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Solar Rebate QLD

Updated: 25 August 2020

The solar rebate in QLD is a government scheme designed to help Queenslanders go solar easier and cheaper by paying for a large chunk of the system cost.

Most residents are eligible for a rebate (discount) on new solar installations. The average solar rebate in QLD is $2,797. This is for the most popular system which is a 5kWh solar system. The amount of rebate will depend on the size of the system you install.

Solar rebate Queensland QLD

What are STC’s in QLD?

STC stands for Small-scale Technology Certificate. The price of these certificates are traded on the open market and are closely linked to the price of carbon. The current price as of writing this article is $39.40, but generally, it will vary between $35 to $40 per certificate.

The amount of STC’s you get per 1kW of solar installed will depend on:

  1. The price of STC’s
  2. The number of STC’s per KW (Based on the zone you live)
  3. The size of your system

STC zoning in Australia

STC Zone ma in Australia

If you are in Brisbane you will be in Zone 3, but in Zone 1 and 2 for North Queensland.

Is There A Solar Rebate In QLD?

You probably already guessed the answer to this from what we’ve already covered, but yes, there are a number of solar rebates in Queensland. You could get as high as $5000 as rebates in Queensland to go towards purchasing a solar PV system for your home. This can be claimed as STCs from the federal government’s solar incentive scheme as well any local solar rebates if you are eligible.

New home with solar in QLD

At a state level, Queenslanders are encouraged to use the interest-free loans for solar and solar storage made available by the government. The loans – provided under QLD’s energy concessions program- enable Queenslanders to purchase solar products without spending too much at the initial stage. This is a win-win arrangement. Solar panels pay for themselves within about three years from power bill savings and feed-in tariffs for grid-connected systems readily available in QLD.

At the same time, QLD is also eligible for the federal level solar rebates packaged as small-scale technology certificates. Upon claiming your solar STCs, you could cut about half off your solar installation costs in Queensland. All the more reasons why you should consider installing solar panels in your home, even if you can comfortably afford the electricity from the grid.

How Much Is the Solar Rebate in Qld?

The solar rebate you can get in QLD depends on several factors. Even though Queensland does not provide solar rebates at a state- level, its residents get the most significant rebates from the federal STC scheme.

This is because QLD is under zone 1 and has the highest rating of 1.622 for each KW. This means that Queenslanders receive the highest number of STCs in Australia regardless of the solar system they choose to install.

Solar System (Nominal Output)Number of STCsRebate Value in QLD
1Kw17$669
3Kw53$2,088
5Kw89$3,506
6Kw107$4,215
6.6Kw117$4,609
7Kw124$4,885
10Kw178$7,029

To put it in perspective, a person in Queensland installing a typical 5Kw Solar system at their house would receive about 89 small-scale technology certificates. Based on the current STC value ($39.40- as of the time of publishing this guide), this person would receive roughly $3,514 in rebates. This amount can be claimed directly on the point of the sale price as a discount.

Here are further estimates for the rebates you could be eligible for were you to purchase these solar kits in QLD today or within the year.

Rebates on solar in QLD

Note: The estimates given here are based on the current STC value, which is bound to change based on market forces. At the same time, the number of STCs given for each solar product is pegged on zone 1 rating, where a majority of towns and localities are covered. However, keep in mind that some locations within Queensland may not be in zone 1 as far as STC rebate boundaries are concerned.

As you can probably tell from the above figures, STC solar rebates can make your solar installation that much cheaper than if you were to buy without claiming them. That and the interest-free loans provided by the QLD government and you could end up spending close to nothing at the initial stage for your solar install.

What Is the Australian Government Solar Rebate?

solar rebate ending 2030

The Australian government solar rebate or scheme was launched a few years ago under the small-scale renewable energy target (RET) program. In partnership with private solar companies and local governments, the Australian government aims to achieve close to 100% solar energy uptake in the country. So far, thousands of homeowners in QLD have acquired different solar products under the scheme.

