Queensland solar incentives and feed-in tariffs 2021

Published: 18 March 2021

Are you a QLD homeowner looking for solar? We’ve collated the incentives available in 2021 to help you make the switch!

Are you a QLD homeowner looking for solar? Below we’ve detailed the Queensland solar incentives available in 2021.  

Electricity prices in Queensland are high, and the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) reported an average residential tariff of 25.45 cents/kWh for 2019/2020. The highest tariffs are charged during peak-demand hours, and they can exceed 55 cents/kWh in regional Queensland. However, expensive electricity also creates a great opportunity to save on your power bill by installing solar panels.

Queensland solar incentives

Queensland solar incentives 2021

The SRES is the only QLD solar incentive program as of 2021, reducing the cost of solar systems by around one-third.  

  • Projects with up 100 kW of capacity are eligible
  • You’re awarded one Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC) for every 1,000 kWh of estimated solar generation between 2021 and 2030.
  • A 6-kW home solar system in Brisbane will earn around 82 STC.
  • A system with the maximum size of 100 kW will earn 1382 STC.

Electricity providers are legally obliged to purchase STCs as a way to incentivise clean energy, and they currently sell for around $38 each. The 6-kW solar installation in the example above will get an incentive of around $3,116, which is $519.33 per installed kilowatt. Considering a 6-kW solar system costs around $9,600 before incentives, the STC incentive reduces the net cost by around 32%.

For regions like inland QLD, sunnier climates allow for more productive solar panels. This means you get more STCs for capacity in kilowatts. For example, a 6-kW solar power system gets 92 STCs in places like Mount Isa and Longreach, which increases the incentive to $3,496 (at $38 per STC).

Remember, to be eligible for this incentive, solar systems must be installed by a Clean Energy Council Accredited Installer like Instyle Solar. The system must also use solar panels and inverters that are approved by the CEC, while meeting Australian and New Zealand standards.

If you need further information about the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, please visit the Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator website.

Queensland solar power feed-in tariffs

The feed-in tariff (FIT) is the rate paid to you for selling the surplus production of solar power to your electricity provider. Favorable FITs can also be considered a type of solar incentive, since they increase the value of unused power. High tariffs incentivise homeowners to install larger solar arrays, since extra kilowatt-hours are valuable.

In QLD, the rules for feed-in tariffs vary depending on where you live:

  • As of 2021, Regional Queensland has an FIT of 7.861 cents/kWh.
  • There is no minimum FIT for SEQ, but some electricity providers offer up to 18 cents/kWh for solar generation.

The example below demonstrates how FITs affect the financial performance of solar systems:

  1. Assume a 6-kW residential solar system produces 8,400 kWh per year, but the owner only consumes 6,000 kWh of that energy, while the remaining 2,400 kWh are sold to the electricity provider.
  2. With an electricity price of 26 cents/kWh, the 6,000 kWh usage results in a saving of $1,560.
  3. The 2,400 kWh of surplus production are worth $189 with the minimum FIT of 7.861 cents/kWh, but their value increases to $336 with a higher FIT of 14 cents/kWh.
  4. The annual savings are $1,749 with the minimum FIT, but they increase to $1,896 with the more favourable FIT (8% higher).

You may have also heard of the Queensland Solar Bonus Scheme which accepted applications until 2012 and offered a very high FIT of 44 cents/kWh. The program is no longer open to new customers but homeowners who got approved will continue to benefit until 1 July 2028. 

Some stringent conditions are in place to remain eligible for this scheme. For example, homeowners with the bonus must switch to market FITs if they expand their solar system, or if they move to another property.

For the latest feed-in tariffs and updates visit: https://wattever.com.au/retailer-solar-feed-in-tariffs-by-state-and-territory/ 

Am I eligible for a solar incentive? 

How much can I save with solar? 

Learn more via How Solar Works

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