Government announces review of STC market

The Australian government has announced a review of the STC market that may have significant impact on the support for the solar power industry in Australia.

The review has wide terms of reference to look at all aspects for the MRET legislation, the legislation that creates STC’s and LGC’s and creates an obligation on liable parties to buy these.

As these STC’s are instuments to which people become entitled when they install a residential or home solar power system, or a commercial solar power system under 100 kw, then this review may have an impact on the retial price of solar systems in Australia.

The review has come about amid concerns by some industry groups (mainly parge power retailers) that the MRET and the Carbon Tax are effectively two pieces of legislation with the same aim, to make using renewable energy relatively more competitive when compared to using energy obtained from carbon emitting fossil fuels.

Whilst the results of this review are unclear at this point in time what we do know is that currently, on a 5 kw system the STC’s that are able to be created by a solar power system owner mean that the customer gets an upfront discount of over $3,000 off the price of the system.

Customers need to be aware that this entitlement is scheduled already to drop back by about $800 (based on current STC prices) after 30 June 2013 and that as a result of this review it is possible that STC’s may not exist at all in the future.

As such home and business owners need to consider solar power very carefully between now and 30 June 2013 as this may represent their last chance to get up front assistance with the cost of installing a solar power system.