A great number of people throughout Australia are taking advantage of the federal government’s Solar Credit scheme, which offers financial incentives for solar power installations on their homes. Many people are also wondering if they can get additional Solar Credits for a second or third installation on the same property–like on the roof of a granny flat. This article will address the eligibility clauses to consider for such a prospect.
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We here at the Solar Choice blog have previously written extensively about the Solar Credit scheme and Renewable Energy Certificates (1 REC = 1 megawatt of renewable energy), which are guaranteed at $40 (if you are willing to wait) as of January 2011. For a general overview of RECs and Solar Credits, please see this informative article. We also have a great entry on how to calculate your Solar Credit discount, or you could go to the Office of Renewable Energy Regulator website and check out their handy calculator.
In a nutshell, Solar Credits are part of the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target program, or MRET, later amended to the Enhanced Renewable Energy Target or eRET, and in January 2011 divided into the Small-scale RET (SRET) and the Large-scale RET (LRET). The program aims to promote the uptake of renewable energy technologies in Australia to 20% of all electricity consumed by 2020 by offering RECs, freeing up cash for investment, and other policy programs.
So, let’s say you already have a photovoltaic system installed on the roof of your main home and you’ve also got a granny flat with a bare-looking roof out the back, begging jealously to be decked out with some lucrative and environmentally friendly solar panels. Would it be possible for you to do so? The answer is essentially yes, as long as both the properties have different addresses. An address can be established quite easily from the address on the electricity bill, and all addresses with a different number on the street will certainly fall in this category. If the address is a sub-lot such as 3a or 6b Smith Street, then the eligibility is still open. However, different structures on the same address such as shearing sheds and homes on the same rural lot, will not be classed as different address. Be aware that this has nothing to do with the number of meters or sub-boards that exist between properties.
This Solar Credits FAQ gives a good overview of the REC scheme, including some additional details about the eligibility of solar installations for Solar credits. These limitations include:
-The system must be a ‘small generation unit’ with a capacity less than 100kW in the case of solar PV
-The system is installed in an ‘eligible premises’, including a house, a townhouse, a residential apartment, or a shop
-The installed system must be new, complete, and functioning.
-There can be no ‘double-dipping’. That is, you cannot take advantage of more than one renewable incentive scheme. If you you apply successfully for RECs, you cannot subsequently apply for benefits through the Solar Homes and Communities Plan, the Renewable Remote Power Generation Program, or the National Solar Schools Program.
Helping you decide how to get the most of an installation is what Solar Choice does best, so feel free to get in touch with us for a free quote.
Sources and Resources:
Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency “Solar Credits FAQ”: http://www.climatechange.gov.au/government/initiatives/renewable-target/need-ret/solar-credits-faq.aspx
Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator homepage (ORER): http://www.orer.gov.au/
Master of Environmental Management, UNSW
Solar Energy Analyst
He is now the communications manager for energy technology startup SwitchDin, but remains an occasional contributor to the Solar Choice blog.
James lives in Newcastle in a house with a weird solar system.
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