Solar energy is becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeowners and businesses across Australia as they seek to reduce their carbon footprint and lower their electricity bills. To encourage the uptake of solar energy, the Australian government offers a range of rebates and incentives to make solar panel installation more affordable for homeowners and businesses. In this article, we will provide an overview of the different types of solar energy rebates available in Australia.
- Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs)
The Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) scheme is the most common form of government rebate for solar energy in Australia. Under this scheme, homeowners and businesses that install solar panels can receive a certain number of STCs based on the size of their solar panel system and the amount of energy it generates.
STCs can be sold to electricity retailers, who are required by law to purchase a certain number of STCs each year. The value of STCs fluctuates depending on supply and demand, but generally, they can be worth thousands of dollars, which can significantly reduce the cost of a solar panel system.
The number of STCs you can receive for your solar panel system depends on several factors, including the size of the system, the location of the installation, and the date of installation. The government provides an online calculator to help homeowners and businesses determine how many STCs they are eligible for.
- Feed-in tariffs
Feed-in tariffs (FITs) are another form of government rebate available for solar energy in Australia. FITs are payments that homeowners and businesses receive for the excess energy their solar panels generate and feed back into the electricity grid.
Under FIT schemes, homeowners and businesses can receive a certain amount of money for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of excess energy they generate. FIT rates vary depending on the state or territory and can be fixed or variable. FIT rates can also be influenced by the time of day or year when the excess energy is generated.
FITs can help homeowners and businesses to further reduce their electricity bills, as they can earn money for the excess energy they generate, which can offset the cost of their electricity usage.
- Solar Homes and Communities Plan
The Solar Homes and Communities Plan is a government initiative that aims to increase the uptake of solar energy in Australia by providing rebates for solar panel systems. Under this scheme, eligible homeowners and businesses can receive rebates of up to $2,225 for the installation of a solar panel system.
To be eligible for the Solar Homes and Communities Plan, homeowners and businesses must meet certain criteria, such as being located in a designated area, meeting income thresholds, and having a suitable roof for solar panel installation.
- Energy Efficient Communities Program
The Energy Efficient Communities Program is a government initiative that provides funding for community organizations to undertake energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Under this program, eligible community organizations can receive grants of up to $12,500 to install solar panel systems or other renewable energy technologies.
The Energy Efficient Communities Program is open to a range of community organizations, including schools, hospitals, community centers, and sports clubs. The program aims to reduce energy costs for these organizations while also promoting the uptake of renewable energy.
- Renewable Energy Target (RET)
The Renewable Energy Target (RET) is a government scheme that aims to increase the proportion of renewable energy in Australia’s electricity generation mix. Under the RET, electricity retailers are required to purchase a certain amount of renewable energy certificates (RECs) each year, which are used to encourage the development of new renewable energy projects.
RECs can be created for a range of renewable energy technologies, including solar panel systems. The value of RECs fluctuates depending on supply and demand, but they can be worth several thousand dollars for larger solar panel systems.