What are STCS?

So people often ask about the government rebate for solar. I want to clarify something, first of all, technically it’s not a rebate. It kinda looks like a rebate and smells like a rebate, which is why people call it a rebate, but it’s actually not. So it’s not funded by the government. Technically what’s happening is that people who are coal producers create a liability for themselves to buy certificates, which are called STCs, and those STCs are created by putting solar on roofs, so there’s this sort of circular economy where STCs are created by putting solar on roofs and through a trading house, those polluters or coal producers are buying them, so it’s a kind of round-about the system. But it’s industry funded, not government funded, but people still call it a rebate. The implication for you is that it typically covers about a third or a half of a solar system. 

What you’ll see when you get a quote is that you’ll see a price. A system might cost $11,000. The STCs, as they’re called, might be worth say $4,000, and therefore your cost is going to be seven. These STCs are taken as what’s called a point-of-sale discount, so you don’t need to pay this price and then chase the rebate. Your solar installer does that themselves. So you sign away your right to those STCs, typically on the day of installation, there’ll be a form, a physical form or a digital form, and they then just take it off the system price, making it very simple, you only pay the out-of-pocket price. So this all comes under the renewable energy target, I’ll put a link in here if you want to learn some more about it, but basically it should already be part of what it is that you’re looking at in terms of a quote. It should be broken down full price, STCs, and out-of-pocket price. So that is what people refer to as the government rebate.