The federal solar rebate helps make solar purchases affordable and attractive to the ordinary Aussie homeowner. Unlike other incentive schemes and programs, almost everyone is eligible for the Australian solar rebates so long as they are within the borders and satisfy these general conditions as set out by the Clean Energy Regulator:

  • You own a house, caravan or mobile home and have a title for the same- documentation may be required showing you as the primary owner of the property on which the solar system will be installed.
  • You install your solar PV system within 12 months of claiming any STCs. This can be easier if the right to claim is handed over to the solar company at the point of sale.
  • The Solar PV system installed does not exceed 1000W nominal capacity and a yearly output of not more than 250Mwh.
  • You purchase the solar PV product from a company accredited by the Clean Energy Regulator. Part of the STC process involves inspections and other efforts aimed at ensuring compliance and adherence to safety standards.
  • The installation of the PV system must be done according to guidelines provided by the Clean Energy Regulator.

Things to Look Out For- STC Rebates

1. Find a registered Agent

To smoothen the process of claiming your STC rebate, ensure that the solar company you get your quote and purchase from is in a position to process the STCs on your behalf- they are registered agents. Though it might sound attractive to claim the STC certificates on your own, you may be forced to pay the whole amount at the point of sale and left at a disadvantage should the STC value drop.

2. Provide Accurate Information

The Clean Energy Regulator is very keen on solar PV owners providing the right information as part of the installation and STC application process. Providing misleading information, either to the solar company or as part of your application process, might attract penalties or rejection of your claim. This will force you to shoulder the entire cost of the solar PV system. Ensure that you provide:

Addressing information – postcodes and physical address. This is especially important for the regulator for inspection purposes and given that the STC scheme is zone-based.

Details about your solar PV system– Nominal capacity, cost before rebates and battery, type, and battery storage.

Other documentation may be required as part of the claim, such as property ownership documentation, etc.

3. Timing Your Solar Installation

Ensure you install your solar PV system within 12 months of claiming the solar STC rebates. Any systems older than 12 months are not eligible for the small-scale technology certificates. At the same time, STCs must be claimed after the installation has been completed even if a discount on the same was offered at point of sale. Creating STCs before the installation is not allowed and will be deemed as an improper assignment by the CER.

4. Be sure About Who You Assign the STCs to claim

According to the Clean Energy Regulator, assigning rights to claim STCs can be done once. Should you choose to give the rights to a registered agent, you cannot change. With that in mind, you must be sure about the agent/installer before assigning those rights.

5. Watch the STC value

It’s advisable to understand how the current STC value might affect the amount you get off your solar installation as a government rebate.  Use the Clean Energy Regulator’s online registry and other sites like Greenmarkets to check what the current STC value is based on forces of demand and supply. If it’s trading too low, holding out might help get a better rebate amount later.

Solar efficiency vs time

QLD Solar Rebates/ Solar Loans – Currently Closed

While the QLD government does not offer local solar rebates, it did offer *interest-free loans on solar products such as batteries and hybrid systems. Taking these interest-free loans could help you cover any costs that spill over after applying for the point of sale STC rebate discounts with your agent.

You can receive interest-free solar loans of up to $4500s from the QLD government and stretch your monthly repayments over seven years. This will give you more than enough time to make savings from solar energy, meaning you won’t even have to spend extra money to install solar in your home.

You can get solar loans for solar systems, solar battery systems, and combined solar and battery systems.

*Note: This program is currently closed (it was offered for only three months). However, you can keep checking for updates from the government in case they launch another round of funding. There is a wealth of information regarding solar energy on the QLD government website.

Who Has the Best Solar Feed-In Tariff in Qld?

As the name suggests, feed-in tariffs are small payments you could get for sending your surplus energy back to the grid. For this, you will need to have a grid-connected solar PV system and probably one that has a higher production capacity than you need on a given day. Feed-in tariffs are perfect for homes with minimal daily consumption needs and don’t need solar batteries.

 

Feed-in tariffs are usually paid in by different electricity retailers in QLD. Examples of electricity retailers with feed-in tariffs include:

AGL- offers a 17.0c maximum feed-in tariff

Red Energy offers a 16.1c maximum feed-in tariff

Origin energy offers a 15.0c maximum feed-in tariff

Diamond Energy offers a 12.0c maximum feed-in tariff, among others.

It’s also good to note here that feed-in tariffs largely depend on the agreement you have with the electricity retailer and the kind of solar system you have.

As the name suggests, feed-in tariffs are small payments you could get for sending your surplus energy back to the grid. For this, you will need to have a grid-connected solar PV system and probably one that has a higher production capacity than you need on a given day. Feed-in tariffs are perfect for homes with minimal daily consumption needs and don’t need solar batteries.

