How much is the solar rebate in Queensland (QLD)?
We are extremely lucky people in Queensland. Not only does the massive amount of sunlight we get enrich our lives by allowing us to BBQ more often, swim in the sea more frequently and generally have an amazing outdoor lifestyle, it also means that if we install solar panels, we are likely to benefit more than almost anywhere else in the world!
For solar panel installs in QLD under 100kW in size, the solar rebate available is between $1,700 and $59,000. The larger the array, the bigger the rebate!
The actual cost of a solar system will depend on various things such as the solar panels you choose, the inverter you choose and the installer you choose. This article shows what to look for and how much to pay for a solar system in Queensland’s capital, Brisbane. The Information in this article is relevant for other QLD towns as well.
How does it work exactly?
There are two major solar rebates available in Queensland. These come in the form of Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) and Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs).
For all home installations, and small business installations it’s the STCs you need to know about. These are calculated based on the geographical location the solar panels are being installed, and the size of the total array being installed. Australia is split into 4 different STC zones. The zone you are in, will determine how many STCs you will get.
Why does it matter where they are being installed?
The calculation to decide how many STCs, and therefore the value of the rebate, is based on how much energy you will produce over a set period of time. So, if you are in VIC, you will get less sunshine than in Brisbane, and therefore your solar panels will produce less energy. For that reason, the solar panel rebate in Brisbane, is higher than it is in Melbourne. It is calculated this way because the solar rebate is effectively rewarding you for producing clean energy. So, if you are going to produce more clean energy in Brisbane, then you would be rewarded more for a Brisbane solar panel installation.
So, what is it actually worth to me?
Every STC you generate with your solar panels, has a monetary value. Because there are more STCs issued for bigger systems, the solar rebate is higher when installing more panels. As you can see, the map above shows QLD is split and some areas are in zone one, some in zone two, and south of Brisbane to the border, is zone three.
Zone one and three are the same, and zone 2, generates more STCs, due to higher sunshine hours. The updated map below shows where zone one starts. The first major towns in zone one are Mt Isa, and further South Roma.
In terms of the actual monetary value. The table below bases each STC at $35. At the risk of getting too complicated, you also need to be aware the value of each STC will fluctuate over time. The basic explanation of why this happens is: the more STCs that are being generated, the lower value they have each. So, if lots of solar is being installed, we have seen them as low as $14 per STC. When there is less solar being installed, and therefore less STCs being generated, they can go as high as $40. In recent years, the fluctuation has not been so wild, so $35 per STC is a reasonable value to expect at the time of writing.
The best way to think about this is the simple supply and demand rule. If there is more of something, like steel, its is generally worth less. Whereas if it is more rare, like gold, it is worth more. The same basic principle applies to STCs.
As of September 2020. Please note, this can change at any time and you should contact a GI Energy team member to confirm these numbers are correct before making a decision of a solar system.
To calculate the amount of STCs you will get for more specific solar system sizes, the REC Registry is a great Government site.
What about bigger systems? How do LGCs work?
Once you install a solar system over 100kW in size, you will no longer get upfront STCs. Instead, your solar installation will be able to generate LGCs. The amount of LGCs created will depend on how much solar electricity you produce, which is typically measured monthly or quarterly. We then send reports to the regulator, who will issue the LGCs based on the actual electricity generated for that period. The LGCs also have a monetary value, which is how you generate a solar rebate for the larger solar installs.
The value of LGCs gets lower and lower as each year passes. This is because there are more and more large solar projects being installed every year. As more large solar installs are commissioned, the overall value of the LGCs diminishes. Eventually, the LGCs will be worth nothing.
Even without LGCs the larger solar systems will produce a great return on investment as they produce a lot of clean, free energy for the business.
How long is the solar rebate available in Queensland?
Good question. Unfortunately, there is no way we can give you total certainty surrounding the end date for the solar rebate in QLD. However, we can tell you that at the end of each calendar it is scheduled to reduce. As with any Government initiated schemes, it can also be removed at any time.
Lots of marketing companies are constantly promoting things like “free solar” due to a “new solar rebate” which is conveniently “in your area only”. Often accompanied by “limited availability” or impending “deadlines”. 99% of these can be ignored and treated as click bait. These types of adverts are usually posted by lead generation companies, or solar retailers with less ethics than an African warlord.
The truth is this:
- We do not know if the solar rebate will be removed at any time. Nor do our competitors.
- We will not be told ahead of time if it does get removed. Nor will our competitors.
- Do not stress, as it has been there for many years now, and it is unlikely to be removed during the exact time you are looking into solar, unless you are very unlucky.
- If you are serious about installing solar panels, then find a company you trust, and get it done right away. This way, you do not have to worry about the solar rebate getting reduced or removed.
- Do not get pushed into making a quick decision because a sales person is telling you it is going to disappear overnight – unless there is proof of this from a reputable Government source!
Solar is QLD is fantastic, it really is!
When we compare the amount of energy you will produce to other places in the world, we get almost the best solar production globally. In addition to this, we have these generous solar rebates to use. Put these two things together, and you have an amazing opportunity to generate your own renewable energy for your home or business, without breaking the bank!
You can see how much you can save using our solar calculator.
Here are some other links you may find useful 🙂