The customer pays for a solar system through a combination of their own money and money generated from Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) that come with the solar system. A Small-scale Technology Certificate represents the equivalent of one megawatt hour of electricity generation from an accredited renewable energy source. 15 years worth of STCs can be created â€œup frontâ€. In other words, you sell 15 years worth of renewable energy output upfront for a discount on the solar system.
Prior to January 1st 2011, the price of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) fluctuated daily. Now these commodities have been renamed Small-scale Technology Certificates and regulation has been put in place to stabilise their price.
For the first 1.5kW of generation, customers will receive a 5x multiplier on the number of STCs they are entitled to.
From January 1, 2011 STCs have the set price of $40.
Customers are also rewarded with a feed-in-tariff which pays them for the electricity generated by the solar system. Each state has a different feed-in-tariff and different ways of measuring and paying. Some states pay based on â€˜net’ and some on â€˜gross’. The difference between gross and net is below.
Net: Pays the customer for any extra energy produced which can be fed back into the National Grid. The customer is paid for all surplus energy that they do not use which can be used by the national Grid.
Gross: The customer gets paid for every kW produced regardless of whether it is used by the customer or not.
The credits earned under the Feed-In Tariff are either credited to your electricity account or paid out to you in the form of a cheque. This occurs quarterly or annually depending on the electricity retailer.
In simple terms, the more electricity you export to the grid, the more money you will save on your power bill.
The easiest way to do this is to change your consumption patterns from daylight to night time hours
For more information about the Federal Governments Solar Credit Scheme please click here.