Solar Credit (REC) Multiplier to reduce from 5x to 4x from 1 July 2011

(Update: The information in this article is now out of date: according to an announcement by the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, the REC multiplier is set to decline to 3x as of 11 July 2011, not 4x. Please keep an eye on our blog for more updates.)

Just a friendly reminder that time is running short to take advantage of the generous 5x Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) price multiplier when you install a solar power system. The multiplier will drop to 4x as of 1 July 2011. Your system must be physically installed by this date for the multiplier to be effective, and installer lead times are getting increasingly longer as they book in appointments before the date, so it is best to act quickly.

RECs are explained in a number of our previous blogs. In particular, Brendan Noakes wrote a detailed article about how to go about determining what your Solar Discount (in RECs) would be if you installed a system. In short, RECs are certificates which you receive whenever you install some sort of renewable energy technology. They are part of a federal government subsidy scheme whose ultimate purpose is to promote the uptake of renewable energy sources across Australia under the Enhanced Renewable Energy Target (eRET). RECs can significantly reduce the up-front costs of installing a solar power system, especially with when their price is multiplies! The price of RECs can and has fluctuated in the past, from just over $10 to over $50. They are tradeable on a REC market, but very often your installer will offer to buy them from you so that you do not need to concern yourself as much with price volatility or when to sell. At the end of each quarterly trading period, polluters and power producers are obligated to present a specified number of RECs that they are required to acquire based on the volume of their carbon pollution.

© 2011 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Sources and links:

Office of the Renewable Energy Officer Website (for news and updates regarding federal solar power policy)

James Martin II

Contributor at Solar Choice
James was Solar Choice's primary writer & researcher between 2010 and 2018.

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.
James Martin II

Comments

  1. With the reduction in the mutiplier from 5x to 4x from 1 July 2011, by how much (at todays prices), will a 3 KW system increase in price.

    Thanks for an early reply.

    Regards Barry

    1. Hi Barry,
      Thanks for the comment–excellent question. It will depend on your location and your REC zone (please see our previous blog entry explaining REC zones and how RECs are calculated), but generally speaking, the difference will be in the region of $1200, and more for larger systems. Please keep in mind, however, that the price of systems has been decreasing steadily over the past few decades, and a system may still be a worthwhile investment (please see our previous blog entry about what to take into consideration when deciding whether to wait to buy a system.)

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