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Grid Buy Back & Government Rebates

Explaining feed-in tariffs and government rebates for PV systems


Understanding the economics involved in solar energy purchase and rebates is key to effectively calculating the financial benefits you can reap from your PV installation. We can help you understand the public utility company feed-in tariffs and the government incentives concerning small-scale residential solar energy production.

What Are Feed-in Tariffs?

Let’s start with the first item: public utility company feed-in tariffs, or FITs. FITs are payable to non-commercial producers of energy which is generated by solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, to subsidise and promote solar energy production. In practical terms, a solar feed-in tariff is the agreed dollar value of your excess solar output which goes back to the grid, between you and your energy retailer. Solar feed-in tariffs are rebates applied to your electricity bill in the form of credit that counts towards your energy consumption. They are not considered income and therefore are non-taxable; there is no GST to pay, either, so the kilowatt-hours your solar system produces directly translate into a net discount off your electricity bill.

What About Other Economic Benefits?

A different type of economic benefit is the solar power rebates offered by the federal government under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. Every year the Australian government seeks to incentivise households to install solar panels and solar water heaters to meet its Renewable Energy Target (RET), a way to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, encourage clean energy generation and fight climate change. So according to the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, solar panels are entitled to receive a number of certificates called Small-scale Technology Certificates, or STC’s. When you put up panels on the roof, your clean energy production is estimated over 15 years—the expected average lifetime of a PV panel. For every megawatt hour you produce, you receive a certificate called Small-scale Technology Certificate, or STC. At GoSolar, we offer a convenient way to manage STC’s. When you buy your solar panel solution from us, we will advance a rebate, equal to the estimated certificate value, on your purchase. We will then take care of selling your STC’s on the market once the yearly RET has been set.

There used to be an additional benefit called the Solar Bonus Scheme, which is no longer available.