C-COR Solar is fully prepared to guide you through the solar and battery rebate process. Navigating government rebates can prove challenging. Some governments are changing their processes to make it easier for electricity consumers to access rebates. A case in point is the Victorian Solar Homes subsidy, changed effective 1st July 2019.
Why is the difference between STCs, FiTs and LGCs?
Renewable Energy has its own set of industry jargon. Let’s decode some of them.
Commercial / Industrial
Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs)
The value of the STC is based on the site location for the renewable energy system. Queensland credits are different from Victorian credits.
The STC credit is applied as a credit on the purchase price by C-COR Solar.
Yes, for system sizes under 100 kW production capability.
The value of the STC is based on the renewable energy system’s location. This means Queensland credits are different from Victorian credits.
The STC credit is applied as a credit on the purchase price by C-COR Solar.
Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs)
Yes, if the system size is greater than or equal to 100 kW production capability.
LGCs are monitored for 12-months before a credit is provided by your electricity retailer. They are paid annually, subject to the LGC changing from year to year until the program lapses in 2030.
Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs)
These special tariffs are provided by your Electricity retailer and credited to your bill.
These special tariffs are provided by your Electricity retailer and credited to your bill.
Under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), the reduction in the cost of your solar panel is not a rebate.
Solar panel systems are entitled to a number of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) if the system is eligible. STCs are environmental credits.
These credits are a commodity and tradeable, like shares on the Australian Stock Exchange. Like other commodities, the price of STCs is not fixed. Rather, it varies with supply and demand.
The payment for the STCs can account for up to 20 per cent of the upfront cost of your solar power system.
Who is eligible for STCs?
The STC scheme is not means tested. Businesses, households, schools and community groups are also eligible for STCs.
How do I claim an STC?
C-COR Solar takes care of all paperwork for you to make the process as simple as possible. You just assign the STCs to C-COR Solar to claim on your behalf.
We will subtract the value of the STCs from the price of your solar system. That means all you need to do is pay the discounted price.
Simply sign some paperwork on the day of installation or respond to a simple email prompt. We take care of the rest!
LGCs — What Are They?
Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) is a Federal Government policy designed to ensure that at least 33,000 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.
Energy retailers (Red Energy, Origin Energy, ERM Power, etc.) must buy Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) to meet the legislated target — which is based on a percentage of their total energy sales.
The total of these LGC purchases is intended to match the 33,000 GWh target. If a retailer does not meet its individual target, they must make penalty payments.
LGCs are created by renewable energy generators — either from generation on a customer’s premise (e.g. rooftop solar) or large-scale systems that connect directly to the electricity network (e.g. wind farms).
They are a tradeable commodity and their value changes based on supply and demand.
How do companies realise value from LGCs?
The accreditation of renewable systems and the creation of LGCs is administered by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER). LGCs can only be created using metered generation data that has been validated by the CER.
Once LGCs have been created, organisations have two main options to realise their value:
Option 1. Sell the LGCs
The simplest way to realise value is to sell the LGCs through a broker into the commodities market or directly to an energy retailer. They can be sold at the spot price or at an agreed future value. More complex options, such as Contracts for Difference, also exist.
Option 2. Supply LGCs to Retailer to Reduce Bill
Energy retailers pass the cost of buying the LGCs through to energy users. For large organisations, this appears as a separate line item on the energy bill, often called an ‘LREC charge’.
Instead of paying this charge, some retailers will allow customers to supply a quantity of LGCs to meet the portion of the RET that is attributable to their consumption.
In other words, this reduces the size of the energy bill.
This can be beneficial for end users, as the unit price charged by the retailer is a combination of the weighted average price the retailer has paid to purchase the LGCs, plus a small fee for their own internal costs.
This is expected to be particularly significant over the next five to 10 years, as many retailers have had to strike LGC purchase contracts in the last year or two during all-time highs for LGC prices.
Retailers will be keen to recover all costs.
How does it work?
As part of our commitment to you, C-COR Solar will ensure that you get the right outcome.
You may have read claims that you can get up to 50% — or $2,225 — off the cost of a residential Solar PV system.
But what does that mean, exactly?
Unfortunately to qualify for rebate like this, it means accepting a small solar system, or a system designed with cheaper, lower quality components that have inherent limitations.
These offers may seem cheap up front.
