Transitioning to solar power benefits the environment and provides significant financial advantages for homeowners. In addition to long-term savings on electricity bills, various financial incentives and government programs are available to support solar installations. This article focuses on three key initiatives: the Solar Homes Program, the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), and Net Metering and Feed-in Tariffs.

Solar Homes Program

The Government’s Solar Homes Program is designed to encourage homeowners’ adoption of solar energy. Eligible owner-occupiers can receive significant rebates reducing their solar installation costs when installing a solar PV system. The program aims to make solar installations more affordable by offsetting the upfront costs. By taking advantage of this rebate, homeowners can significantly reduce the initial investment required for their solar projects. The Solar Homes Program covers a range of system sizes, enabling small-scale and larger installations to benefit from the financial incentive. This financial support incentivises the adoption of renewable energy, promoting sustainability and reducing reliance on traditional electricity sources.

Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES)

Under Australia’s Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), the value of Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) reduces each year. This gradual reduction is known as the “deeming period.” The deeming period was implemented to reflect the declining costs of solar PV systems and encourage the timely adoption of renewable energy.

The federal government determines the deeming period for solar installations, which is currently set at 15 years. This means that each year, the value of STCs decreases, providing a higher financial incentive for early adopters of solar power.

​​​​ Year system installedDeeming period in years
STC Deeming period in years

The reduction in STC value is implemented through a decreasing number of certificates assigned to solar installations over time. The number of STCs created is based on system size, location, and installation date. For example, a 5-kilowatt solar PV system installed in 2022 might create 100 STCs, while the same system installed in 2023 might create only 90 STCs due to the annual reduction.

The decreasing value of STCs reflects the decreasing financial incentive for homeowners who delay their solar installations. It encourages homeowners to take advantage of solar power sooner rather than later, as the financial benefit decreases over time. By offering a higher value of STCs in the earlier years, the government aims to stimulate the solar market and promote the timely adoption of renewable energy technologies.

It’s important for homeowners considering solar installations to be aware of the deeming period and the associated reduction in STC value. The exact reduction rate can vary based on government policies and market dynamics. Consulting with a reputable solar installer such as AtlanticX will provide the most accurate and up-to-date information on STC values.

By understanding the reduction in STC value, homeowners can make informed decisions about the timing of their solar installations, ensuring they maximise the financial benefits and incentives available under the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme.

Eligibility Requirements for Solar Installations

To qualify for financial incentives and government programs supporting solar installations, homeowners should consider the following eligibility requirements:

  • Ownership and Occupancy: Homeowners must own and occupy the property where the solar installation will take place.
  • System Size: Some programs have maximum capacity limits or offer incentives based on system output. Ensure the proposed system size meets the program’s eligibility criteria.
  • Accredited Installers: Solar installations must be carried out by accredited installers to qualify for incentives.
  • Compliance with Standards and Regulations: Solar installations must comply with building codes, electrical safety standards, and grid connection requirements.
  • Documentation and Registration: Homeowners may need to submit documentation and complete registration processes to access financial incentives or rebates.

Net Metering and Feed-in Tariffs

Net metering and feed-in tariffs are essential to the financial benefits of solar installations. Net metering allows homeowners to offset their electricity consumption by exporting excess solar energy to the grid. In other words, when the solar panels generate more electricity than needed, the surplus is returned to the grid and credited to the homeowner’s electricity bill. This process effectively reduces the homeowner’s reliance on the grid and contributes to further savings on electricity costs. Net metering ensures that homeowners only pay for the net amount of electricity consumed from the grid, resulting in significant cost savings over time.
On the other hand, feed-in tariffs provide homeowners with a financial incentive to sell surplus solar energy back to the grid. Homeowners are compensated at a favourable rate for each kilowatt-hour of solar energy they feed into the grid. This incentive not only encourages solar panel owners to maximise their energy generation but also contributes to the overall renewable energy capacity of the region. Feed-in Tariffs (FiT) can vary depending on the state and utility provider, and they can provide an additional source of income for homeowners with solar installations. The combination of net metering and feed-in tariffs allows homeowners to optimise the financial benefits of their solar systems, making the transition to solar power even more financially appealing.

How AtlanticX can help you

Understanding and keeping track of all the programs, incentives, and rules can be overwhelming. Luckily, AtlanticX can help you navigate the world of solar energy. We can assess your energy needs and recommend the best system for your home, guide you through the scheme application process, and take care of installation and ongoing maintenance.

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