WA Solar Rebates & Government Incentives in 2022
Western Australia has a unique electric power system compared with other states and territories.
However, electricity tariffs are high like in the rest of Australia, and solar power provides an excellent return on investment for this reason
Read about the WA solar incentives and feed-in tariffs available for homeowners in 2022.
Most homeowners in Western Australia cannot choose their electricity provider, like in other states. However, electricity prices are set and regulated by the local government.
Synergy is the only electricity provider for most households in Perth and the surrounding cities. This area is served by an electricity grid called the South West Interconnected System (SWIS). Only consumers who use more than 50,000 kWh per year can choose their electricity provider, but the average WA home uses less than 6,000 kWh per year. Homeowners outside of the SWIS region can choose their electricity provider, but most areas are only served by Horizon Power.
As mentioned above, electricity prices are regulated by the government in WA. All residential clients of Synergy and Horizon Power are charged 28.8229 cents/kWh, plus a fixed fee of 103.3263 cents/day.
WA does not have local solar incentives programs, but the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) offers nationwide incentives. Homeowners in some parts of WA can sell surplus production from their solar panels at high prices, through the Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme (REBS).
In 2022, Western Australians can claim upfront incentives to make going solar easier. Under the SRE scheme, Western Australians can receive discounts of $2,040.50 to $2,656.50 when installing a 5kW solar system. Under the DEB scheme, they’ll also get paid up to 10 c/kWh for exporting excess solar power to the grid.
Going solar has been recognised as one solution to rising electricity costs. But the high cost of solar installation can be prohibitive.
Thankfully, in 2022, there are two incentive programs that West Australians can take advantage of to make solar systems more accessible and enjoyable.
- The small-scale technology certificates under the federal-level small-scale renewable energy scheme (SRES)
- The electricity feed-in tariffs under the West Australian Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme (DEBS)
In this article, we’ll look at these programs in detail.
Specifically, we’ll discuss what they are, how they work, the eligibility criteria, and how to claim the incentives.
Read on to get the information that makes going solar easy for those in West Australia this 2022.
1. Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs)
Western Australia is a beneficiary of the federal government Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).
Under the scheme, Aussies who install small-scale renewable energy systems (including solar systems) are rewarded with small-scale technology certificates (STCs), which are tradeable for real Australian dollars (AUD).
How the STC incentives work in Western Australia
STCs are created for you when you install a solar system (or other eligible renewable energy systems). The STCs can be exchanged for AUD amounts.
Calculating the number of STCs claimable in West Australia
The number of STCs you get depends on the size of your system, the deeming period, and your location in Australia.
Number of STC = System size x Deeming period x Location rating
Because solar production is more with bigger systems, the bigger your system, the more STCs you’ll get.
That is, a 6.6kW system will fetch you more STCs than the standard 5kW system.
Because STCs are rewards for creating renewable energy, the more renewable energy you create under the scheme, the more STCs you get.
The deeming period is the number of years a solar system will create renewable energy, from when installed to 2030, when the SRES scheme is phased out.
If you install a solar system in 2022, your deeming period is 9 years. But if you wait till 2023 to go solar, your deeming period will be 8 years.
A smaller deeming period equals fewer numbers of STCs which equals smaller incentives.
Because solar production is more in sunnier locations, solar panels in these will earn you more STCs.
In this regard, the whole of Australia is divided into 4 zones that are rated according to how sunny they are.
It goes from zone 1 (which is the sunniest part of the country and has the highest rating) down to zone 4 (which is the least sunny part of the country and has the lowest rating).
The zone ratings are:
Prices of the Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs)
The STC prices depend on whether you redeem them in the open market or the STC clearinghouse.
In the open market for STCs, the price per STC depends on the forces of demand and supply. The price typically fluctuates between $37.50 and $39.50. As of writing, the price is $38.50 per STC.
When selling STC through the clearinghouse, the price per STC is fixed at $40. The Clean Energy Regulator operates the STC clearinghouse.
Calculating your solar incentive in West Australia
The whole of West Australia does not have the same rating. This means that your location in West Australia will determine the number of STCs you can claim for your solar system.
West Australia cities vs their zones
All of Kimberley, Pilbara, and the upper parts of the Mid West, Gold Fields, and Gascoyne fall under zone 2.
