Ultimate Guide To Small Scale Renewable Energy Scheme & small-scale technology certificates (STCs)

Ultimate Guide To Small Scale Renewable Energy Scheme & small-scale technology certificates (STCs)


In Australia, if you’re a small business or a household that’s installing a small-scale renewable energy system (solar, wind or hydro), the good news is that you’re likely to be eligible for some financial contribution towards the system from the Federal government.

This will reduce the upfront costs of the system to you which is ideal for most of our customers. Depending on which state you live in Australia, some states (like QLD) provide rebates for things like battery storage which you might be eligible for as well. The Smart Energy Organisation has a state by state listing for all current Energy Programs.

At Rainbow Power, we can help you navigate your application by applying on your behalf when we install an eligible system at your home or business. Most of our customers choose this option as it means it’ll cost you less upfront to install the system and there’s zero admin work involved!


What is the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme?

It’s a federally funded initiative to help households and businesses reduce the cost of choosing renewable energy alternatives. You can read more about it here

“Australian households and small businesses are embracing the benefits of renewable energy. By installing a renewable energy system at your home or business you can lower your energy bills, reduce your carbon footprint and earn financial incentives.” - Clean Energy Regulator

How does the Energy Scheme work?

When you install an eligible system at your home or business, you can apply for small-scale technology certificates (STCs). The amount of STCs will depend on:

  1. How much renewable energy your system produces 
  2. How much electricity consumption is reduced
  3. Where you live


What systems are eligible?

If you’re a small business or household that’s installing a new system, renewable systems include:

  1. Solar photovoltaic (PV) System
    1. No more than 100 kW
    2. Less and 250 MWh annually
  2. Solar Hot Water Heaters
    1. Up to 700 L
  3. Air Source heat pumps
    1. No more than 425 L system capacity
  4. Wind Turbines
    1. No more than 100 kW
    2. Less and 25 MWh annually
  5. Hydro Systems
    1. No more than 6.4 kW
    2. Less than 25 MWh annually 

At this stage, Battery Storage Systems aren’t eligible under the scheme but there are some states (like QLD) who offer separate rebate schemes for batteries.

The type of system is also important as not all system components are eligible - if you’re choosing to apply for your own STCs, make sure the system is eligible.


How do I get the STCs?

Most people choose to assign the right to claim the STCs to a registered agency (like Rainbow Power Company) as it reduces the cost of the system upfront. You pay less to the agent and the federal government then pays the agent directly. You can also apply yourself once the system has been installed. 

How much will the STCs be worth?

STCs are issued depending on the size of the system (and how much renewable energy you produce). The more you produce, the more STCs you’re issued. It also depends on where you live in Australia. The value of an STC is dependent on the market. You can opt to sell the STCs yourself through the open market or through the STC Clearing House with a fixed price (at the time of writing, this price was $40 per STC, excluding GST.

Does it have to be a new system?

Yes, the system must be a new one for it to be eligible. There are some upgrades that can be included but you’re best to either consult with a solar agent (like Rainbow Power) or check with the scheme before purchasing any equipment.



How do I know if I’m eligible?

  1. You must be the OWNER of a house to apply for the STCs (not a renter)
  2. You must be an Australian Resident


How do I apply?

If you’re a Rainbow Power Company customer and we’re installing your system, you don’t need to do anything as we do it all for you. If you choose to apply for your own STCs, it’s best to contact the Clean Energy Regulator directly. 

Resources Links / Contacts:


Clean Energy Regulator

Website: Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme

Email: enquiries@cleanenergyregulator.gov.au

Phone: 1300 553 542

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