The Australian Solar Rebate changes in 2021

You might have seen a lot of talk in solar energy news recently about the decreasing solar rebate. Yet, it can be difficult to make proper sense of what this all means. After all, calling it a rebate is actually a little bit of a misnomer on its own.

While called an Australian Solar Rebate, this, in reality, refers to the number of STCs the installer will receive upon installation of the system, STC meaning Small-scale Technology Certificate. Generally, installers (Solargain included) will deduct the total value of the STCs you will receive automatically as part of our prices, so you don’t have to go through the difficulty of determining it yourself. 

The value and number of STCs any particular system will receive is determined by the geographical location and time of the installation, as well as the size of the system being installed. Prices and STCs received are based upon the date of installation, not the date of sale. This should be kept in mind as it will affect the number of STCs and, therefore, discount received. If you’d like more information on how STC’s are calculated check out our previous blog post on the topic.

So what’s changing with the STCs, or, for simplicity's sake, the rebate? Well, the deeming period, which is the value given to the assumed lifetime of the system, is going down by 1 year every year and will do this every year until 2030. Although the value of STCs is gradually falling, the price of solar is falling right alongside it, so, by and large, these price differences will even out.

In 2020, the deeming period provided for 11 years of system operation, and so you received additional STCs based on the assumption that your system would be active for that period. In 2021, this falls to 10 years.

Put in practical terms, this deeming period is a multiplier on the number of STCs any given system will receive. For example, if a 6 kW system was to be installed on December 31st, 2020, it would receive a total of 91 STCs. Meanwhile, the same system, installed in the same place on January 1st, 2021 would receive 82 STCs. The value of individual STCs can vary anywhere between $0 and $40, so, assuming a value of $38 per STC, this is a price difference of $342.

However, as mentioned previously, the price of solar PV modules (solar panels) is continuing to fall, so your average consumer will not be impacted by this price difference as much as you may fear. Don’t let it dissuade you from investing in solar, because efficiency and system power is only continuing to rise, and that added cost is nothing compared to what you stand to save. If you’d like to see what systems may be available for your home, check out our solar specials.