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Are you running a small business in Victoria? Then it is high time to shift to solar energy. With the world moving towards renewable energy options, you should take steps to adopt them too.
Solar energy is one such ideal renewable energy option. However, the high initial cost involved when installing solar panels has deviated many businesses from using them. Don’t worry. A couple of rebate options are available for you if your business is in Victoria.
This article will give some insight into the solar rebate options available for your small business so that you can adopt renewable energy options at affordable rates.
1. Small-scale Technology Certificates (STC)
The Federal Government of Australia issues the STCs under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). This is issued to promote solar and other small-scale renewable energy options among small businesses and households across Australia.
Therefore this is a nationwide program, and you can apply to it. The purpose of this program is to help small businesses manage the initial cost of installing a renewable energy system.
Under this system, Small-scale Technology Certificates are issued to eligible small-scale renewable energy systems (including solar panels). These STCs have a face value (currently, one certificate is worth around $40), which could be redeemed by selling or assigning them.
The number of certificates allocated for your system will depend on the installation date, the amount of electricity generated, and the geographic location.
How to get the benefit from STC?
You can assign the right to create a certificate to an agent (Installation Company) and receive a discount from the upfront cost of your system or a cash payment. Most people use this option to get cash benefits upfront when installing the system.
You can also sell the STCs in the open market to electricity retailers. The retailers are required to purchase an annual quota of certificates.
Out of both the options, it is easier to assign STCs to your installation companies. Once you sell the STCs through a third party, you shall receive a few dollars less than the spot rate to cover the administration cost.
Who are eligible for the STCs
Not every solar panel installation is eligible to receive a certificate. There are certain criteria that you must fulfill to be eligible to apply for an STC. Some of these eligibility criteria are:
- Every accessory and part of your solar panel system must be on the Clean Energy Council’s (CEC) list of approved components.
- Should wait for 12 months after installing your solar panel system.
- Should comply with the electrical safety code as specified by the federal and state government requirements.
- The solar accessories must meet the specified Australian Standards.
- Must use a CEC-accredited installer, retailer, and designer.
- The solar panel system should be less than 100kW, and the annual output should not exceed 250MWh.
Read more: Clean Energy Regulator
How can you apply for STCs
The STCs are generally assigned to an individual system and an address. However, solar installers will help to apply and claim the STCs on behalf of the homeowner. They shall pass the earnings through the cost of the system.
A CEC-qualified installer will follow strict procedures and paperwork to ensure that you receive the claim.
Therefore it is always better to consult your accredited installer when applying for the STCs. They have the experience and expertise to ensure you get the claim.
2. Solar for Business Program
This is a program that is carried out in Victoria only. This initiative supports Victorian businesses in reducing their costs by using renewable energy sources.
Under this program, eligible businesses are allowed for a rebate of $3500 to install a solar panel system. The program further allows for an interest-free loan of up to $5000.
This initiative will help bring down businesses’ energy costs by reducing the upfront cost of an approved solar panel system with up to 30kW inverter capacity. This solar rebate will cover up to 50% of the cost of eligible solar panel systems up to a maximum rebate of $3500.
For example, if the net upfront installation cost is $12000, then the maximum rebate is $3500 (not $6000). If the cost is $6000, then the maximum rebate is $3000 (not $3500).
The net costs are inclusive of GST and contributions received from the STCs.
This program intends to support 15000 eligible businesses in the coming years, starting from May 2021. However, only 1489 spots are remaining at the moment. Therefore you must apply for it as soon as possible.
Who are eligible for the Solar for Business rebate
Every small business is not eligible for the program. The Victorian Government has introduced several eligibility criteria to filter suitable businesses for the program. These criteria are:
- Should be the owner of a business that employs at least one employee. Further, the maximum number of employees should be less than 50 (not including the owner.)
- Businesses should be located on non-residential premises.
- Business should be operated from individually metered premises.
- Should install the system through a Solar Victoria-approved retailer.
The solar panel system should have a maximum inverter capacity of 30kW. Further, Solar Victoria-approved products must be used.
This rebate option is available only for businesses that install systems after the commencement of the Solar for Business Program (after 28th May 2021). Systems installed before this date will not be eligible for the program.
If your main place of business operation is your own home, then you might be eligible for the Solar for Homes rebate.
Businesses that own the premises or rent the business place may apply for the rebate. However, the landlord or the rental provider cannot apply for this program on behalf of the business.
Read more: Solar Victoria
This is another facility given under the Solar for Business Program to reduce the cost of solar installation further. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will handle the loan, and the state trustees will be the administrator on behalf of DELWP.
The interest-free loan will range from $1000 to $5000. You will get the option of repaying in 12 or 24 months. Further, if you have the capacity, you can repay the lump sum at once before the due period.
The eligibility for the loan will be subjected to a satisfactory credit check once you apply for it.
Why should you hire Ballarat Solar Company?
We are an accredited installer by the CEC and an approved retailer by Solar Victoria. We have been in the industry for more than ten successful years.
In the years of operation, we have served clients ranging from households to large-scale businesses. Therefore we have the necessary experience and expertise to help you to get the advantage of solar rebates for your small business in Victoria.
However, you should act fast since there are only limited spots remaining for the rebate at the moment. Don’t hesitate to contact us at your earliest convenience to get your quotation. We value your investment, and our expert team will never let your hard-earned money go to waste.
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