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Residential Incentives


What is Solar Credits?

Solar Credits was created by the Australian Government to provide additional support to households, businesses and community groups that install solar power systems.

Solar Credits are in the form of tradable certificates created for your solar power system, known as STCs (small-scale technology certificates).

Beacon Solar offers you a discount on the price of your system in return for its STCs (which are on-sold to electricity retailers). So effectively, through Solar Credits the government subsidises the upfront cost of your system. The level of support provided by Solar Credits depends on the size and location of the system.

How does Solar Credits work?

When you decide to install a solar power system, you can assign your STCs to Beacon Solar in return for Beacon Solar discounting the price of your system by the total value of the STCs.

STCs work in the same way as share certificates, representing a specific unit of value that fluctuates according to supply and demand in the market. Businesses buy STC's from the open market as a form of carbon offset.

The number of STCs allocated to a system is dependent on its location or ‘zone’ (see below) – the area of Australia where the system is to be installed. In areas where there is more sunlight, and therefore more renewable energy produced by a solar power system, the system is allocated more STCs.

For more information about Solar Credits, visit the Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator website.

To get an instant estimate on a Beacon Solar power system, click here.

What are installation zones?

For ease of allocating certificates, Australia is divided into four solar zones based on climate. The number of STCs allocated to any solar system depends on the zone where it will be installed. This system aims to recognise locations that provide great sunlight, and therefore greater capacity to produce renewable energy. Australia's major cities fall into the following zones.

Zone 1: Coober Pedy (SA)
Zone 2: Geraldton (WA)
Zone 3: Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Cairns and Canberra
Zone 4: Melbourne and Hobart

However, a zone can include regions from numerous states.

You can use the STC Rating Zone chart to determine which zone you fall into.


What are Feed-in tariffs?

Feed-in tariffs may further assist the payback of your system. A feed-in tariff is a premium rate your electricity provider pays you for excess electricity that your solar power system feeds back into the grid.

To make the most of your solar system, you should manage your time of power usage so that you consume the power when it is generated during daylight hours (unless your Feed-in Tariff for electricity fed back into the grid is higher than the rate you pay per kWh).

The structure and rate differs between states.

State Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Retailer contribution  Max size Rate


ActewAGL paying the same rate as the current electricity rate 

30kW 1:1


Rate negotiated with retailer, net and gross model

Depends on retailer



6c Origin

8c AGL




2013-14 = 9.8c

2014 onwards to be determined by ESCOSA

First 45kWh per day



Transitional feed-in tariff of 8c per kWh - unit December 2013

Rate for 2014 to be confirmed




Negotiated with retailer




7c for Synergy customers

Varies by location for Horizon Customers

5kW Synergy

Varies by location on Horizon grid




Note: Beacon Solar urges you to shop around for a solar-friendly electricity retailer when considering accessing feed-in tariffs to ensure you understand any changes to their electricity bill once they have a system installed. Some retailers also offer an additional incentive over and above the legislated amount.

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