South Australia's electricity prices are some of the highest in Australia. As a result, South Australian homeowners have been leading the charge in adopting a cheaper solution - solar power.
To encourage the adoption of solar energy, the South Australian Government, as well as the Federal Government, have implemented various incentives and rebate programs.
If you're confused about the terminology such as solar rebates, battery rebates, Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs), and Feed-in Tariffs, this article is going to be a big help to you.
City of Adelaide Sustainability Incentives Scheme
The city of Adelaide offers rebates to rebates to residents, and businesses in many different ways to try and reduce carbon emissions around the city area.
For more information, go to the City of Adelaide Council website.
Here's a summary:
Eligibility for the Incentives
Most of the reliability criteria are standard and nothing out of the ordinary. The only item of note is that your property must be located within the City of Adelaide municipal area (postcodes 5000 and 5006).
For more information, here are the relevant guidelines:
- Residential Rebates
- Commercial and business Rebates
- Non-profit, community and sporting facilities rebates
Outside of the City of Adelaide
Unfortunately, if you live outside the city of Adelaide, there are no solar rebates for your solar PV system.
South Australian Home Battery Scheme has finished
The South Australian Home Battery Scheme provides rebates for eligible homeowners to install a solar battery system, helping them store solar energy and reduce their reliance on grid electricity.
Unfortunately, as of the date of updating this article, that scheme has ended.
As per the South Australian government website, all home battery scheme subsidies have been allocated.
Any other website claiming that they are still running is giving old information.
For all other questions about a subsidy, contact the Department for Energy and Mining on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 8463 3555 during business hours.
Understanding Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs)
Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) are a federal incentive designed to reduce the upfront cost of your solar power system.
They are a type of environmental currency, created for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable energy generated or displaced by an eligible solar system.
How STCs work
STCs are created based on the estimated amount of electricity a solar pv system will produce over a 'deeming period' (currently set at 10 years).
The number of STCs a solar system is eligible for depends on its size, location, and current market price for STCs. Once created, STCs can be sold to liable entities, such as electricity retailers, who have a legal obligation to buy a certain amount of renewable energy.
Eligibility criteria for STCs
To qualify for STCs, a solar system must meet specific criteria, including:
- Being installed by a Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited solar installer
- Using CEC-approved solar panels and inverters
- Being smaller than 100kW in capacity
- Being installed on a building or structure
Trading and redeeming STCs
STCs can either be traded on the open market or through the government's STC Clearing House at a fixed price. For example, Greenbot.
For yourself as the homeowner or business owner, this won't be something you need to concern yourself about. Your solar installer will handle this on your behalf.
What you will see is a difference in your quote. Most solar installers offer a point-of-sale discount on the solar system, equivalent to the value of the STCs. This reduces the upfront cost of installation for consumers.
This is an example of what a customer might see in their bill. The STCs are discounted at the point of sale.
Solar Feed-in Tariffs: Selling Excess Solar Power Back to the Grid
Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) have played a crucial role in promoting the use of solar power across Australia.
By offering a financial incentive for households and businesses to generate renewable energy, FiTs have helped to increase solar adoption and reduce the country's reliance on fossil fuels.
The Intention of a solar feed-in Tariff (Fit)
The Australian government introduced Feed-in Tariffs as part of its strategy to encourage renewable energy generation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The primary objectives of FiTs were to accelerate the adoption of solar energy by households and businesses, making it more financially attractive.
As a result, contribute to Australia's international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Initial Feed-in Tariff Rates
When FiTs were first introduced in Australia, different states and territories offered varying rates, ranging from generous incentives to more modest tariffs.
As per the South Australian Government website, if you installed solar panels between 1 July 2008 and 31 August 2010, you may be able to get:
- a retailer feed-in tariff, which varies between electricity retailers plus
- the distributor feed-in tariff, which is fixed at 44c per kWh.
These generous rates aimed to boost the solar industry, create jobs, and attract consumers to invest in solar power.
However, as the cost of solar systems decreased over time and the adoption rate increased, the FiT rates were gradually reduced.
The Future of Feed-in Tariffs in South Australia
The future of FiTs in Australia is uncertain, as governments have shifted their focus towards other renewable energy incentives and rebates, such as battery storage schemes and energy efficiency programs.
The FiTs are very unlikely to increase again. If we're lucky, it will stay unchanged, but it is more likely that it will decrease. Possibly to nothing at all.
If FiTs are to continue in some form, they are expected to evolve and adapt to the changing landscape of the renewable energy market. Some of the potential changes may include:
Transition to time-varying FiTs:
As the electricity grid becomes more dependent on renewable energy sources, time-varying FiTs may become more prevalent, rewarding solar energy producers for exporting electricity during periods of high demand.
Integration with battery storage:
With the growing interest in battery storage systems, FiTs may be revised to incorporate incentives for households and businesses that combine solar generation with energy storage capabilities.
In conclusion, South Australia offers a range of solar rebates and incentives, such as Small-scale Technology Certificates, the Home Battery Scheme, and Feed-in Tariffs, to support the adoption of solar energy. By understanding these incentives, South Australian residents can make informed decisions about investing in solar power and reducing their electricity costs while contributing to a more sustainable energy future.