Newsflash – Solar Credits Scheme Amendments Announced

The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, has just announced amendments to Australia’s Solar Credits Scheme.

Under the amendments, support for home solar power installations will begin to be phased out a year earlier than previously planned.

According to Mr. Combet, “The cost to install solar panels has reduced substantially since the Solar Credits mechanism was first announced in December 2008, driven by a strong economy, a high dollar and falling technology costs.”

Mr Combet says that given the drop in prices for solar panels and other support such as feed in tariffs,  the Solar Credits multiplier will be brought forward by one year, from:

– 5 to 4 on 1 July 2011;
– 4 to 3 on 1 July 2012;
– 3 to 2 on 1 July 2013; and,
– 2 to 1 from 1 July 2014.

Solar Credits are based on Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and and apply to the first 1.5 kilowatts (kW) of capacity installed for grid connect solar power systems and up to the first 20 kW of capacity for off-grid solar.

Mr. Combet says for systems installed after 1 July 2011; with the Solar Credits multiplier reduced from five to four, support for a 1.5 kilowatt (kW) system in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth or Adelaide, would be reduced from about $6,200 to about $5,000.

Constant changes to solar rebates in Australia, often without warning, has led national solar power solutions provider Energy Matters to advise prospective purchasers that the best time to buy a solar power system is always right now as a single change to incentives programs such as the Solar Credits scheme doesn’t guarantee that more won’t follow.

The company is running a series of solar power specials throughout Australia to help households make the most from the “full-strength” Solar Credits multiplier and is expecting a rush on systems after the news.