Grants and Incentives

Australian solar businesses pay elevated energy bills every month, the government is aware about this and with the goal of providing a sustainable and clean energy production over time, there are several incentives for all Australians to go solar

Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs)

The feed-in tariff is a subsidy scheme for renewables applied in many countries that offers a compensation paid back to the solar owner for the electricity fed to the electricity grid.

This subsidy scheme has almost 10 years in Australia and has proven to be a successful way to promote renewable energy facilities and especially solar panel installations all over the country.

The FiTs used to reach up to 50 cents/kWh in some states of Australia (one of the highest feed in tariff rates in the world!). However, as solar system costs reduce, so does the subsidy scheme. Today, the balance between FiTs and the price of solar is still on a good deal! Nevertheless, as time passes, it is possible that the government further reduces feed-in tariff rates, that’s why we encourage you to take the solar choice now

Feed-in tariff schemes change between states but they are mainly distinguished between three types :

  • Gross FiT : all electricity generated is purchased from the solar owner
  • Net FiT: Only surplus electricity generated by the solar system is purchased by the electricity grid.
  • Time of Use (TOU) FiT: Mainly applied in Victoria where the rate paid is variable depending on the congestion from the grid and the time of the day that the solar array is generating.

 

Accelerated Depreciation

The best way that Australian industries and commercial business can help in the reduction of contamination to the environment is by purchasing renewable energy systems. The Australian Parliament is one of the promoters of these goals and as an incentive to these sectors they have been promoting since 2015 a tax reduction scheme implemented through accelerated depreciation.

The scheme can be applied for small businesses that purchase items which cost is below $20,000 that can provide a cash flow benefit of several thousands of dollars in a year! This benefit is extended as a 20 Year Tax Benefit.

Solar systems in Australia also come along with other tax benefits such as concessions on capital gains, deductions for certain pre-paid business expenses, option to pay GST quaterly and many more.

Please consult an accountant how you could estimate your tax reductions and obtain more information.

Solar Rebates – STC’s and LGC’s

According to the Small- Scale Renewable Energy Scheme from the  Federal Government, all those small-scale renewable energy systems are eligible to obtain a number of  Small- Scale Technology Certificates (STC’s) for those solar systems under 100kW.

Such number depends on the installation date, location and the amount of electricity generated in MWh over five years by the solar panels. In other words, a single STC is equal to 1 MWh generated by the solar panels over time.

Creation, validation and even transfer of STC are certified by the REC Registry that allows you to claim them or sell them in the market! With these credits you can get thousands of dollars, reducing the effective cost of the installation and covering nearly 50% of capital investment costs.

You can find out the estimated number of STC’s that you can opt for here

There are also Large- Scale Generation Certificates (LGC’s) applicable for installations above 100 kW with benefits over the lifetime of the installation that can cover nearly 60 % of the upfront costs of the solar system. [John will write more]

Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA)

This government incentive helps businesses with finance to maximize a building’s energy efficiency. According to the EUA, a lender provides a loan to improve the energy efficiency of a building , mainly by making technical upgrades to the building. Loans of up to 15 years can be chosen for solar systems! You can see the details here

More Financial Assistance

There are other financial incentives and organizations that can help you reduce upfront costs over time and make it possible for you to install a huge solar system

You can find more information about this on the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), on Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and State level loans for solar as the Queensland Government Interest Free Loan Incentive  along with other government’s rebates like Victoria’s Solar Homes Package

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