South Australia has some of the highest electricity costs in the country, with an average price of 37.68 cents per kWh in 2019 and 2020, according to the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC).
But with solar energy, South Australians can avoid these exorbitant costs.
To encourage the switch to renewable energy, the South Australian government offers Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs), solar feed-in tariffs, and Sustainability Incentive Scheme programs.
These incentives provide financial benefits to those who install a solar panel system and adopt solar energy in Australia.
In this article, I’m going to unpack all you need to know about solar panel rebates in South Australia. Below is a list of the topics I’m covering. Let’s start!
- Solar Rebates and STCs
- Factors affecting the number of STCs
- Criteria needed to be eligible for STCs
- Sample rebates profiles
- Other financial incentives you can enjoy
Solar rebates in SA depend on STCs
Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) are a form of government rebate offered to solar panel system owners in Australia.
STCs are generated upon solar system installation, with the number of certificates dependent on a few things (more on this shortly), but the more STCs you get, the higher your rebate.
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The number of STCs you get depends on a few things.
The number of STCs you are eligible for depends on the following:
- Your solar panel system size
- The deeming period
- The postal code rating where the solar panel system is installed
Here’s what you need to know about each of them.
The size of your planned solar system
The size of your solar panel system plays a significant role in determining the number of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) you are eligible to receive.
The larger your solar panel system, the more STCs you can have. Meaning, larger systems are also eligible for higher rebates.
This is great because it makes larger systems that can power your entire home much more affordable.
If you want to know how many STCs your potential system is eligible for, the government’s Clean Energy Regulator (CER) has a free calculator for that.
The deeming period is the number of years from your installation date and 2030. That means that if you installed your solar panels this year (2023), you’d have a deeming period of 8 years. Next year, the deeming period will be at 7. And so on.
This is important because the higher the deeming period, the more STCs you’re eligible for. Thus, more rebates.
This is part of how the government is incentivizing Aussies to switch to renewable energy ASAP.
Postal zone ratings
Postal zone ratings are used to classify areas in Australia based on their solar radiation levels.
There are 4 zones in this category with Zone 1 having the most solar radiation and Zone 4 having the least. Zone 1 is also eligible for the most number of STCs whereas Zone 4 is eligible for slightly less.
To find out what postal code zone your property falls in, simply look for the postal code of your address in the Federal Register of Legislation. For your reference though, Adelaide (postcode: 5000) is classified as Zone 3.
Your system also has to meet the STC eligibility criteria before you can get rebates.
To receive STC rebates, your solar PV system must meet the eligibility criteria set by the SA government. Make sure to check these requirements before proceeding with any installation or purchases:
- Solar PV systems, inverters, and other components must be CEC-approved.
- The solar PV system and home battery system must meet Australian and New Zealand standards.
- A CEC-accredited solar installer must install it.
- All local, state, territory, and other federal government requirements must be complied with.
- The system size must not be more than 100 kW.
Of these requirements, hiring a CEC-accredited installer is the most essential. These installers will help you choose components that are CEC-approved as well as design your solar system to meet all the other requirements.
If you need help finding these people, we have a pre-vetted network of installers that you can rely on. Should you need our help, we can get you 3 FREE quotes from them right away.
Here are sample rebates profiles based on the current value of STCs.
Here’s a look at the probable rebates that you can get today, depending on the size of your solar system:
Note that these figures are based off of the current value of STCs which is $38. These values can change from day to day, similar to how the stock market behaves.
If you want to check the current value of an STC, check the Green Energy Markets website. Whatever that value us, multiply it with how many STCs your system is eligible for. That’s going to be your potential rebate.
Other financial incentives you should be aware of
Feed-in tariffs (FiTs)
Solar feed-in tariffs (FiTs) are a renewable energy incentive set by the federal government. They are payments that SA households and small businesses receive for selling surplus solar energy back to the grid. They are typically priced on a cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) basis.
They benefit you with costs associated with solar installations as you will be compensated for the excess energy you generate.
Different electricity retailers have different eligibility criteria and FiTs rates. To find the most up-to-date information, we recommend visiting your respective electricity retailer’s website. But, as of today, here are the rates from these SA electricity retailers:
- Energy Australia: 8.5 cents/kWh
- Origin Energy: 8-20 cents/kWh, depending on the plan
- Simply Energy: 6 cents/kWh
- AGL: 5 cents/kWh
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The Sustainability Incentive Scheme from the City of Adelaide
The City of Adelaide offers a Sustainability Incentive Scheme (SIS) to encourage households and businesses to install eligible renewable energy systems. Under the SIS, qualified customers can receive incentives of up to $3,000 for installing solar systems in their homes or businesses.
The City of Adelaide residential households and energy concession holders can get up to 50% off up to $1,000 when replacing gas appliances with electric or solar power systems, like home battery systems, solar hot water systems, installed solar panels, and more.
There are also other available programs offered to help you or your business make a swift shift to solar systems such as:
- Home battery scheme
- Virtual power plant
This incentive is offered in conjunction with accredited energy retailers operating in Adelaide. For more information about the different incentives and eligibility criteria, visit the City of Adelaide’s website.
While South Australia may have some of the highest energy prices in the country, it’s also a great place to install solar panels. Luckily, SA benefits from rebates, feed-in tariffs, and the Sustainability Incentive Scheme to help make the cost of installation feel lighter.
Specifically for the solar rebate program, though, it’s important to ensure that you meet the specific criteria, including using CEC-approved solar panels and inverters and hiring a CEC-accredited solar installer for your solar power system.
We can’t decide what components you want to use for your system. That’s all up to you. What we can help with, however, is giving you access to our pre-vetted network of installers. So, if you’re ready, we’ll get you 3 FREE quotes right away.