STC & LGC FAQs
- What is the Renewable Energy Target?
- What are RECs and where do they come from?
- What systems are eligible for certificates?
- Is my solar water heater or heat pump system eligible for STCs?
- What is a certificate worth?
- What will the future price be?
- What information do you need to pay me?
- What is the deeming period for PV systems?
- How many certificates can I claim from my system?
- How long do I have to claim my certificates?
- Can I create certificates for extensions to an existing PV system?
- Do I need to list the income from STCs on my personal income tax return?
- How do I calculate the total out-of-pocket expense for my PV system?
- What if my system was installed over 12 month’s ago?
- My system has been upgraded, what are the implications of this?
- Are multiple systems at one address eligible for certificates?
- What Audits are carried out?
- The Renewable Energy Target was established in 2001 by the Australian government to support the uptake of renewable energy.
- It was structured so that by 2020, 20% of Australia’s electricity will come from renewable sources (solar, wind, hydro, biomass).
- The Clean Energy Regulator administers the scheme under the Renewable Energy Act 2001.
- Renewable energy is measured in Renewable Energy Certificates or RECs.
- Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) is a term used to cover both Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) and Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs).
- Electricity retailers have to purchase a set number of RECs each year and ‘surrender’ them to the government or pay a penalty. The number they must surrender is a percentage of their overall electricity supply.
- A REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) is a measurement of renewable energy which can be traded for a monetary value. One REC represents one megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity.
- Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) cover both Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) and Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs).
- RECs can be generated from a number of systems including solar hot water, heat pumps, solar PV and small wind generation units provided they meet certain conditions.
- The STC and LGC schemes covers 3 types of systems:
- Solar water heaters and heat pumps
- Small generation units – either solar PV (photovoltaic) systems, small wind systems, small hydro systems or small biomass systems
- Power stations – medium to large scale systems e.g. large wind turbines. Unlike the first 2 categories, power stations create RECs on an ongoing basis. Green Energy Trading cannot create RECs for these systems; instead they must register with the Clean Energy Regulator to get RECs.
Several thousand solar water heater and heat pumps are eligible. The Clean Energy Regulator determines which systems qualify and they are listed here. They also assess applications for new products. RECs can only be created for products that are on the list.
Certificates are traded on the open market and the price can vary several times a day just like the stock market. Since the scheme began in 2001, prices have ranged from $11 - $52. To find out our current prices click here.
There are many factors which impact certificate prices and the marketplace fluctuates according to supply and demand. At Green Energy Trading we employ experts who track the market so we can provide you with the best possible advice.
Please visit our Creating Certificates page for full details.
- The deeming period is an estimate of the years your PV system will generate renewable energy. The maximum deeming period is 15 years.
- Certificates can be created for the full 15 years at once or a claim can be submitted every 5 years or annually.
- Certificates for small Wind and Hydro systems can be claimed in 1 & 5 year deeming periods. Note that this does not apply to solar water heaters and heat pumps.
The amount of STCs/LGCs each system is eligible for varies and depends on 2 factors: your system size and where it is installed. The location of the installation is important as the number of sunshine hours varies across Australia (please refer to our Climate Zone Map).
Visit our Calculator page to determine how many certificates your system is eligible for.
STCs can only be created within 12 months of the installation date. Green Energy Trading will only accept forms if they are received, complete and correct one month prior to this deadline. This is because it takes time to submit the RECs to the Clean Energy Regulator and ensure they are approved before the 12 month expiry.
Note - you can only claim RECs after your system has been installed.
Yes, however additional information is required. You will need to provide details on where the upgrade is located in relation to the existing system. Please include a written description and/or a diagram as well as photos wherever possible, e.g. "the four new panels are located to the right hand side on the north facing roof."
No you do not. It is the same as any other rebate you would receive, i.e. it is not income per se but rather a discount on the cost of your system. For example, if you buy a printer and get $100 cashback that is a discount of $100 on the printer and not $100 income made from the printer.
To calculate the total out of pocket expense for the PV system you need to include all the system and installation costs minus any discounts or benefits.
Note: Please ensure you supply the relevant paperwork itemising all out of pocket expenses associated with the purchase, installation, and grid-connection of the PV system.
If the PV system was installed over 12 months ago it might still be eligible to create certificates, please see below.
- Systems under 10kW installed between 1 April 2001 to 13 November 2005 can claim 1 or 5 years deeming anytime after installation.
- Systems under 100kW installed between 14 November 2005 and 6 October 2007 can claim 1 or 5 years deeming anytime after installation.
If the solar PV installation is an upgrade to an existing solar PV system, certificates can be created, however additional information is required. which includes:
- Details on where the upgrade is located in relation to the existing system.
- Please include a written description and/or a diagram as well as photos where possible, e.g. "the four new panels are located to the right hand side on the north facing roof".
When more than one system is installed at the same address further information is also required as follows:
- A diagram or description of where the system and associated serial numbers are located, e.g. “a system with serial number X is installed at the rear of the house and the system with serial number Y is installed on level 1 of the main building”.
- The description needs to link the serial number to each system and explain exactly where each system is located.
- The Clean Energy Regulator may conduct an audit on any Assignment Form.
- One of the major reasons for an audit is that an incorrect serial number has been supplied or another person or agent has submitted the same serial number to the Clean Energy Regulator. All parties involved are then requested to supply photographs showing the serial numbers on their systems. In some cases this may result in delayed payment depending on how long the Clean Energy Regulator then take to review the photos and approve the correct application.
- An audit will also be conducted when certificates (STCs/LGCs) have already been created at the stated address. Often this is simply because more than one system has been installed at the location or that two separate houses are located on the one property and share the same address. Photos or a site map will then be requested.
- In the case of a PV system, the Clean Energy Regulator will require photos of both the new and existing systems with a description of which panels are the new ones.
- For solar water heaters a site map may be acceptable as long as it states which serial number belongs to which tank and exactly where the tanks are located.
- As six percent of all systems are audited, Green Energy Trading advise our clients to take photos at the time of installation. Although this may seem excessive, it can save a lot of time and trouble (and in some cases trips to remote locations) if the system is audited.
For further information please contact the Green Energy Trading team on 1300 077 784 or email.