Can An Installer Change The Quoted Price Of My Solar System?

stc price

The STC price has plummeted and pushed the price of solar up. What should you do if you’ve already accepted a quote and the installer wants to increase the price?

I’m going to ask you to imagine preparing to buy a rooftop solar system.  I want you to see yourself working hard, saving your money, doing your research, and getting yourself some quotes.  After careful consideration, you decide upon an installer, sign the contract, and transfer a 10% deposit to them.  At that point you would be looking forward to saving money on your electricity bills and doing your bit to help the environment.

Now imagine how you’d feel if, before the day of the installation, the installer contacts you and says the price has gone up and you now have to pay $1,000 extra.

I imagine you wouldn’t be very happy about it. [Read more…]

Despite What The Coalition Says Or Doesn’t Say, The “Solar Rebate” Won’t End Soon

Will they scrap the Renewable Energy Target (and by extension the ‘Solar Rebate’) or won’t they?

The Australian newspaper has reported that a couple of Coalition MPs have said Australia should scrap its Renewable Energy Target (RET) if Donald Trump dumps the United States’ commitment to the Paris climate agreement. [Read more…]

Solar Rebate Ending?


Have you heard the news?  The solar rebate is ending!  It’s all over the internet.  Or at least all over the parts of the internet that run ads from shonky solar companies.  According to them, if you don’t rush out right now to get rooftop solar installed before the first of January you’ll end up paying a fortune for it!  If you don’t buy now, the price of a typical 5 kilowatt rooftop solar system will rise by…

…just a second… let me work it out…

Around $263 which is about a 4% increase. [Read more…]

Why Oversizing Solar Panel Arrays Is A Smart Move

house with lots of solar panels

Did you know you can add panels up to 133% of your inverter capacity? Read on to discover why oversizing solar is a smart move (as long as your roof is big enough – unlike this guy’s).

Installing rooftop solar systems with a total panel capacity greater than the inverter capacity is usually a very good idea.  It will certainly save you money, but it can also help get around the restrictions many Australians face on the size of inverter they can connect to the grid. [Read more…]

Will LGCs Pay More Than STCs on a 10-100kW solar system?

solar panels

There are 2 subsidies for solar under 100kW: STCs (AKA the ‘solar rebate’) and the lesser known LGCs. Which one will give you the better return?

Update 23rd Feb 2018: Solar installations of 100 kilowatts or less now only receive STCs.  However, applications made before March 31st 2018 for systems of 10 to 100 kilowatts may be accepted under the old rules and permitted to receive LGCs.

Many people are aware the Renewable Energy Target, or RET, lowers the cost of rooftop solar.  This is often called the solar rebate, even though that term is not entirely accurate.

But what few people know is, provided their system is large enough, they have a choice in the type of assistance they receive.  A household with a 10 kilowatt rooftop solar system can either accept Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) or Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs).

Almost all solar systems 100kW and smaller, currently being installed use STCs because they are all deemed immediately after the installation whereas LGCs are deemed annually over 15 years.

At the time of writing (July 2016) STCs are $38 each whereas LGCs are at a sky high $82. This has made some savvy solar installers wonder if using LGCs instead of STCs might create a better return for patient solar owners. [Read more…]

Solar Panel Rebate To Be Phased Out From 1st of January 2017

solar rebate ending

The projected solar rebate for a 5kW system in Zone 3 with a $37 STC price.

The solar rebate which currently reduces the cost of rooftop solar in Australia will be phased out with the first reduction starting in less than 8 months on the 1st of January 2017. The rebate will reduce by one fifteenth of its current amount on the first day of each new year until 2030 and will end on the 31st of December that year. At the start of 2017, the rebate of $3,990 that most Australians would receive at the moment for a 5 kilowatt rooftop solar system will fall by around $266 down to $3,724. The phase out encourages Australians to install rooftop solar sooner rather than later. [Read more…]

Is Abbott about to axe the Solar Rebate (and push solar prices through the roof) ?

tony abbott and renewables

What does Abbott have in store for solar?

Well, I woke up this morning to a beautiful spring day. Only to see an inbox full of emails telling me that, according to the Australian Financial Review, Tony Abbott has already decided to scrap the Renewable Energy Target (RET) no matter what his review panel advises.


Let’s see what the rest of the papers have to say on the matter. Well, the most recent article I can find, published at 9am, is telling me that the government maintains it has absolutely no intention of scrapping the RET.

Hmmmmm. [Read more…]

Misinformation used again to undermine renewable energy target

solar lies

The Renewable Energy Target is Under Attack!

About two weeks ago we delivered a broadside against Origin Energy’s and the NSW State government’s apparent war against solar power. As you may recall, SQHQ considers the attempt by traditional energy utilities to influence the 2014 review of the renewable energy target (RET), to be part of a wider campaign against solar power. This driven in most part by misinformation. The latest manifestation is an Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) recommendation that solar households be charged more to use energy utilities’ infrastructure.

At the risk of being accused by solar narks of being a bunch of swivel-eyed, cherry-picking, cardigan-wearing, latte-sipping, conspiracy theorists, this latest use of the misinformation appears at the heart of an anti-renewable campaign. As a certain nasty little gentleman from history once said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”. [Read more…]

How to unlock a great solar payback (even with crappy rebates).

solar panels and a key

The key to good solar payback is system sizing.

Occasionally I venture out of my straw-bale, solar passive eco-cave and meet real people, in person instead of over the interwebs. When they inevitably ask me the standard icebreaker “what do you do?” and hear that I’m in “solar power”, the usual response is: “Oh – that must be a tough industry, now that the rebates / buy back rates have all ended?”.

The reality seems to be that most people who don’t work in the solar industry seem to use the words “rebate” and “feed in tariff” interchangeably. And who can blame them? Both are essentially government cash handouts.

Of course the truth is that the Solar Rebate“, is actually still available through the Federal government. The government frowns upon anyone who calls it a rebate, preferring the term “Financial Incentive”. But all that really matters is that you can get about $700 off the upfront cost of every kW of solar you buy. For a typical 3kW, that’s a $2100 subsidy. [Read more…]

Will the Coalition’s $500 Solar Rebate do more harm than good?

Greg Hunt's new solar rebate scheme may really stuff up the solar industry...

Greg Hunt’s new solar rebate scheme may really stuff up the solar industry…

Nothing more we like at SQHQ that a good old fashioned brouhaha. After all a bit of air clearing is needed after the uncertainty (and dare I say disappointment) of the way solar policy was gleefully trashed following the election. This of course included the change in government policy on solar rebates, war declared on renewable energy agencies and indeed anything that looked like it could be called progressive energy policy from the previous government. As such our very own Finn Peacock, took the baseball bat to the new solar rebate policy announced by Greg “The Smiling Assassin” Hunt (By the way does anyone else think that Mr Hunt and David Potter from ABC’s “Rake” look worryingly familiar?) [Read more…]

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