Wheatbelt, Perth, and the lower parts of Gascoigne, the Mid West, and Gold Fields fall under zone 3. While the Great Southern and the southernmost part of Gold Fields fall under zone 4.
So, if you install the standard 5kw solar system in Pilbara in 2022, you will get 69 STCs. At $38.50 per STC, your solar incentives will be $2,656.50.
If you’re in Perth, West Australia, a 5kW system installed in 2022 will fetch you 62 STCs. Your solar incentive will be $2,387.
But if your location in West Australia is the Great Southern, installing the same 5kW solar system in 2022 will fetch you only 53 STCs. These are tradeable for $2040.50.
Eligibility Criteria for STCs in West Australia
To receive small-scale technology certificates when you install your system, make sure of the following.
- Claim the STCs within 12 months of installing the system.
- The system must meet all Australian standards, including all local, state, territory, and federal requirements (such as those for electrical safety).
- Use solar panels and inverters approved by the Clean Energy Council (CEC).
- Use a CEC-accredited installer like Nectr.
- The system must meet the CEC installation guideline.
- The system must be a small-scale system. Its capacity must not exceed 100kW, and its power production must not exceed 250MWh per year.
How to Apply for STCs in Western Australia
STCs are applied at the point of sale as a discount off the cost of your solar installation.
You don’t have to apply for STCs because everything is handled by your solar installer.
The installer calculates how much the STCs are worth and deducts it from your solar cost.
That is, the solar quotes that installers give are typically after-STC prices. So, if the gross cost of installing a 5kW solar system in Perth is $6,800, the quote you’ll get from an installer will be $4,413 (less $2,387, which is the STC incentives of a 5kW system in Perth).
2. Electricity Feed-in Tariffs in West Australia
Another solar incentive for West Australia in 2022 is the feed-in tariff. Under the Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme (DEBS), West Australians can get payments (feed-In tariff) for excess electricity exported to the grid.
How the feed-in tariff works in West Australia
If your system includes batteries, you can store excess electricity for later use. But without solar batteries, you sell the excess electricity back to the grid in the form of feed-in tariff.
The feed-in tariff can be recognised as an incentive because it allows your solar system to earn you passive income.
The West Australian feed-in tariff rate depends on the time that you export the electricity.
|Time of day
|Between 3 pm and 9 pm
|10 cents per kWh
|Other times of the day
|3 cents per kWh (for Horizon customers)2.75 cents per kWh (for Synergy customers).
Eligibility criteria for the West Australian feed-in tariffs
To qualify to get the feed-in tariff under the West Australian Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme, you must meet the following requirements.
- You must be a residential customer with electricity consumption not exceeding 50MWh per annum
- The capacity of your system must be at least 500W and must not exceed 5kW
- Accept that feed-in tariff is capped at 50kWh per day per premise
How to apply for the West Australian feed-in tariff
To receive feed-in tariffs under the energy buy-back scheme, you have to apply through your energy retailer’s website.
Our Guides to Solar Rebates, Incentives and More
We have a series of unique guides to solar, solar finance, batteries and more, if you are looking to do more in-depth research into solar rebates check the below:
1. What Are Solar STC’s?
In this regard, the Australian government has provided incentives under the Solar Credit Program to encourage the installation of solar power systems. STCs or Small-scale Technology Certificates are incentives provided to small-scale energy generators. The most common example is the residential facilities.
2. How To Claim STCs
You can claim small-scale technology certificates (STCs) by assigning them at the point of sale to a registered agent like a retailer or solar installer. Each STC claim is unique to an installation. However, you can make more than one STC claim if you use different addresses for each installation.
State-Based solar incentives in Australia offer low-interest loans, interest-free loans, free solar system installation, or free battery installation. The incentives are given depending on your state location. However, you receive solar incentives only if you are eligible.
There are many incentives that business owners in Australia with solar power can enjoy. Some of them include Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs), Feed-in Tariffs, Retailer Energy Productivity Scheme (REPS), and more. These incentives promote the adoption of solar by lowering the installation costs.
Interested in solar? By clicking below you can use our smart solar calculator to find out just how much you could save with solar, what rebate you are eligible for, and the impact you will have on the environment.
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