Commercial Solar Rebates, Grants & Incentives
Solar for businesses in Australia has never been easier,with access to various commercial solar rebates, business solar grants and commercial solar incentives to install solar and energy efficient components. These benefits vary from state to state and are dependant on the size and type of systems installed and your business’s eligibility. This page covers the most common types of benefits available. We recommend speaking with the relevant governing bodies in your state for more information as needed. You can also get free solar quotes here at Energy Matters.
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Commercial solar rebates, grants & incentives at a glance
Please note the following:
STC = Small-scale Technology Certificate
LGC = Large-scale Technology Certificate
FiT = Feed-in Tariff
|STATE||STCs < 100kW||LGCs > 100kW||STATE BUSINESS SOLAR REBATE||FiT|
|SA||Yes||Yes||Yes (City of Adelaide)||Yes|
Federal commercial incentives
The following commercial solar incentives are available to all Australian businesses, irrespective of which state they are located in. Conditions may apply.
Commercial solar systems and Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs)
It is a common misconception that STCs are only available to residential customers. All eligible renewable energy systems under 100kW can access this federal incentive.
What are STCs and how can I access them for my commercial system?
Your system, whether a Solar PV System, Wind Turbine or Hydro System, will be assigned a designated number of STCs. These STCs are equivalent to 1MWh (megawatt hour) of energy displaced or generated by the renewable energy system. The amount of STCs assigned to your system will be dependent on the expected MWh of energy displaced or generated over the course of 5 years or a single maximum deeming period.
If you were to install a system with an expected generation capacity of 100MWh over 5 years, you would be assigned 100 STCs for your system.
Each STC has a value that is determined by the market. The current value of 1 x STC (as of December 2022) is $37. If your system has 100 x STCs, you could expect that your total STC value is $3,700.
The combined value of these STCs is usually deducted from the purchase cost of your system. Your installer will provide a point-of-sale discount and sell the STCs themselves. You can sell the STCs yourself, via the STC Clearing House, but you will take on the risk of the fluctuating STC market.
If you were to purchase a $10,000 solar PV system, with a total of 100 STCs assigned to the system, you could expect the final price of your system to be $6,300 after the discount of the value of the STCs.
Commercial systems and Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs)
When a system of 100kW + is installed, STCs no longer apply. Instead, your system will be eligible to produce LGCs. Your business would be classified as an ‘Accredited power station’.
What are LGCs and how can I access them for my commercial system?
Each year, your business will be able to make a claim for the energy generated by your system. 1MWh (megawatt hour) is equivalent to 1 x LGC. These LGCs can be sold to entities required to offset their emissions in accordance with the Renewable Energy Target.
Unlike STCs, the process of application, claiming, and selling can be a complicated process. The following steps must be followed to generate LGCs:
- Apply to become a ‘registered person’ via the REC Registry. A registration fee is required. Only one person in the organisation can be a registered person and this person is responsible for generating LGCs. The application assessment process can take 6 weeks. If successful, your business will become an ‘accredited power station’.
- Use the LGC general formula to calculate the LGCs generated in a reporting period.
- Update the REC Registry with power station generation data
- Create LGCs. This process requires assessment and validation via the REC Registry.
- Register the LGCs and pay the LGC creation fee
As you can see, the process is far more laborious than that of STCs but the value of LGCs is greater than STCs. The current value (as of December 2022) for 1 x LGC is $65.
Upgrading an existing commercial solar system
If you are upgrading an existing solar system, and wish to register as an accredited power station, the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) will not consider any part of the system that has already received STCs.
For example, if you had an existing 50kW system and claimed STCs, and upgraded to a 150kW system, you would not be able to generate LGCs for 50kW of the 150kW system. You must be able to demonstrate to the CER that you are able to correctly monitor the output of the separate components to accurately determine the solar generation.
Commercial solar Feed-in Tariff (FiT)
The excess energy generated by your solar system can either be exported to the electricity grid or your business’s solar battery storage. When the energy is exported to the grid, you will receive a financial credit in the form of a FiT. Every kWh exported to the grid will receive a set amount as designated by your solar retailer.
The rate can vary depending on several factors:
- The rate set by your retailer
- Whether you are a small, medium, or large business
- Contracts between your business and a retailer – you may be subject to a higher FiT if you have a special agreement with your retailer
The federal FiT time-varying minimum rate is between 5.0 and 7.1 cents per kWh.
If your business has a rate set at 7 cents/kWh, and you export 20kW in a day, you can expect a credit to your account to the value of $1.40.
