Australia’s Federal, State and Territory governments have introduced incentives to help kick-start renewable energy industries until they become established, recognizing that energy from renewables is critical to reducing carbon emissions and combating the threat of global warming.
It was also a policy borne of necessity – electricity from rooftop panels and wind generators could take pressure off the need for more capacity from traditional and aging fossil-fueled power stations.
Before the swing to privatization, Government or semi-government agencies built, paid for and operated the infrastructure that provided virtually all our power.
And even under privatization they were still required to provide direct and indirect Government subsidies for energy from fossil fuel sources.
So logically, it was better for the Government coffers and emissions reduction targets if householders and businesses could be encouraged to put up most of the capital for small-scale solar to meet growing demands for power.
Even so, the governments have not been quite as generous as it might seem – while they have sponsored and take credit for present incentive programs they have devised them in such a clever way that they are mainly paid for by the traditional fossil-fueled power industry.
The Governments require big power companies to provide a proportion of their generating capacity from renewables. If they are unable to do so then they can choose instead to subsidize others who are prepared to – and that’s people like you!
The incentive programs have played a big part in bringing about the rapid adoption of solar across Australia and in the Northern Territory.
This rapid take-up is, in turn, helping to make solar even more competitive and bring even more rapid growth.
The first important incentives for solar are subsidies under Federal and NT Government schemes towards the cost of your PV panels installation.
Then you receive on-going incentives through the NT Feed-in Tariffs purchases of the surplus electricity your system generates.
The federal and state governments have a mandate to protect our children’s future.
The key Government incentive programs we will help you with
Residential and Small Business
The main benefit available to householders and businesses is from the national Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) administered by the Clean Energy Regulator.
Under this program any household or business installing a solar system with a capacity of up to 100kW which complies with required conditions, is entitled to be issued Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs).
This program is sometimes referred to as “the solar rebate” and it means you can enjoy a discount of around 25% to 30% off the real cost of your installation!
It can be $4,000 or more for a typical 6kW Darwin household system and from $60,000 to $70,000 for a 99kw business installation.
The amounts will vary depending on where you are in Australia – Territorians receive more than our southern cousins because our high sunshine zones means panelss produce more power.
These incentives are already deducted when you receive a quotation from Country Solar NT.
Larger-scale Commercial Installations
Business or industry installations of more than 100kW capacity do not miss out – they simply come under a related Large-scale Renewable Energy Target program which entitles them to incentives through Large-scale Generation Certificates.
But the detail of this goes beyond our scope here – if you are itching to install a system of 200, 300 or greater kW capacity or even a giant solar farm then please give us a call and our experts will sit down with you, explain your options and answer your questions.
An important on-going benefit for Territory home owners who have solar is the generous NT Feed-in Tariff scheme. This allows them to sell their surplus solar power into the grid and save hundreds of dollars on their electricity bills.
READ ABOUT IT HERE
NT Assistance for Homes and Businesses
Both householders and businesses in the NT can receive a Smart Energy Grant of up to $1,000 towards the cost of installing solar on top of Federal incentives for their home, investment property or business.
But this is scheduled to end when applications top the $4m budget allocated for the scheme or in January, 2019, whichever comes first – best be quick!
Northern Territory businesses, Indigenous enterprises and no-for-profit organizations can also access funding for solar under the Territory Government’s Smarter Business Solutions Grants program.
Eligible businesses and organizations can receive a GRANT of up to 20% of the cost of an off-grid solar installation to a maximum of $20,000, or 10% (up to a maximum of $10,000) towards the cost of a grid-connected system.
To qualify businesses must have a turnover of more than $75,000 but less than $20m, have fewer than 200 employees and agree to purchase their system from a Northern Territory provider.
How to Claim STC Incentives
The details of how the STC program works can be a little complicated and, frankly, you probably are not going to want or need to know. But if you have plenty of time and enjoy a challenge you can check it out at
Should you decide to claim the incentive yourself, you probably will find the task of working through the paperwork is daunting. That’s why most new solar households simply choose to assign their STCs to their installer and let them handle it.
Country Solar NT has a documentation specialist who is familiar with the process and makes it look easy so that you don’t have to go through the hassles.
To qualify for STC benefits your system MUST be designed and installed by a Clean Energy Council accredited professional and your solar panels and other components MUST be approved for use in Australia by the Clean Energy Council. Country Solar NT is fully accredited and uses ONLY panels and components that are Clean Energy Council approved.
Accreditations with the Clean Energy Council are a prerequisite for savings from successful incentives claims