-free Solar Loans
The Queensland Government is dedicated in making electricity affordable for everyone. Most businesses can afford the upfront capital but most household may have a hard time. This is why they provide interest-free loans so everyone can afford to install a small-scale solar energy system. This loan should help every Queenslander household take control of their electricity consumption.
Each Queenslander household can avail of up to $ 4,500 in Solar loans payable for up to seven years in affordable monthly payments, no interests, no fees, no charges for the life of the loan.
There are three Solar loan packages available:
- Loans for Solar systems
- Loans and grants for battery systems
- Loans and grants for combined solar and battery systems.
Federal Labour Home Battery Storage Subsidy
In the first quarter of 2020, there has been a major rollout of the Federal Labour Home Battery Storage subsidy. The basics are:
- A $ 2,000 rebate amount.
- It is means-tested.
- Available only to 100 000 households.
- Household annual income must be less than $ 180 000.
- Those who have received a battery subsidy from the state will no longer be eligible.
- Low-cost financing will be available to cover the outstanding balance of the battery system.
Am I Eligible?
In order to avail of the Solar rebates, you have to meet the following criteria:
- Small-scale technology certificates must be created within 12 months after the solar energy system was installed.
- Must meet all local and national requirements.
- Solar panels and inverters used must be found under the Clean Energy Council’s list of approved components.
- Installed capacity must not exceed 100 kW and annual production must be less than 250 00 kWh.
- The solar energy system must be installed by a solar contractor accredited by the Clean Energy Council.
Queensland Solar Rebate System at a Glance
- The Queensland Government offers a host of solar rebates and discounts for eligible customers.
- There are no solar batter rebates but there are interest-free loans and grants for solar and battery storage.
- There are eligibility requirements.
- Having an existing solar energy system will impact your eligibility since the technology certificates can only be created within 12 months after installation.
- The rebate scheme is not impacted by Federal STC rebates.
- The scheme offers more or less $ 3 000 grants and $ 10,000 loans for 1,000 combined solar and battery systems.
- The scheme provides $ 3,000 grants and $ 6,000 loans for 500 batteries.
- Interest-free loans of up to $ 4,500 for solar system loans.
Now that we have covered the legal and financial aspects of having a small-scale solar energy system, let’s focus on the essentials when buying and installing a small-scale Solar energy system.
Since Queensland is predominantly sunny all year long, going solar is very sustainable. Queensland has a great solar power production potential.
Your current energy usage is an important consideration when choosing the ideal system, setup and equipment.
- Daytime Power Usage – Knowing your average power usage during daytime is important because it is the same energy that your system can easily offset while the sun is shining. Excess energy harnessed can be stored for night time use.
- Unshaded Roof Area – Ideally, your solar panels should be facing north where they can get more sun and harness the maximum solar energy so they can produce more power for your daily use and for storage.
Types of Solar Systems
- Grid-Connected System – This is the most common solar power system because it is easy and convenient to use. The solar panel system is connected to the utility grid so that any surplus energy your system generates, they go back to the grid in exchange for a small rebate. Only your daytime power is sustained by the solar power your system produces. Nighttime energy usage will be drawn from the electricity grid.
- Grid-Connected with Battery Backup – This option is becoming more and more popular these days. Instead of feeding the surplus energy your solar power system generates, it stores the said energy to the battery system. Once the battery storage is full, the excess power is then fed to the utility grid in exchange for a small rebate. The power stored in the battery system can be used for nighttime consumption. Other energy requirements not fulfilled by the system can be drawn from the utility grid.
- Off-Grid Solar System – This is an option for most remote areas where you can not connect to the grid. You will need a battery storage system and maybe a backup generation system for nighttime consumption.
The Components of Your Solar Power System
- Solar Panels – The panels harness and convert sunlight into electricity within the solar cells.
- Inverter Solution – Solar inverters are critical system components that convert Direct Current (DC) solar power into 240 V Alternating Current (AC) electricity that is fed into your home to be used to operate household appliances and fixtures. (DC to AC conversion)
- Mounting Systems – They are used to fix your solar panels to the roof so they remain stable. They are usually made of aluminium or stainless steel. They are lightweight but can withstand the harsh Australian weather. Expect a 10-year warranty on your mounting frames.
✔ Calculate your overall energy consumption.
✔ Document power usage during daylight hours.
✔ Future-proof your system. Consider future increase in power consumption.
✔ Check your surrounding for potential hazards or anything that can damage your equipment.
✔ Consider environmental factors. For example, if you live near the coast, you might consider using sal and ammonia resistant materials.
✔ Check your available unshaded roof space.
✔ Check if your meter box is solar-ready. Check if you need upgrades.
✔ Look for other opportunities to save on your power usage.