If you're considering installing solar power – or even if you aren't – you have probably heard of the solar credits scheme that operates in Australia. But what exactly is it, how does it work and how can you benefit from it?
Solar credits provide financial support to households, small businesses and community groups that install renewable energy generation units, such as rooftop solar panels. The program applies to both grid-connect and off-grid solar power systems, and is essentially a means of applying a rebate or reduction on the price of a solar system.
The solar credits scheme works by multiplying the number of small-scale technology certificates or STCs (formerly known as Renewable Energy Certificates or RECs) that smaller systems would generally be eligible to create. This allows the installer to accumulate a significantly higher amount of STCs, which can be traded directly for cash.
The solar credits "multiplier" (the factor by which STCs are multiplied under the scheme) will gradually decrease each year until the program ends in mid-2013, reflecting reductions in the costs of the technology. The government has already pulled support for the plan earlier than expected and also accelerated the multiplier reduction as well. All systems installed after July 1, 2011 will attract a multiplier of three but with support being withdrawn, making the most of these government incentives has become time sensitive.
The amount of money you get back from the solar credits scheme varies according to a couple of factors. Solar credits apply to the first 1.5 kilowatts (kW) of capacity installed for grid-connect systems, while the figure is much higher for off-grid systems - up to the first 20 kW of capacity. Further, because different parts of the country generate different amounts of solar energy, your rebate will depend on the area in which you live.
It should also be noted that the solar credits scheme only applies to systems installed by BCSE accredited installers.
The Modern Group is one of Australia's leading BCSE accredited installers of small solar generation units, with over 30 years' experience in the home improvement industry and more than 300,000 happy customers Australia-wide.
When you purchase a Modern solar PV system, Modern can purchase solar credits from you at the point of sale, drastically reducing your upfront investment.
Find out more about installing solar power at www.modernsolar.com.au