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Australia’s solar rebate isn’t a rebate

If you’ve seen any recent advertising for solar, it’s probably been impossible to miss the heavily publicised ‘solar rebate.’ This involves trading credits known as STCs on the solar market, with the final discount applied to the cost of the system before installation. 

As with most large scale schemes, there are quite a few misconceptions associated with this Government incentive. 


Is the ‘Solar Rebate’ ending soon? 

In reality, these financial incentives are designed to continue till 2031, and are part of an incentive scheme at point of sale, instead of as cash in hand. 

The many claims of ‘rebates ending soon’ you’ve seen are related to the 8% decrease in incentives over the next decade. The important thing to keep in mind is that reductions will happen each year, but these incentives are designed to last many more years. 

That said, the yearly incentive reduction is certainly a good reason to consider solar sooner rather than later, although it shouldn’t be your only motivation. 


STC’s and You

The technical side of the Government incentive scheme involves the payment of an upfront incentive based on the expected energy output of your system over its lifetime. Managing STC’s and incentives should be taken care of entirely by your solar installer and the discount applied to the final quoted price for supply and installation of your solar system. 


Solar STC’s are actually a discount off the final price, not a cash handout.  


The incentive is calculated based on trading certificates for small scale solar systems known as Small Scale Technology Certificates (STCs). Solar companies sell the estimated value of these STCs and provide a discount against the value of your system 

It’s important to be aware that the value of STC’s fluctuates based on market demand. Some solar companies choose to absorb the difference, while others may charge customers more based on these STC value changes. It’s important to check with your solar company what the final price will be and if it’s subject to change. 

The number of STC’s available for your system, and the associated discount, will also vary based on your postcode. This means that you may receive a higher or lower discount than a friend or relative living in another region. 


Are there solar hot water system rebates in Queensland?

The Queensland solar hot water scheme ended in 2012, so there is no longer any state specific incentive available for these installations. Solar hot water systems are still eligible for STC’s as outlined above, however.