State commercial solar rebates and incentives for commercial systems
The following information is accurate as of December 2022. The information contained does not include commercial solar rebates, grants, or commercial solar incentives for smaller renewable programs, such as LED replacement. Please refer to your state government website for information on these programs. For information pertaining to EV chargers, please visit our Commercial EV page.
Solar for Business Program
The VIC Solar for Business Program is available for businesses that install a system up to 30kW and meet their eligibility criteria.
The program provides businesses with commercial solar rebates that cover up to 50 per cent of the cost of a rooftop solar system to a maximum rebate of $3,500. This commercial solar rebate is applied to the system’s net cost, including GST and any contribution from Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs).
In addition, the business may be eligible for an interest-free loan from $1,000 up to a maximum amount of $5,000. You have the option of paying over 12 or 24 months or in one lump sum.
Solar for Business rebates are available until 30 June 2023. Businesses must complete the application for the rebate and interest free loan before 6:00 pm.
All entity types, including charities and not-for-profit organisations, are eligible for the Solar for business rebates providing they meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Be the owner of a business that employs at least one person, not including the business owner, and less than 50 full time equivalent (FTE) employees
- Operate from premises that are non-residential.
- Operate from premises that are individually metered
- Have not previously received a Solar for Business rebate
- Have your system installed by a Solar Victoria approved solar retailer as detailed on Solar Victoria’s website
- Install a solar system with an inverter capacity size up to 30kW, and detailed on the Solar Victoria approved product list
Businesses who own their premises and those who rent can apply for the Solar for Business rebate. A rental provider/landlord of the business premises cannot apply for the rebate on a business’ behalf.
Check out our page to learn more about business solar energy incentives in Victoria.
New South Wales
There are currently NO solar rebates for business NSW.
There are currently NO rebates or incentives for commercial solar in Queensland.
City of Adelaide: Sustainability Incentives Scheme
The City of Adelaide provides up to $5,000 for commercial solar system installations up to 20kW. The eligibility criteria are as follows:
- The property must be located within the City of Adelaide municipal area.
- Commercial solar rebates are not available for installations completed before 1 July 2019, and no more than 12 months prior to Council receiving the application form.
- The Scheme’s funding is subject to Council’s annual budget processes and funding is limited.
- Business solar rebates will be applied to the out-of-pocket installation cost incurred by the owner, occupier of the premise or body corporation, after all other commercial solar incentives, business solar rebates, rebates and discounts received have been deducted.
- Environmental measures/devices supported through the Scheme must be installed by appropriately licensed and accredited installers, and maintained in accordance with any relevant guidelines, and in a manner which does not pose risks to the health or welfare of any person.
For more information, please visit The City of Adelaide website.
Home and Business Battery Scheme
Eligible Northern Territory businesses can access commercial solar grants of $450 per kilowatt hour of useable battery system capacity, up to a maximum grant of $6,000. The business solar grant can be used for funding to buy and install:
- a solar photovoltaic (PV) with an eligible battery and inverter
- an eligible battery and inverter only, if you already have solar PV installed.
You can’t use the funding to buy and install solar PV panels and inverters where they are not being installed simultaneously with a battery.
To receive the the business solar grants, businesses must meet the following criteria:
- Is a Territory Enterprise; and
- holds a valid Australian Business Number (ABN) which was issued in respect of the business at least 6 months prior to submitting an application.
- Battery systems to be installed at a property to which a basic connection service is offered by an electricity network provider must be on the HBBS Approved Battery List.
- Battery systems to be installed at a property to which a basic connection service is not offered by an electricity network provider are not required to be on the HBBS Approved Battery List but must meet all the other requirements at clause 3.2 (see website).
For further information, please visit NT Gov.
There are currently NO rebates or incentives for commercial solar in Western Australia.
There are currently NO rebates or incentives for commercial solar in Tasmania.
Australian Capital Territory
Next Gen Energy Storage Program
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:
The Next Gen Energy Storage program was originally planned to run from 2016 to 2020 with one of the program objectives being to meet a target of 5,000 battery installations in the ACT. The program timeline was then extended to meet the installation target.
The program has now met its original objectives therefore management is undertaking a full review of the program to determine if it still aligns with current ACT Government objectives. The review is in progress and once completed, a decision will be made on the future of the program.
The ACT Government provides commercial solar rebates for battery storage systems for ACT businesses.
To apply, your system must meet the following criteria:
- be a new system that has not already been supported by the program
- be connected to the electricity grid
- be coupled with solar panels
- include a new or existing inverter that meets the necessary requirements.
For more information, please email: NextGen@act.gov.au
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Sources: Australian Government – Clean Energy Regulator (CER), Solar Victoria, NT.GOV.AU