Both state and federal governments offer solar rebates and other incentives to encourage investment in solar power.
Small solar systems are, in most cases, eligible to generate Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs), and the Victorian state government offers special feed-in tariffs for any excess energy exported to the electricity grid.
Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs)
Under the Federal Governments Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, an eligible solar power system may claim a set number of STCs based on the size of the system and in what geographical area it is located.
The number of STCs allocated is based upon the amount of electrical energy (in megawatt/hours or MWh) your system will generate over a deemed period of up to 15 years.
STCs can either be sold on the open market through a broker or through the government clearing house, and your installer will usually discount the value of the certificates from the sale price.
The sale of your STCs provide a substantial rebate off the purchase price of a solar generation system, however they are about to reduce.
The rebate is available as part of the Renewable Energy Target which only tracks to 2030, so the deeming period will reduce from 15 years in 2016, to 14 years in 2017, and then by one year thereafter until the rebate cuts out in 2030.
A calculator to work out the number of STCs claimable by a system is available on the REC Registry website
Victorian Feed In Tariff
Victoria uses a net feed-in system whereby you use the electricity you generate firstly in your home and then any surplus is exported to the electricity grid.
Introduced from the 1st January 2013, a minimum rate is paid for every kilowatt/hour (kWh) exported to the electricity grid. Originally starting at $0.08, this rate is reviewed annually and is currently set at $0.05 (1st January 2016).
The state government has recently announced that from the 1st July 2017, the feed-in rate will be set at $0.113 per kWh.
This tariff will be available for all solar systems of less than 100 kilowatts in size.
For more information www.esc.vic.gov.au