They call Queensland the sunny state and with good reason! – Hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders install solar systems each and every year (Source: APVI data).
Queensland may have taken the lead in State of Origin this week but when it comes to solar NSW takes the lead (for now)… With both Queensland and New South Wales offering various incentives . This week’s Solar Saturdays takes a look at government incentives for solar power in New South Wales and QLD, shedding light on the opportunities available for residents and businesses. Let’s delve into the details:
- Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs)
Feed-in Tariffs are a crucial component of incentivising solar power generation. They allow solar system owners to receive credits for excess electricity they generate and feed back into the grid. In Queensland, the FiT rates vary based on the retailer and can range from 6 cents to 20 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). However, these rates are not as generous as those in New South Wales, where the FiT ranges from 11 cents to 20 cents per kWh. This higher FiT in New South Wales makes it a more financially attractive option for solar system owners who feed energy back into the grid. For these users it can provide an offset to their nighttime electricity when solar is not producing, but here at iDeal Solar we’ll always use our solar as much as possible during daylight hours.
- Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs)
The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, administered through Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs), provides upfront financial incentives for small-scale solar systems. The number of STCs received depends on factors such as the size of the system and is operated at a federal level so both states are identical, we may need to go to golden points on this one…
- Solar Loans and Rebates
To further encourage solar adoption, governments often provide financial assistance in the form of loans or rebates. In Queensland, the Queensland Government previously offered interest-free solar loans of up to $4,500 for eligible households. These loans were designed to help residents cover the upfront costs of purchasing and installing solar systems. Conversely, New South Wales had the Empowering Homes Program, providing interest-free loans of up to $14,000 and rebates of up to $2,400 for solar battery installations. Sadly, this too drew to an end on 31 July 2022.
Its replacement offers low income owners the chance to swap their $285/year rebate for a free, fully installed 3kW system. We’re yet to see details of the system, its quality or any backup support but we’re pretty sure at 3kW it’s nothing more than a token government gesture and won’t offer many real benefits to those who take it up. With both states removing their interest free loans for system installation, this one’s off to The Bunker for further review on potential future offers from both states.
- Net Metering and Time-of-Use Tariffs
Net metering enables solar system owners to offset their electricity consumption by exporting excess solar energy to the grid. In both Queensland and New South Wales, net metering is available. However, New South Wales also offers time-of-use tariffs, allowing system owners to benefit from different electricity rates during peak and off-peak periods. This feature enables solar users to maximise their savings by strategically using electricity during times when rates are lower. Unlike a certain game in Adelaide this week, NSW trounced QLD in this round.
Like State of Origin the Statr of Solar is a tough one to call. While both Queensland and New South Wales exhibit government commitment to incentivising solar power, there are some notable differences in the offerings. Queensland provides reasonable FiT rates and upfront STC benefits. On the other hand, New South Wales boasts more generous FiTs and additional battery incentives, combined with time-of-use tariffs. Ultimately, it looks like NSW may take a slight lead for now but we all love a good Queensland come back!
By encouraging solar adoption through these government incentives, Queensland and New South Wales are taking significant strides towards achieving their renewable energy goals. Whether you’re a resident or a business owner, it’s essential to explore the available incentives and make an informed decision.
Embracing solar power not only benefits you financially but also contributes to a cleaner and greener future. Talk to one of our Solar Stars today to crunch your figures