By Julie Curnow

Small Scale Technology Certificates Explained

Under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, eligible hot water and power generation systems are entitled to a number of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) usually as a deduction from the point of sale price.

Solar and Heat Pump Hot Water Systems

Approved solar hot water and heat pump hot water systems are eligible for STCs.

STCs are calculated based on the estimated amount of electricity in megawatt hours (MWh) the system displaces over the course of its lifetime.

Different brand and model hot water systems are assigned different STCs based upon their efficiency. The Clean Energy Regulator (a government body) periodically measures the efficiency of approved solar hot water systems under standard test conditions to determine the STC.

Power Generation Systems

Approved solar (photovoltaic), wind and hydro power generation systems are eligible for STCs.

STCs are calculated based on the estimated amount of electricity in megawatt hours (MWh) the system generates over the course of its lifetime.

There is no variation in STCs depending upon the brand or model of power generation system i.e. the same STCs are awarded per kW for each brand and model irrespective of its efficiency in generating electricity.

How STCs are Calculated

The number of  STCs attached to a particular system are determined by the Clean Energy Regulator and are periodically reviewed.

For solat hot water, heat pump hot water and photovoltaic systems, the number of STCs created will also depend on the postcode (zone) where the unit is installed. This is because the amount of power generated or saved by these systems depends upon solar radiation  and climatic conditions. Australia has been carved up into zones to reflect the different power generation capability or saving in each area.

The value of  a STC will depend on the STC price offerred by the STC trader or retailer.

STC Pricing

STCs are traded, alike shares on the stock exchange, so their price rises or falls depending upon the level of supply and demand.

STCs have traded between $17 and$44 per certificate over the last 4 years. Green Energy are a trader of  STCs and you can view their current STC rate.

STCs Can Be Deducted at Point of Sale

Consumers can chose to have their STCs deducted at point of sale by assigning them to the supplier of the eligible hot water or power generation system. Otherwise the consumer can sell the STCs to a STC trader. The amount received is the number of STCs x the price of each STC.

STC Date

The STC price is granted at the date of installation.

For combined supply and installation jobs the STCs are usually deducted from the purchase price of the system.

For supply only and plonk on  systems, the customer is charged the retail price and (s)he can only claim back the STCs once the system is installed.

STC rules and eligibility are determined by the Clean Energy Regulator.

Different rules apply to large scale renewable energy systems.

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