The SRES was developed to assist households, small business and community groups with the cost of installing a solar PV system. The SRES works by issuing Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCS) to homes & businesses that install systems under 100 kilowatts (kW) in capacity. STCs are based on the expected output of the solar system over a set period (although most systems can be expected to have a functional lifespan of up to 30 years). One STC is the equivalent of 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable energy. The set period (‘deeming period’) was 15 years until the end of 2016 and is reduced by one year each year thereafter until 2030.
STCs, which can be described as a sort of renewable energy currency, can be bought, traded, and sold, and their value fluctuates with supply and demand. The current STC price sits at around $34 but has fallen as low as $16 and has been as high as $42.
As STCs are created based on the expected output of the system they can be created as soon as the system is installed, the system does not need to produce any power before its STCs are created. Under the expectation that they will produce more power, systems installed in sunnier locations are eligible to for a larger number of STCs, while less sunny locations create fewer.
The key thing for solar system shoppers to know is that installers assume responsibility for STCs, applying the incentive in the form of a discount directly to the price of your system. This means that all you have to do is compare out-of-pocket prices like-for-like instead of worrying about how much you’ll be able to claim back.
You can calculate how many STCs a solar system in your location would produce with the Clean Energy Regulator’s STC Calculator.
The Victorian Government will help Victorian households cut their electricity bills through the Solar Homes Package which will be delivered by the newly established Solar Victoria. Eligible households can claim a 50 per cent rebate on the cost of a solar PV system, up to a maximum rebate of $2,225 or a $1,000 rebate for the replacement of hot water systems with solar hot water. Households will only be eligible for one rebate under the Solar Homes package (i.e. a household that accesses a solar hot water rebate cannot claim a solar PV rebate). Rebates are available for systems installed from 19 August 2018. More info on the vic rebate – https://www.solar.vic.gov.au/
The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) is the scheme which sets up the rules for the creation and sale of VEECs. There are 10 categories of activities which, if undertaken, can result in the creation of VEECs and the associated discount which is passed on to energy users. 1 VEEC represents 1 tonne of CO2-E abatement, calculated by comparing the difference between the energy use of the new product (e.g. an air conditioner), and the baseline’ energy use (essentially, the amount of energy that would have been used if the new high-efficiency product had not been installed.) There are free VEEC calculators available on the Essential Services Commission (ESC) website.
The price of VEECs varies according to supply and demand. The greater the energy efficiency gain of the upgraded product, the more VEECs are issued. This value comes through to the end customer in the form of a discount, which is recouped by whoever provides the product/service (see below).
Some of these categories are applicable only to households, some only to businesses, and some to both. If you plan on replacing your electric hot water system with either a Heat pump or solar hot water system you will be eligible to receive the VEEC incentive. More info can be found at – https://www.veet.vic.gov.au