Amendments to Solar Credits Discount Scheme for 2011

(There is a new, up-to-date as of January 2011 blog entry regarding the Enhanced Renewable Energy Target here. If you have any comments or questions please see that article first!)

The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency announced today the schedule by which reductions to the Solar Credits Discount Scheme will be effected. If you’re fully installed by 1 July 2011 you’ll get the maximum benefit of the current discount scheme – otherwise the cost will rise by approximately $1,000 for an entry level 1.5kW system (presuming a $32 Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) value).

The good news is that a long term plan has been outlined in parallel with the original intension of the legislation to phase out the discount at a steady and calculated rate.

The Solar Credits Multiplier, which multiplies by five the number of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) that are allocated for the first 1.5kW worth of grid-connected solar energy installations in Australia, is to be reduced accordingly:

  • 5x to 4x on 1 July 2011;
  • 4x to 3x on 1 July 2012;
  • 3x to 2x on 1 July 2013; and,
  • 2x to 1x from 1 July 2014.

The only changes that have been enacted were to bring the commencement of the reduction in the multiplier forward one year. This reflects the original aim of the legislation to phase out the multiplier in correspondence with the lowering costs of manufacturing and importing of solar components and competitiveness in the solar installation industry.

In addition, the introduction of a minimum $40 value for RECs is to go ahead as planned. The Office of Renewable Energy Regulator (ORER) will not hold the authority to manipulate either of these guidelines when it sees it appropriate. This will grant further stability to the industry.

Given the recent cuts to the NSW State Solar Bonus Scheme and the past experiences of rebates and grants being cut without warning, the layout is being welcomed by the Industry. Legislation that allows for forward planning and anticipation greatly assists not only residential householders, but encourages steady and stable growth for the industry as a whole.

Written by Jarrah Harburn & Justine O’Neill

Solar Choice

© 2010 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

(For a bit more context regarding what RECs are, please see our previous entry on how to determine your Solar Credit discount.)

James Martin II


  1. This is something I was searching for. Really helpful and informative read. Hope to see more similar posts in the future.

  2. Hi, I have been given a quote for solar but part of the conditions are that I change to another electricity supplier, specified by the installer, they also mentioned that it is a 4 week wait for country energy to approve the shift. Why do I need to change suppliers & can’t all electricity providers do FiTs?, and would it be quicker just going with country energy?

    1. Hi Ingrid. The installer that gave you your quote may have an agreement with the electricity retailer. The rules on feed-in tariffs differ from state to state. What state are you in?

      We here at Solar Choice can offer you a free solar power quote comparison anywhere in Australia. You can fill in this quote comparison form and get one automatically, or give us a ring on 1300 78 72 73. We are more than happy to answer your questions directly and give you an idea as to what your options are.

  3. for example if i need to install 3kw solar system to my home, how much i need to spend from my pocket and how much will be the government rebate

  4. still i am not clear. your info is not enough. please explain detaily and step by step

  5. Can I get paid both the REC & paid for the power I contribute to the Grid ? (Or is a choice of one or the other)

    Also, is the REC a “One Off” or is it a saleable commodity each year ??

    1. Hello Geoffrey,
      Thanks for your comments. Sorry that we haven’t managed to make things clearer for you. If you give us a ring on 1300 78 72 73 we can assist you directly and answer your questions one by one! Or you can fill out a quote request on our main page ( and someone will get back to you soon!

  6. 3 kw system for 2 adults and home office little use of aircon. with 50 cent feed in tariff is approximately break even with the power bill but has been particularly cloudy this year.

  7. My prospective supplier/installer is quoting RECs @$34. Is this correct?
    ORER seems to warrant the price at $40.

    1. As we mentioned in a newer blog entry that you can read here, the REC price is only guaranteed at $40 if you sell your RECs through the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator (ORER) Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC) Clearing House, in which case it is not guaranteed that you will find a buyer. RECs are a tradeable commodity, so the price fluctuates, and different installers may offer different rates. Typically, if your installer offers to give you the money for your RECs up-front in order to fund the installation of your system, they may take a cut. You are not obligated to hand over your REC rights to your installer, although this can be convenient and beneficial to do for many customers, especially if they cannot afford the up-front costs of a solar power system.
      One of our brokers can help you out in a bit more detail if you send us a free quote comparison request or give us a call on 1300 78 72 73.

  8. I have been reading all afternoon, and am still totally confused. I am in Melbourne and am prepared to install to a 3kw unit? I am hesitant to believe all the sales reps tell me as it varies greatly. If I am to spend ?$6000 what would my expected saving be on a bill averaging $500 per quarter

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