Australia boasts of being the biggest user of solar energy in the world. This has been largely due to government incentives like solar rebates programs that sought to have more people install solar and subsidized rates. However, in all Australian states and territories, there stands tall for solar energy; Queensland.
Data shows that QLD is leading nationally, with one in three homeowners having installed solar power. But even with all that, is it worth having solar panels in your homes? Let’s take a look, shall we?
The truth is, solar panel installations can be quite expensive. For example, installing a simple 3kw solar panel will cost you over $3000, while a 10kw costs $9200. But solar installation is quite cheaper in the sunshine state as it sits just below the national average in almost all the solar systems.
Enter the rebates. In a move to have more people relying on green energy, governments offer discounts on solar equipment to help encourage homeowners to go for solar energy. The solar rebates depend on several factors, including the system and service provider you go for.
How do solar rebates work in QLD?
It’s important to note that solar rebates are highest in Queensland, with homeowners receiving as many as 17 small-scale technologies for 1kw systems and 178 STCs for a 10kw solar system. Even though Queensland state does not offer any rebates and all the reprieve comes from the national government.
The Australian government has divided the country into several STC zones, with QLD falling under zone 1. Residents in zone one who wish to install solar power will get as many as 1.622 ratings which are pretty decent.
Generally, there are two types of rebates; Small technology Certificates and feed-in-tariffs.
Feed-in tariffs in Queensland
There comes a time when a solar system provides more energy than you can consume. Rather than let it go to waste, you can feed it back into the grid when this happens. This will earn you money from the government, which comes in the form of reduced energy bills. Depending on your service provider, you can get a few cents off your power bill. Some, like AGL, offer up to 15 cents per KW.
This is a decent amount of money, considering that your solar panels produce up to 80% of their capacities, and you only consume about 20% of that. The state government weighed in on feed-in tariffs back in 2018 by offering solar homeowners a time-varying offer. Under the scheme, offering energy back into the grid during the peak hours of 1500hrs to 1900hrs will earn you 13.61 cents/KW. The same during off-peak hours, which is all hours after that, will get you 7.46 cents/KW.
Small scale technology certificates in QLD
STCs, as they are commonly known, are some form of reward or discount. So rather offered by the government to homeowners for installing solar systems. The certificates earned from installing solar panels or solar water heating systems can be traded in the open markets. The prices tend to fluctuate a lot depending on the market forces of demand and supply. But generally, they tend to hang around $40 per certificate.
The country is divided into several zones, which are important in determining the STCs that homeowners get. For example, Brisbane is in zone 1, which means it gets the highest STCs in the state, while other interior parts are in zone 2, meaning they also get decent STCs.
Apart from where you live, the size of your system will also determine the Small-scale Technologies you will receive. Claiming your STCs can be an uphill task, especially when you are unsure how the process works. But, to make it simple for you, STCs are better claimed by solar installation companies.
Other solar incentives
Since solar installation is expensive, the state government of QLD encourages homeowners to check out the energy concessions program. Under this program, homeowners will get interest-free loans that will help with solar installation and buy solar storage equipment.
Are solar panels worth it in Queensland?
Based on the many incentives and programs that come with solar energy, it’s safe to say that installing solar panels in QLD is worth it. Solar is a long-term source of clean energy. As long as QLD continues to get sunshine, your home will always have power.
The STCs you get will make the rather expensive solar installation within reach, while the feed-in tariffs will save you big time in power bills.
Experts believe that it takes three years for solar panels to repay themselves. After that, you will get solar power for over 25 years without reinvesting in solar panels. This is, of course, as many as 1.622 pretty decent ratings, if you get the right kind of solar panels and solar technology.