Solar Credit discounts legislated today!

Great news for all Australian residences and businesses looking to install solar energy.

The Senate today passed the Renewable Energy Target (RET) bill, which includes legislation for the Solar Credit discounts of up to $7,000 for anyone looking to install a 1.5kW (9 panel) solar energy system.

The Government last weekend bowed to pressure from both the Coalition, business and green lobby groups, and announced they would split the RET from the disputed Emissions Trading (ETS) bill which, rather than have it put in limbo until the bills return for debate in the the Senate in another three months.

The Solar Credits scheme is available for all grid connected buildings, whether principal place of residence, rental, holiday home, commerical premises or rural construction. The scheme has no means test; the rebate threshold of a household taxable income of $100,000 has been abolished.

In replacing the $8,000 rebate, the Solar Credits scheme operates by attributing a value 5 times the market value of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

RECs commenced nationally in December 2001, and are designed to place a value on the displacement of greenhouse gases. One REC is equivalent to approximately one mega Watt hour of electricity produced, or approx one tonne of abated greenhouse emmissions. They provide financial incentive to place less reliance on the burning of fossil fuel.

Depending on your latitude and how many sunshine hours you receive, there are usually 31 RECs attached to a 1.5kW solar energy installation. The value of a REC is subject to market variation, and they are currently trading at approx $35. This equates to $1,085 value in RECs for a 1kW installation. Under Solar Credits, this figure is multiplied by five, to give a total discount of $5,425.

Solar Credits will apply to the first 1.5 kW of capacity installed. For systems above 1.5kW, customers will be eligible for the standard 1:1 rate of RECs. Solar Credits/RECs are issued by the Office of Renewable Energy Regulator (ORER) for the lifetime generation of the system, and customers can elect to either assign them to the installer to keep the upfront cost of the solar energy installation down, or hold on to them just as you would a share portfolio.

Jarrah Harburn
Solar Choice Pty Ltd

© 2009 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Jarrah Harburn

Jarrah is the Director of Solar Choice’s UK subsidiary, Solar Selections. He has 3 years' experience in the UK solar industry following 2 years' experience with Solar Choice in Australia.
Jarrah Harburn

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