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The Government recently launched the Solar Credit scheme which makes solar power more affordable for Australian householders.

How it Works
Under this scheme, the government issues Renewable Energy Certificates (REC’s) to all people who install renewable energy systems in their homes. Current full benefits of this scheme will reduce by 20% on 1st July 2011.

REC’s are an electronic form of currency created under the RET (Renewable Energy Target) scheme. One REC is equivalent to one megawatt hour of electricity generated by your solar PV power system. The price of REC’s will change in line with market conditions. As an owner of a solar system, you can register, sell, trade or surrender REC’s for systems up to 100kW. There are two ways you can be paid for your REC’s:

1. You can assign your REC’s when you purchase your solar PV system to a registered agent (TRI-CO Energy Group) in exchange for a financial benefit which may be in the form of a delayed cash payment or an upfront full discount on your solar system. (Most common due to complex trading registration).

 2. You can create the REC’s yourself by finding a buyer and then selling and transferring them in the REC registry.

The Renewable Energy Target
The Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme is a piece of legislation in which Australia is committed to produce 20% of its total energy needs from Renewable Energy sources by 2020. In June 2010, the Federal Government announced amendments to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme. As part of these changes, the scheme will be split into two parts:

1. The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) which covers small-scale technologies such as solar panels and solar hot water systems.

2. The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) which covers large-scale renewable energy projects like wind farms, commercial solar and geothermal.

Under the SRES will provide a fixed and guaranteed minimum price of $40 (less brokerage fees) per REC effective from 1 January 2011. The Solar Credit scheme provides customers with 5 times the normal amount if REC’s for the first 1.5kW of a small scale renewable energy system such as the Solar Panel systems which we sell and install. If you’re interested in a system which is bigger than 1.5kW, you will receive the Solar Credits plus an additional REC for every one megawatt hour of electricity your system is able to generate. Basically, for a 1.5kW system, a minimum guaranteed  amount of $6,200 will be provided for every system which is installed by one of our accredited installers.

In addition to the Solar Credit and REC schemes, the State Government introduced a net feed-in tariff in August 2010. This tariff is designed to make the system more affordable and give the customers a chance to achieve a return of money on their Solar investment by returning electricity to the grid. This tariff is equivalent to 40c/kWh for 10 years. Also, your electricity retailer will also pay you for the extra energy your system creates that you don’t use under the Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme (REBS). This amount will differ depending on your retailer but in the Perth metro region Synergy pays an extra 7cent/kWh, which brings the TOTAL amount paid per extra unit of extra electricity created up to 47cent.

How you will be paid:
Just to summarise, the main types of financial assistance provided by the Government are:

Renewable Energy Certificates (REC’s)

Solar Credits

Feed-in Tariff

Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme (REBS)

We can answer any questions you have about the Feed-in Tariff and the Renewable Energy Buyback scheme or click here to visit the Western Australian Governments Office of Energy which has a very good Q&A section. If this doesn’t answer your questions, please give us a call.

All of our installers are Clean Energy Council accredited. This is the accreditation that all installers must have in order for your system to qualify for the various grants and subsidies. We will be able to explain the process of applying to Western Power and your electricity retailer in detail but our installers will guide you every step of the way through the application process.

To give you an idea of what’s involved, click on the links below for information provided by the two electricity retailers:



Finally, if you’re thinking about installing a system and you’re not sure how many REC’s you will be eligible for, click here to visit the Office of Renewable Energy Regulators Website to find out exactly how many REC’s your future system will generate.

  TRI-CO Energy Group Pty Ltd
Unit 2 / 11 Egham Road
Burswood 6100
Western Australia