 

Feed-in tariffs are usually paid in by different electricity retailers in QLD. Examples of electricity retailers with feed-in tariffs include:

AGL- offers a 17.0c maximum feed-in tariff

Red Energy offers a 16.1c maximum feed-in tariff

Origin energy offers a 15.0c maximum feed-in tariff

Diamond Energy offers a12.0c maximum feed-in tariff, among others.

It’s also good to note here that feed-in tariffs largely depend on the agreement you have with the electricity retailer and the kind of solar system you have.

Are Feed-In Tariffs Worth It In QLD?

Most people would prefer to utilize their entire solar output instead of feeding it back to the grid. Going by the feed-in tariffs, you would receive in QLD; this seems like a logical choice. You can benefit more from your solar installation by matching its output to your daytime consumption or investing in battery storage to take care of any surplus.

That said, feeding your surplus back to the grid is still a logical choice. The earnings would go towards your payback for the investment you made while purchasing the solar product. In the end, it all comes down to personal choices and consumption needs. Most people tend to utilize all the solar energy they generate on a given day and store the rest for nighttime use.

Is 5kw Solar Enough?

A 5Kw solar PV system produces about 20Kwh of energy per day in QLD, which is enough for a small to medium-sized household with three to four occupants.  Solar output depends on several factors, such as the type of panels used and their production, solar radiation, weather conditions, and time of day. A typical 5Kw Solar PV system installed in QLD should be enough to power the following items:

  • A medium-sized refrigerator
  • Dishwasher
  • 3 Television sets
  • Wi-Fi routers
  • Toasters etc.
Daily solar energy production by State

To get a clear picture of the size of the solar PV system you might need, it’s good to ask for quotes from a few agents and ideally have them assess your current needs and make a recommendation. At the same time, always go for a solar PV install with slightly higher daily output than you need to cater to yield drop-offs occasioned by changing weather conditions. You can feed any surplus energy back to the grid or store in a battery for nighttime use.

How Much Is A 5kw Solar System In QLD?

The average price for a 5Kw solar system in Queensland is around $4,980, with government STC rebates applied as a point of sale discount.  However, pricing for these solar PV systems tends to vary from supplier to supplier. For instance, a smart LG solar PV kit would cost slightly higher than one from a smaller manufacturer such as Jinko.

Luckily for most QLD residents, the STCs you can get for a 5Kw solar PV product are slightly higher than any other state in Australia. As mentioned in the beginning, Queensland has the highest STC rating in the country, guaranteeing buyers more rebates than the rest of the country. Pair this with falling solar prices, and installing a solar PV system becomes quite attractive.

SizeCost
1.5kW$3,280
2kW$3,620
3kW$3,860
4kW$4,650
5kW$4,980
6kW$5,638

How Do I Apply for A Government Solar Rebate?

STC rebates can be claimed through a formal application process after installation. This is if you choose to make the application on your own and forego the point of sale discount. However, since the government rebates are provided as a partnership between private sector solar companies and the government, surrendering the rights to a registered agent is much easier for most Queenslanders.

The process of applying for a government solar rebate through an agent in Australia is a straightforward one. Just approach a solar company or agent of your choice and inquire if they are able to process small-scale certificates on your behalf. If they do, you can go ahead and assign the rights to them and walk away with an installation contract after paying the deposits.

Alternatively, you could decide to pay the full price for a solar kit and claim the certificates within 12 months of the installation. The application is made online through the Clean Energy Regulator’s website. Make sure you have all the required documents you need to submit before you start a claim.

FAQ

The number of solar panels you need depends on the solar PV system you need to meet your daily consumption needs. For instance, a standard 5Kw solar PV system will need around 18-20- solar panels, while a 3kw Kit will require 12 solar panels. Both systems have different nominal outputs and, therefore, subject to your daily household consumption. Talk to your preferred solar company if in doubt about the amount of energy you need in a day.

Not all solar PV systems are made to be connected to the grid. With a large enough solar system coupled with a battery and inverter setup, it is possible to go entirely off-grid if you so wish. Take advantage of Australian solar rebates and battery loans if you need to be grid-independent. That said, a majority of solar installations in QLD tend to be grid-connected.

Ben McInerney head shotAuthor: Ben McInerney is a renewable energy enthusiast with the goal of helping more Australians understand solar systems to make the best choice before they purchase. Having an accredited solar installer in the family helps give Ben access to the correct information, which allows him to break it down and make it easily understandable to the average homeowners.