Queensland Solar Rebates & Government Incentives in 2022
What solar panel rebates are available in Queensland?
In 2022, Queenslanders can get solar incentives worth on average $2,772 for a standard 5kW solar system installed under the national SRE scheme. It is applied as a discount at the point of sale to reduce the cost of going solar. There are also Feed-in tariffs available for homeowners who own solar. Regional Queenslanders will get 6.583 cents, while South East Queenslanders can get 18 cents per kilowatt-hour of exported electricity.
This discussion about Queensland solar rebates and incentives for 2022 should interest you if:
- you live in Queensland,
- you’re tired of high energy bills,
- you’re thinking of taking advantage of the region’s good sunshine,
- but you’re worried about the high cost of solar installation.
This is because solar rebates and incentives reduce the financial burden of going solar. Plus, solar power systems are considerably cheaper now compared to previous years.
Currently, the only Queensland solar incentives are Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) and Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs).
In this article, we’ll discuss these incentives in detail. We’ll also discuss their eligibility criteria and how to claim the incentives.
Read on to get the information that makes going solar in Queensland this year (2022) much easier.
1. Small-scale Technology Certificates (STC)
The STCs are financial incentives that homeowners and small businesses can receive for installing solar power systems or other eligible small-scale renewable energy systems.
Under the federal-level Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), the incentives for Queenslanders who install solar PV systems in 2022 come in the form of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs).
How does STC incentive work?
STCs are created when you install solar panels. These can be redeemed for AUD value that is deducted from the cost of your system. Thus, the STC is like a discount coupon given to you against the cost of installing a solar power system.
In the open market, the price of STCs varies between $36.50 and $38.50. But as of writing, the price per registered STC is $38.50. However, you can get a higher rate ($40 per STC) if you sell through the STC Clearing House.
How many STCS are you eligible for? How much money is the rebate worth?
The average number of certificates you are eligible for depends on the system size you have chosen. A solar system in QLD is eligible for up to 12 certificates per kW n average with the total number of certificates per KW increasing slightly with each KW increase of the system. Therefore an average household is eligible for up to:
|Size of the System||Number of Certificates||Total Rebate Amount ($39.50 per Certificate)|
However, if you have a different system size you can calculate your STC amount using a formula. To calculate the number of STCs you are able to receive, use the following formula:
Number of STCs = Size of the system (kW) x Zone rating multiplier x Deeming period (years)
Thus, the number of STCs is dependent on:
- The size of your system
- The deeming period
- Your location
The bigger your solar system, the more the number of small-scale technology certificates you’ll get. You get a certain number of certificat
The deeming period is the number of years from when your solar system is installed to 2030 when the scheme will end. The higher the deeming period, the more small-scale technology certificates you’ll get.
If you go solar in 2022, your deeming period is nine years.
Every year, until 2030, the deeming period drops by one year. So, if you wait till next year (2023), your deeming period will be eight years.
As the deeming period reduces, so does the number of STCs, you will get.
For this reason, the best time to go solar is “now.”
Because solar systems are more productive in sunnier locations, you’ll get more STCs if your system is installed in one of the sunnier locations.
Under the STC incentive scheme, Australia is divided into four zones, with the sunnier zones having higher ratings.
Interestingly, Queensland has the highest rating.
So, the number of STCs that new solar customers will get for their solar will be more than what other Aussies get for identical solar systems.
For example, if you install the standard 5kw solar system in Cairns (Northern Queensland), you should get 72 STCs. But an identical system installed in Tasmania will fetch only 53 STCs.
At a $38.50 market rate per STC, the 72 STCs of Queensland’s 5kW solar system are worth $2,772, deducting from your solar cost at the point of sale.
However, all of Queensland does not have the same rating.
Northern Queensland falls in zone 1, so residents will get the highest STC reward.
Inland Queensland falls in zone 2, and new solar customers there will get fewer STCs.
Lastly, South East Queensland falls in zone 3, so solar customers here will get the least STCs.
Eligibility Criteria for the STC Scheme
To be eligible for the STC incentives when you go solar, here are the requirements:
- Your solar system installation must be within 12 months of the date you create the STCs
- Your solar panels and inverters must be among those approved by the Clean Energy Council
- Your solar system must meet Australian standards
- The solar systems installed must comply with all federal, territory, state, and local requirements, such as electrical safety requirements.
- Your system must be installed by a Clean Energy Council accredited solar installer (such as Instyle Solar) and must follow all CEC installation guidelines.
- Your solar system must have a maximum capacity of 100kW and maximum annual production of 250MWh.
How to Apply for the STC Incentives?
Claiming small-scale technology certificates is easy. You don’t have to apply because STCs are applied at the point of sale.
That means that, most often than not, when you’re planning to go solar, the quotes you receive from a solar installer are after-STC costs.
For Northern Queenslanders eligible for 72 STCs worth $2,772, the gross cost of the 5kW system maybe $7,000, but you will receive a quote of $4,228. Read more from the Clean Energy Regulator webpage.