But the reality of opting for lower grade equipment and components is that you may find your system doesn’t have the flexibility or performance to meet demands over the next three to four years — and over the longer term.
The Victorian Solar Homes rebate is calculated after the STC incentive has been factored in to the system design.
C-COR Solar will calculate the STC incentive based on government data and transparently credit it your quotation, then claim it from the approved government agency.
Likewise, when you accept the quote from C-COR Solar, we will apply the Victorian Government Solar Homes rebate directly to your invoice.
We will get the rebate credited by the government to our bank account.
In other words, we simplify the process and allow you to better manage your cash flow and focus on the benefits of your solar system.
This means you don’t need to spend a second chasing the government for rebates.
Eligibility for Solar PV Rebate
Owner-occupiers of a primary residence valued at under $3 million with a combined Taxable Income of less than $180,000 per annum based on 2017-18 or 2018-19 tax assessment notices for the home owner(s) and your council rates notice are eligible.
You must not already have a Solar PV system installed on your property. As an accredited Clean Energy Council accredited designer and installer, we will only use Clean Energy Council approved solar products. These products are the most sophisticated, durable and high-quality in the industry.
You can find more information about eligibility at solar.vic.gov.au.
Eligibility for Battery Rebate
Maybe you have already installed a Solar PV system and you want to get a Victorian rebate for new battery storage. C-COR Solar can help you with that, too.
The Solar Homes program is supporting eligible Victorian households to install a solar battery to complement an existing Solar PV system, by providing a discount up to $4,838.
In the short-term, the Victorian government has prioritised several post codes, shown here.
The rebate process for householders is quick and easy through the Solar Victoria Portal (the Portal).
Your solar provider will apply for the rebate on your behalf, so the rebate will be instantly deducted from your overall installation cost. This reduces your upfront installation cost.
1. Inform Yourself
Before you sign a contract for solar, be sure you understand the rebate process and eligibility criteria. Once you have researched and identified the approved solar retailer you want to use, contact them to obtain a written quote.
2. Get A Written Quote From An Approved Solar Retailer
Your approved solar retailer will need to provide you with a written quote that contains the information you need to make an informed decision. They will also upload your quote into the Solar Victoria Portal which will enable you to start the online eligibility process. You will receive an email notifying you that your retailer’s quote has been uploaded.
3. Get Your Eligibility Number And QR Code
As the customer, you will need to apply for eligibility via the Portal. Solar Victoria will match the quotes provided to you by C-COR Solar.
Solar Victoria will use that as the starting point to assess your eligibility. You will need to upload documents that prove the ownership of your property, your household income and your identity. Once you are confirmed as eligible, you will receive an eligibility number and a QR code from Solar Victoria. Your
C-COR Solar installer will use this number to confirm that we can go ahead with your installation.
Remember, do not sign a contract unless you are confirmed as eligible and have received your eligibility number and QR code from Solar Victoria.
A solar retailer cannot apply for an eligibility number on a customer’s behalf.
Evidence You Need To Provide For Eligibility
You will need to provide proof of income and property ownership when you apply via the Solar Victoria Portal.
Be sure that you have your paperwork handy when you’re ready to apply.
Solar Victoria require evidence of property ownership. This is provided via your most recent local council rates notice.
Solar Victoria requires proof of income documentation for each person named as an owner on your local council rates notice.
If there is more than one owner of the property, Solar Victoria require proof of income for all listed owners.
If there is more than one listed owner, you will need to provide proof of income documents for each person from the same financial year.
Depending on your financial situation, proof of income documents may include:
- Australian Tax Office Notice of Assessment (NOA) confirming annual taxable income
- Centrelink Payment Summary or Centrelink Income Summary showing dates, reference number and confirming pension income for the financial year
- Completed and signed Statutory Declaration if you are retired and your total income amount (including any superannuation) for the financial year
- If you didn’t receive a taxable income, Solar Victoria needs to see correspondence demonstrating the submission of non-lodgement advice with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for the financial year
Once you start exporting excess solar (or wind turbine) energy to the electricity grid, you can earn additional savings off your bills.
In Victoria, feed-in tariff rates are set annually by the Essential Services Commission (ESC) of Victoria.
Customers on the current minimum feed-in tariff receive either a single-rate minimum feed-in tariff of 9.9 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) or a time-varying feed-in tariff.
