First of all we feel like we should clarify exactly what is happening with the government solar rebates so you know what to expect when installing a solar power system. Please note that we are not liable for any of this information, we are simply extracting it from sources and passing the information onto you.
STCs or Cash Discount
Currently, the government are helping with the purchase of solar systems by offering an upfront cash rebate which is usually paid to the installer of the solar energy system. The rebate is made up of a number of certificates called STCs which are openly traded for a value that fluctuates from day to day. At the moment for a 5kW system you will receive 103 STCs which are currently traded at $36 each offering an upfront discount of $3,708. In the past the number of STCs available would have been in the region of 300 which being traded at $36 meant you would have received a rebate of $10,800. Over the years as the price of solar panels has fallen and so has the rebate. The value of the rebate seems to average covering around 20-30% of the total system cost.
Industry experts are suggesting that because the cost of solar panels has come down so much and 5kW systems can now be picked up anywhere from $7000 (very low quality equipment) they no longer need to offer the upfront discounts to stimulate the purchase of these solar panel systems. If people were happy to pay $15,000 for a 5kW 2 years ago why wouldn’t they be happy to pay $10,000 now with or without the rebate. This coupled with naturally increase costs of electricity offer incentive enough.
Other opinions suggest that an axe in this government rebate would provide the necessary funds to continue to finance the 8c and the 44c solar feed in tariff rebates.
Current Feed In Tariff Rebate Schemes – This information is provided by the Queensland Competition Authority, on the Governments behalf and Ergon Energy.
Those customers on the 44c tariff will remain unaffected and will continue to receive 44c per kWh for grid export until 2028. Some of the new solar customers will wonder why their tariff is being changed and the 44c tariff is continuing. It is important to remember that some of these people will have paid up to $30,000 for a 5kW system and it is important that a rebate remains in place for them to recover these costs. The cost of solar 3 – 4 years ago was substantially higher than it is now.
South East QLD: On the news you may have seen changes to this scheme. If you live in South East QLD you will be affected more than those on the Ergon network. Instead of the government paying 8c and your retailer top up of up to 8c with AGL and Origin etc you will only receive an amount set by the retailer. AGL currently offers 8c per kWh, Origin 6c and so on. You might expect some fierce competition here as retailers will want to win your business by offering higher tariffs.
Ergon Energy Network: This extract is taken directly from the Ergon website ”customers receiving the 8 cent per kilowatt hour rate will stop receiving payments at that rate on 30 June 2014. How you are affected by new feed-in tariff arrangements after that date depends on where you live. Regional Queensland Ergon Energy customers will continue to receive a regulated rate to replace the 8 cent feed-in tariff. The rate will be set by the QCA to reflect the value to Ergon Energy of the energy customers’ export”. This sounds worse than it really is. In the draft determination report created last year this was the summary of the QCAs findings.
As you can see the rate differs from 7c per kWh to 14c per kWh depending on where you live. This is all the information their is at the moment and further information will be released on May 23rd 2014.
If you would like to find out about how you can install solar before June 2014 to guarantee your eligibility check out our current promotions by clicking here.