Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES)Overview
This program aims to encourage investment in small-scale renewable energy, and creates a financial incentive for individuals and small businesses to install systems which produce electricity and deliver hot water. It does this through the creation of small-scale technology certificates which Renewable Energy Target liable entities have a legal obligation to buy and surrender to the Clean Energy Regulator on a quarterly basis.
Small-scale technology certificates are provided 'up front' for the systems' expected power generation over a 15 year period or, from 2017, from the installation year until 2030 when the scheme ends. This renewable electricity replaces electricity generated from non-renewable sources. Generally, householders who purchase these systems assign the right to create their certificates to an agent in return for a lower purchase price. The level of this benefit differs across the country depending on the level of solar energy.
Small-scale technology certificates can be created following the installation of an eligible system, and are calculated based on the amount of electricity a system produces or replaces (that is, electricity from non-renewable sources).
The number of small-scale technology certificates required to be submitted by electricity retailers is set each year by the small-scale technology percentage.
The 2018 small-scale technology percentage (STP) is 17.08%. This means liable entities (generally electricity retailers) are required to surrender approximately 29.3 million small-scale technology certificates (STCs) to meet their Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) obligations for 2018.
Eligible applicants include:
- Individuals and business who voluntarily invest in small-scale renewable energy systems, generate renewable energy, or actively lower their consumption of main grid electricity.
- Industry groups who are required by law to surrender small-scale technology certificates to offset the generation of emissions intensive energy, and meet scheme compliance obligations.
Please refer to the website for the complete eligibility requirements.
Small-scale renewable systems which may be eligible for certificates include:
- Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels
- Wind turbines
- Hydro systems
- Solar water heaters
- Air source heat pumps.
Learn more about systems eligible under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme here.
The main assessment criteria include:
1. Small generation units (including solar photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, and hydro systems) must:
- Be installed no more than 12 months prior to the creation of certificates, and have its panels and inverter, listed on the Clean Energy Council list of approved components.
- Meet Australian and New Zealand standards.
- Use a Clean Energy Council accredited designer and installer and meet the Clean Energy Council design and install guidelines.
- Comply with all local, State, Territory and Federal requirements, including electrical safety.
- Be classified as small-scale, and a:
a) Solar panel system that has a capacity of no more than 100kW, and a total annual electricity output less than 250MWh.
b) Wind system that has a capacity of no more than 10kW, and a total annual electricity output of less than 25MWh.
c) Hydro system that has a capacity of no more than 6.4kW, and a total annual electricity output of less than 25MWh.
2. Solar water heaters including air source heat pumps must:
- Be listed on the register of solar water heaters.
- Be installed no more than 12 months prior to the creation of certificates.
- Be classified as small-scale, and a:
a) Solar water heater with a capacity up to, and including 700 L (solar water heater models over 700 L capacity require additional documentation to be eligible for certificates).
b) Air source heat pump with a capacity of no more than 425 L.
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