Small-scale Technology Certificates (STC) – the hidden solar discount you might not know about
The Australian government has committed to achieving a range of renewable energy targets. To realise them, one of their initiatives is the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme.
This scheme gives households and businesses a discount on the purchase price of renewable energy systems (solar, wind and hydro), all with the aim of encouraging uptake. And that discount is called a Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC).
How does it work?
Think of an STC as a discount coupon on the upfront cost of your energy system, be it solar PV panels or solar hot water.
The most common way it works is for your installer to calculate how many STCs you’ll get based on the system you choose, and then apply that as a reduction on your purchase price. When it’s time to install, you assign your STCs to your installer and they trade them in for cash.
You can choose to sell your STCs yourself, but it’s a fairly complicated process, plus you won’t receive the upfront discount on your system.
How many STCs will I get?
Your magic STC number depends on a three things:
1. The amount of renewable electricity your system produces
Basically the bigger the system, the bigger your STC number.
2. Where you live
The sunnier your location, the greater your STC number as you’ll be able to produce more energy (you lucky Queenslanders!). You can see your STC number by postcode here.
3. When you install your system
The STC scheme ends in 2030. The number of STCs you get per kW of solar install decreases by one each year from 2017 (the deeming period). So if you installed yours in 2017, you get 14. If you install it in 2022, you get 9.
You then use this formula to calculate your STCs:
kW system x location x year of installation = No. of STCs
If you’re not keen on doing the maths yourself, this calculator will do it for you.
Am I eligible?
Systems that are eligible for STCs include:
Solar PV panels up to 100kW with total annual electricity output <250 MWh
Hydrosystem up to 6.4 kW with total annual electricity output <25 MWh
Wind systemup to 10kW with total annual electricity output <25 MWh
Solarwater heaters with capacity up to 700L
Airsource heat pumps with capacity up to 425L
There are a few other requirements surrounding paperwork, meeting Australian and New Zealand standards, and ensuring your system is listed on the Clean Energy Council’s approved list, so it’s important to familiarise yourself with those too.
Want to maximise your STCs?
We hope this information demystifies the process of calculating and applying STCs, and gives you a greater understanding of how your solar discount is determined. But if you’d like a bit more help, feel free to contact one of our Huglo solar specialists for a chat.
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Huglo also wishes to acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the traditional custodians of Australia. Huglo's offices are based on the land of the Gadigal and Ngunnawal People of the Eora Nation, and we wish to pay our respects to elders past, present and future.