The feed-in tariff is available to solar and other eligible forms of renewable energy, such as wind, hydro or biomass, with a system size less than 100 kilowatts. After your system has been commissioned, you can apply directly to your electricity retailer for a FiT with paperwork provided by C-COR Solar.
Victorian electricity consumers can learn more at https://www.energy.vic.gov.au.
The ACT’s government solar buyback incentive ended, but Actew AGL says it will pay Canberra customers 11 cents per kWh for any solar energy exported, assuming your system is less than 10 kilowatts for residential tariff customers and less than 30 kilowatts capacity for customers on business tariffs.
This is a voluntary scheme and is subject to change as Actew AGL see fit.
At this time, C-COR Solar is focused on residential solar in Victoria, and commercial solar across Australia.
However, we have national delivery partners across the country who we can recommend to residential customers outside Victoria.
What Could Go Wrong?
Maybe you’ve spoken to someone who’s not happy with their investment in solar. Perhaps their system isn’t delivering the savings or electricity generation that they’d been led to expect.
As part of our approach, C-COR Solar will test your electricity supply for a minimum of one day to sample the quality of your property’s connection to the electricity grid.
We may recommend that we add some additional smart technology to better condition the grid electricity to your site.
This can have several benefits, such as extending the life of your home’s appliances, and reducing the potential for the shut-down of your solar PV inverters when the grid is running too hot.
Across Australia, many locations suffer from an electricity grid badly affected by high seasonal electricity consumption or a high concentration of solar installations in the neighbourhood. Our field observation is that the Surf Coast and the Mornington Peninsula are prime examples of high voltage.
Bottom line: Any offer from C-COR Solar will incorporate this analysis so that you get the promised benefits.
Even though a solar power system has no moving parts, it is still important to maintain them to ensure they keep working to their full potential.
Your local electricity distributor will have been in touch with many customers that have had solar power for a while, to remind them of their obligations to maintain their systems in compliance with the Electrical Distribution Code (to obtain a full copy of the Electricity Distribution Code, please visit the Essential Services Commission website.)
Soiled solar panels will result in diminished efficiency. So, it’s vital that you ensure you are getting the maximum output from them by keeping on top of the maintenance.
Reasons To Clean And Maintain Your Solar Panels/Modules:
- Ensure your embedded generator is compliant
- Remove dirt and dust
- Remove bird and animal droppings
- Clear away moss and fungus
- Clear away saps, pollens and debris from trees
- Prevent build-up of commercial and industrial residues
- Pollution from vehicles/heavy transport
- Ocean salt (coastal areas)
- Pesticides and fertilizer sprays (agricultural areas).
Clean Solar Panels Will:
- Maintain your investment
- Ensure peak performance
- Extend the life of your system
- Save you money
Ideally, a clean and maintenance check should be carried out every six to 12 months.
Other than the fact that very few people are qualified to maintain their own system safely, if the idea of getting on your roof is daunting or you simply do not have the time, please let us be of service to you.
We will carry out a thorough maintenance check of all components and wiring of the system including framing, solar panels and inverter, and clean down all the panels to ensure they are working at their full capacity.
The government solar rebates have, unfortunately, made the industry very attractive for sales companies looking to make a quick buck.
These sales-based businesses have nothing in common with solar companies as they mainly focus on making the deal and taking your money while leaving all the rest to outsourced installers.
The choice is yours, but obviously as a premium solar supplier and service business, we encourage you to avoid solar operators who push low installation prices above longevity and quality.
Make sure that your chosen installer is an accredited solar company like C-COR Solar before all else.
That means you’re working with people who understand solar, but more importantly, who understand the obligations and responsibilities to Australian homeowners.
According to the ASIC, more than 500 companies have left the industry since 2011.
It’s probably hard to operate successfully while dealing with customer complaints and meeting the warranty claims due to poor solar system design and installation.
So, please be aware of businesses looking to make quick sales by enticing you with promises of government rebates — there is much more to the story than up front savings!
Below, you’ll find a list of many Australian solar companies that have gone into liquidation or administration.
Each line is numbered and represents company trading names, dates and additional details, as well as ACN/ABN when known.
Please note that this list was made for your information only and may not be complete or correct in all aspects, as ASIC registration details could have been changed.
Just search the ASIC directory to check if the company you purchased your solar from is on the list: https://insolvencynotices.asic.gov.au/browsesearch-notices/