STC (Small-scale Technology Certificate): These certificates are created when a rooftop solar system or other small-scale renewable energy system is installed. They are part of Australia's Renewable Energy Target which is designed to increase the amount of renewable energy generation in the country. Because electricity retailers are required to hand over a certain number of them each year to show that the amount of renewable genertion is increasing, there is a market for these certificates and they can be turned into dollars. Normally solar installers use the STCs created from installing rooftop solar to reduce the cost of the system to the homeowner (popularly referred to as a "solar rebate"), but people are free to keep them for themselves if they wish. STC's can be created for up to 12 months after the installation takes place.
The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES): Residential and <100kW commercial solar power
The SRES was developed to assist households, small business and community groups with the cost of installing a solar PV system. The SRES works by issuing Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) to eligible households. STCs are based on the expected output of the solar system over a set period (although most systems can be expected to have a functional lifespan of up to 30 years), one STC is the equivalent of 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable energy. The set period ('deeming period') was 15 years until the end of 2016, and is reduced by one year each year thereafter until 2030.
At the present time solar PV systems up to 100 kilowatts (kW) are eligible for STCs, however, the most recent RET review has put forward the suggestion that this be reduced to 10kW.
STCs, which can be described as a sort of renewable energy currency, can be bought, traded, and sold, and their value fluctuates with supply and demand. The current STC price sits at around $38, but has fallen as low as $16 and has been as high as $42.
As STCs are created based on the expected output of the system they can be created as soon as the system is installed, the system does not need to produce any power before its STCs are created. Under the expectation that they will produce more power, systems installed in sunnier locations are eligible to for a larger number of STCs, while less sunny locations create fewer.
In effect, this provides an up-front discount for those who purchase solar systems for their homes or businesses, as installers usually assume the responsibility for creating the STCs as well as the risks associated with holding onto or selling them.
The warranty for our installers work is for 5 years. That is on top of the manufacturers warranty for the equipment.
Panels have a 10 year manufacturer's warranty and 25 year performance warranty. This can differ slightly from one manufacturer to the next but this is the minimum industry standard.