Rebates for Renewables

Government Rebates are administered by the Clean Energy Council under the Renewable Energy Target.

The Renewable Energy Target is a scheme legislated by the Australian Government under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 to help manage and offset Australia’s carbon emissions.

It was specifically designed to:

  • Reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the electricity sector;
  • Encourage the additional generation of renewable energy through financial incentives; and
  • Ensure that at least 20% of Australia’s Electricity supply will come from renewable sources by 2020.

 

Goverment Rebates & STCs

The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme provides financial incentives, through the creation of small-scale technology certificates (STCs), to encourage the installation of new small-scale renewable energy systems in domestic households and small businesses. Such systems include:

  • Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems;
  • Small-scale wind systems;
  • Small-scale hydro systems;
  • Solar hot water systems; and
  • Air-source heat pumps.

STCs can act as a form of currency, and are the basis of Government Rebates offered by installation companies such as MODE.

The maximum amount of rebate that can be offered by installation companies is determined by the number of STCs a system is eligible for.

The number of STCs that a system may be eligible for is based upon:

  • Geograhic location;
  • Installation Date; and
  • The amount of electricity (in megawatt hours) that is either
    • Generated by a solar, wind, or hydro system over the course of its ‘lifetime'; or
    • Displaced by a solar water heater or heat pump over the course of its ‘lifetime’ (up to 10 years).

 

System Lifetime

The number of years allocated as the ‘lifetime’ of a solar, wind, or hydro system was originally set at a constant 15 years. The Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000, however, specifically states that no certificates can be created on or after 1 January 2031.

In preparation for phasing-out this incentive scheme, the number of years allocated to the ‘lifetime’ of a system will begin to drop from 1 January 2017, and will continue to decline by one year per annum until 2030, as shown in the table below:

 

Year System Installed Allocated Lifetime (Years)
before 2016 15
2016 15
2017 14
2018 13
2019 12
2020 11
2021 10
2022 9
2023 8
2024 7
2025 6
2026 5
2027 4
2028 3
2029 2
2030 1

 

This means that the number of STCs a system may be eligible for will begin to drop, and will continue to fall steadily until 2030.

In practical terms, this also unfortunately means that the value of a Government rebate installation companies such as MODE are able to offer will have to decline.

 

What now?

Although the reduction in STCs is disappointing, the news is not all doom and gloom. Both technology and market demand continue to increase at a rapid rate, often resulting in quality products becoming more readily available and affordable.

MODE Electrical is dedicated to helping Tasmanians achieve sustainable and affordable renewable energy, both now and into the future.

We will continue to monitor the market to ensure you have access to quality, affordable products and sound information to empower and inform your efforts to live the sustainable life.