What Are STC’s?

Most of our customers at Teho ask “are there any Government incentives for going solar?”. Our answer? Yes, yes there are, and they are known as STC’s. They aren’t technically a rebate however that is the name they have got over the years and when something looks like a rebate and smells like a rebate, maybe it’s a rebate?

An STC is a Small-Scale Technology Certificate. You will also hear them referred to colloquially as the Solar Rebate. Introduced in 2011 STC’s are a part of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target. This incentive or “rebate” serves the purpose of reducing the cost of installing solar on your home or business through the creation of these technology certificates.

The amount of STC’s which are applicable to your solar system depends on the size of the system being installed.

An average 6.6kW solar system in 2020 is entitled to 100 STC’s with the value of an STC being around $35. So, on a 6.6kw solar system you would get a total STC rebate of around $3,500.00

How Do I Claim Them?

When purchasing solar you will notice on the quote the price is listed AFTER STC’s, this is because in most, if not all cases you will assign the STC’s over to your solar installer or retailer.

You might be wondering “why would I assign my rebate over to someone else!?” STC’s need to be claimed and this process is best handled by your installer or retailer. Once the system is installed, the installer or retailer will ask you to sign the STC’s over to them. Once this is done the installer or retailer will place this document with an aggregator for the rebate to be turned into real money. It takes the aggregator around 4 weeks to convert STC’s into cash . Plus, they can’t do it one job at a time – they need to combine 5,000 STC’s together to then be able to place them on the market at the current spot price. That is the equivalent of around 50 solar installations!

Are The STC’s Being Reduced?

Solar retailers and installers love to use the lowering STC amount as urgency to get customers to purchase immediately, no one likes missing out – and they know this!

However, they sometimes use language which insinuates its ending very very soon, which just isn’t the case.

The reality is that they are being phased out but not as quickly as anyone makes it out to be.

The beginning of the phase out of the STC program officially started on the 1st of January 2017.

Prior to 2017, you were given 15 years of STC’s in advance. As of January 1st 2017, it was reduced to 14. Every 1st of January for each year until 2030, it is reduced by one year until the program will end. So to put it more simply, the value of STC’s is reducing at around 7% a year compounding, until 2030 when it will be nil.  

So, they are being reduced but at no where near the rate lots of installers and retailers want you to believe.

In saying that, the benefits of solar are vast so if you are in a position to install solar, the sooner the better does ring true to some degree.

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Jonathan Green

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