The recent axing of Australia’s solar hot water rebate in February this year caught many off guard – and the situation with the Solar Credits rebate reduction and uncertainty about the future of QLD’s feed in tariff (FIT) may do too, but for different reasons.
SOLAR CREDITS SCHEME REDUCTION
The Solar Credits Scheme provides buyers of solar power systems with a significant point of sale discount off the cost of the ‘up front’ cost of their system. With a 33% reduction in the Solar Credits rebate rapidly approaching, some households putting off installing solar panels until the last minute may be disappointed as systems must be installed by June 30 2012. The rush to have a heavily subsidised system installed in time is well and truly on!
In the past, some solar rebate reduction schedules have allowed the securing of the higher rebate level simply by putting down a deposit on a system before the deadline; with installation occurring after that time. This has allowed people to hold off until the eleventh hour in taking the leap towards slashing or even wiping out their electricity bills.
This will not be the case for the upcoming Solar Credits rebate reduction as systems will need to be installed by June 30 according to the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator (ORER).
As the bite of high power bills is increasingly felt and more people become aware of the rebate situation, bookings for installations throughout the country are expected to pick up pace. If history repeats itself, some installers may find themselves fully booked in certain areas before June.
QLD FEED IN TARIFF
The other benefit for Solar Power system owners in QLD is the highest FIT in the country. Currently all solar system owners can earn up to .52c per kWh for all excess power generated by their systems. Considering power currently costs consumer’s .21c per kWh on average, this is a fantastic return on your excess green energy. However QLD is the last state to have such a high FIT and as the state Government has already met its target for the uptake of domestic solar power, there is a high chance of the FIT being axed.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Given the installation of rooftop solar arrays can be more complex than installing some other home improvements, suitable lead up time is required – and this can vary according to the installation scenario. Coupled with the inevitable rush on systems due to subsidisation cuts in the industry, it is prudent for any household considering solar to start the ball rolling on having their systems installed now!