August 2023 Update: There are currently no NSW Government Solar Panel Government Rebates for residential consumers.
The below article was accurate at time of writing in 2022.
Are you keen on installing solar panels to power your house but think the process is too complicated and expensive? We’ve all heard of the benefits of installing solar panels in our homes. But what if you can’t afford to install solar panels?
New South Wales residents do have options available to them for installing a solar power system. The most accessible scheme from the NSW Government is the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme.
At HCB Solar, we’ll help you find out how to take full advantage of schemes or initiatives provided by the NSW State Government.
The Renewable Energy Target’s (RET) is an Australian Government scheme designed to reduce emissions in the electricity sector by creating a financial incentive for implementing and using large-scale power stations and small-scale solar systems.
The part of the scheme homeowners will be interested in is the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme, which homeowners can use to create certificates for every megawatt hour of power they generate – these certificates are then purchased by electricity retailers. These certificates, known as small-scale technology certificates (STCs), can be generated by the solar system owner or the system owner can assign the right to create them to an agent in return for a lower purchase price.
According to the Clean Energy Regulator, the STCS “are provided ‘up front’ for the systems’ expected power generation over a 15 year period or, from 2017, from the installation year until 2030 when the scheme ends.” This is calculated based on the size of your system and where you’re located: Australia is split into 4 zones with zone 1 receiving the most STC’s and zone 4 receiving the least – the majority of NSW sits in zone 3. Essentially, the bigger the system and the sunnier the location, the more STC’s you will receive.
The eligibility criteria for creating small-scale technology certificates are:
If your solar power unit is larger than the capacity limits listed above, it will be classified as a power station and you will need to apply for the unit to be accredited as such under the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target.
You can learn more about the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme through the Australian Governments Clean Energy Regulator or contact your local solar installer for information.
A Feed-in Tariff (FiT) is a payment you receive for electricity fed into the supply grid from your solar power system.
Solar power generated by you will be fed into the supply grid when your solar panel system produces more electricity than what you’re consuming – this excess is what’s exported to the grid. The payment is made to you by your electricity retailer in the form of a small deduction on your bill for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity exported.
Feed-in tariff rates can range from as little as 1c/kWh to 20c/kWh, so it’s best to shop around. When searching for an electricity retailer with a good feed-in tariff rate, you are best to look for a high FiT to potentially get bigger reductions on your energy bills.
Solar power system prices – whether you’re installing a new system or upgrading an existing one – can make solar power seem unaffordable to many Australians, which is why the NSW government has made two low-income household offers for solar power available:
You can read more about their NSW government household offers at NSW Energy Saver.
When it comes to solar rebates, initiatives from state governments and federal government solar rebate offers can be limited or change over time. The availability and eligibility for solar rebates will depend on your circumstances, the solar power technology you’re using or looking at installing, and what state you’re living in, as you need to apply directly to your respective government body for most rebates or schemes.
To keep up to date with the current solar rebates (grants, offers, schemes, etc.) available to you in your state and to learn more about them, you can use the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water’s online tool.
Although the initial cost of installing solar PV panels or a solar battery system might be scary, it’s no secret that it comes with numerous advantages.
Want more guidance on solar installation and government rebates? Call us today at HCB Solar and learn how you can get solar panel rebates in New South Wales.