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Power bill reduction, Rebates, Feed-In Tariffs, Financing

The 'Rebate'

For approximately every 50W of solar panel (doesn't matter what brand as long as it's an approved model) your installation creates 1 x STC (Small Technology Certificate)

You can go to a very simple calculator here that gives you exactly how many STCs are created, depending on when your installation is going to happen, and where you are.

In almost all cases, people who buy solar take the easiest route, and sell their STCs to the solar retailer for an up-front discount on the system price. How the solar retailer values those STCs is entirely up to them and more likely, their accountant. The retailer might choose to make a loss on the actual sale of equipment, and make their profit when they sell your STCs, or they might make a profit on the equipment but deduct the full current value of the STCs. That's really an internal accounting choice for the retailer, and all you need to focus on is the end price you are being asked to pay.

However, you have another option. You ask your retailer for what their full price would be if you kept the STCs, which now, obviously would include their profit on the job, pay it, and take the STCs and sell them yourself for whatever the best price you can get for them. If you have the money and are prepared to be patient, there can be a benefit to you.

Let's say the full retailer price is $8,000 and if you chose to sell your STCs to them, they are asking you to pay them $5,000 after deducting 100 x STCs which they have valued at $30 each ($3,000). But in this case, you pay them $8,000 because you want to sell them yourself.

You set up a REC Registry Clearing House account for $20 (easy), register your STCs (if you are buying from us we will give you a file that you simply upload to submit your STC registration), pay a fee of $0.48 per STC so $48 in total) and wait for someone to come along and buy them at $40 each (fixed price). When they do, and it might take over a year, you will get a $4,000 deposit in your bank account a couple of days later. If you are fed up waiting for a Clearing House buyer, you can sell them to one of the many traders out there for whatever the current market price is.  You can see what the current STC price is here

The STCs are ultimately purchased from the Clearing House and on the market by liable entities who are mostly electricity retailers. They each have a quota of STCs they need to buy each quarter and once bought, the STCs are cancelled and so the whole merry - go - round of creation by installing solar and cancellation once bought by the liable entites goes on. The reason the STC price can plunge is when there is a rush to buy solar that puts more STCs into the market place than the liable entities have to buy. Supply and demand. This pushes up the price of solar, which reduces the flow of STCs and over time, the price goes back up. The quota that these companies have to buy is adjusted once a year, and this mechanism also helps to push the STC price back up to the $40 ceiling, but it can take a long time.


Feed-In Tariffs refer to what you get paid for surplus power made by your solar during the day that wasn't needed at the time it was made. Synergy take it, pay you 7 cents and then sell it to your neighbour for 26 cents. Nice. Another more positive way of looking at it is that for every 3 units of power you export during the day, you get a free one at night. Not surprisingly, everyone is waiting for solar battery prices to come down enough to get a better return on surplus power.

Financing solar purchases is surprisingly rare in our experience and yet we are really not sure why. Totally legit unsecured Green Energy Loans have interest rates of about 6% and setup fees of $150. The 'Interest free' deals require the retailer to load their prices by $600 or so to cover the fees charged by the financer, so in reality, you pay less and have much more flexibility going for a green loan from folks like Community First Credit Union. Cheapest way though is to put it on your mortgage.

How much does solar cut your electricity bill?
Calculating how much electricity your installation will make each year is pretty simple, but what it's worth to you is going to be unique to your home power use during daylight hours, but the principle is easy.

Let's start with how many units of power a solar installation makes in a year.
A typical installation of a 5kVA inverter and 6.3kW of Tier 1 grade panels in Perth makes about 10,000 kWh a year (let's call kWh," units" from here on).

Now let us say that your house uses absolutely zero power during the day when the solar is doing its thing, so every one of those 10,000 units is exported back to Synergy, where you are paid (2016/2017 year) 7.14 cents per unit. So you make $714. If your system cost you $3,500 then that's a payback time of 4.9 years.

Next let's go to the other end of the scale. Your house uses every last drop of solar during the day with not a single surplus unit exported back to Synergy. In this case, instead of buying 10,000 units from Synergy at 26.47 cents, your solar has provided it, saved you $2647, giving you a payback on your $3,500 of just 1.3 years on a product that will keep on doing it for 25 years or more. Awesome.

The reality for most people is likely to be somewhere in the middle of the $714 minimum and $2647 maximum..about $1750, and a 2 year payback.

Oh, and of course, as power prices go up EVERY year without fail by an average 5%, your real payback time decreases with each price hike.

In 2011 when the boom for solar was just taking off, and a 5kW system cost $15,000 after deducting the rebate, but the customer got a bonus 40 cents on top of the 7 cents for every unit of power exported back into the grid for the next ten years, we calculated that their payback time on investment was likely to be 3 years after which they would likely see a profit of $5,000 a year for 7 years until 2021, and then dropping back to $1500 a year. So over 20 years a return of $65,000 for a $15,000 investment. That's a 435% gain.

In 2017 we are looking at a typical return of $35,000 over 20 years for a $3,500 investment, or a 1000% gain. Not bad is it? Now factor in power price rises of 5% a year and the real gain more than doubles over 20 years

The more you use, the less you lose.
Solar makes it's power when the sun shines and particularly when the sun is strongest.
Set your pool pump, bore, washing machine and anything else that can have a timer to operate during solar production hours. If you don't, then your solar gets sent back into Synergy and Western Power's grid and you get paid 1/3rd of its normal value.




 is the web site for Good Day Mate Pty Ltd trading as SOLAR4EVER Company registered in WA on 26th October 2008 (A.C.N.133884938)

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Telephone : (08) 6102 2527