When you buy solar, your STCs are automatically assigned to your installer. The installer calculates the reward and deducts it from your installation cost (as a discount). Then the installer can initiate the claim through the clearinghouse or open market.
2. Feed-in Tariff
Another solar incentive for Queenslanders in 2022 is the feed-in tariff (FiT). The solar feed-in tariff is money your energy provider pays you for excess exported solar power produced by your system to the grid.
Queenslanders can consider Feed-in Tariffs solar incentives because they allow your solar system to earn you a passive income.
Importantly, the solar feed-in tariffs (and your electricity bill savings) allow your system to pay for itself in a few years. You’ll get back all you used to install the system.
How the FiT “incentives” Work
There are times when solar systems produce more electricity than is consumed. If your system does not include batteries, the solar feed-in tariff program allows you to send this excess electricity to your energy provider in exchange for a small fee.
The sunnier a location, the more electricity the solar systems will produce. With Queensland being the sunniest state of Australia, the solar systems in Queensland will produce a lot of excess electricity.
Know that there are times when your solar production will be below consumption, and you’ll need to buy the extra power you need from the grid. So, when your system produces excess electricity, it shouldn’t go to waste. You should sell it to the grid for a fee.
The feed-in tariffs differ depending on where you are in Queensland.
What is the FiT in Brisbane? What is the FiT in Regional QLD?
For those in regional Queensland, it’s pretty straightforward. The government has set the solar feed-in tariff for regional Queensland at 6.583 cents per kWh. The solar feed-in tariff rate applies to 2021/2022, which is viable only until June 2022.
We expect a new rate for the remainder of the year (the 2022/2023 rate).
Those not in regional Queensland can access market FiTs. These will differ by the energy provider. You may want to go for the highest feed-in tariffs to get the highest dollar amount for your excess power if you are looking for the best FiT in Brisbane.
Eligibility Criteria for Feed-in Tariff
To receive the regional solar feed-in tariff, you must meet the following requirements.
- The maximum capacity of your inverter must not exceed 30kW.
- You must consume less than 100MWh of electricity in a year.
- Your energy provider must be Ergon Energy or Origin Energy (if you’re on the Essential Energy network).
- You must be connected to the electricity grid.
- Only one solar system per premises can receive the FiT.
- You must not be receiving any other FiT.
If you’re in Southeast Queensland and receiving a market FiT. Your energy provider will set the eligibility criteria.
For example, for the 18 cents per kWh FiT offered by Mojo Energy:
- Mojo Energy must be your energy provider (obviously)
- You must be in the G’Day Sunshine energy plan
- You must accept that the 18c/kWh rate is capped at 5kWh per day, after which it drops to 5.5c/kWh
How to Claim Feed-in Tariff
You need to contact your energy provider and apply to receive the feed-in tariff.
You will not automatically start getting a feed-in tariff when you install a solar system. Rather, you need to apply for it.
- Contact your energy provider to request FiT application form and the “Terms and Conditions”
- Appropriately fill the FiT application forms provided
- Appropriately submit the filled form
Solar Feed-in Tariffs Checklist
Before committing to the FiT contract, ensure that you read and understand applicable terms and conditions.
- Check for maximum system requirements. For example, see how the regional Queensland FiT can be claimed only when the inverter size does not exceed 30kW.
- Check for cut-off points of flexible rates and the standard amount they revert to after the cut-off point. For example, see how the high 18c/kWh FiT of Mojo Energy apply to only the first 5kWh exported in a day. Also, see how after exporting 5kWh, the FiT rate falls to only 5.5c/kWh
- Check for administrative fees
- Check whether minimum thresholds are required before credits are laid.
Our Guides to Solar Rebates, Incentives and More
We have a series of unique guides to solar, solar finance, batteries and more, if you are looking to do more in-depth research into solar rebates check the below:
1. What Are Solar STC’s?
In this regard, the Australian government has provided incentives under the Solar Credit Program to encourage the installation of solar power systems. STCs or Small-scale Technology Certificates are incentives provided to small-scale energy generators. The most common example is the residential facilities.
2. How To Claim STCs
You can claim small-scale technology certificates (STCs) by assigning them at the point of sale to a registered agent like a retailer or solar installer. Each STC claim is unique to an installation. However, you can make more than one STC claim if you use different addresses for each installation.
State-Based solar incentives in Australia offer low-interest loans, interest-free loans, free solar system installation, or free battery installation. The incentives are given depending on your state location. However, you receive solar incentives only if you are eligible.
There are many incentives that business owners in Australia with solar power can enjoy. Some of them include Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs), Feed-in Tariffs, Retailer Energy Productivity Scheme (REPS), and more. These incentives promote the adoption of solar by lowering the installation costs.
Interested in solar? By clicking below you can use our smart solar calculator to find out just how much you could save with solar, what rebate you are eligible for, and the impact you will have on the environment.
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