Updates to changes in the STC Multiplier etc - Posted by Adrian Hawke
But first, an article on policy makers/breakers? - You be the judge.
"Energy efficiency: stuck between neutral and reverse"
"Together with renewable generation, energy efficiency is the key plank of a holistic solution to fossil fuel problems and network regulation issues in Australia. Why are government-led attempts to promote energy efficiency stalling?"
Read more: Energy efficiency: stuck between neutral and reverse
by Phil Harrington, Principal Consultant – Climate Change,
EcoGeneration — November/December 2012 .
STC Multiplier reduction:
The federal Government has brought forward the reduction in the STC multiplier scheme by another 6 months.
The STC Multiplier was the replacement to the $8,000 Rebate that ended in May 2009.
Originally announced to run down over 5 years at a rate reduction of 1x per year, finishing at 1:1 in late 2014, the STC multiplier gave a multiplication of the REC's generated for the initial 1.5kW's of an installed system (typically 31 REC's).
To be specific - this gave 155 STC's for the first year, was supposed to give 124 for the second year, 93 for the third, 62 for the 4th, and settle at the original 31 on the fifth year, or 2014. Through successive early reductions, we now have the 1:1 rate in January 2013 that we had during the $8,000 rebate days.
The recent value of one REC/STC typically moves between $24-$30. It has been as low as $14 last year, and as high as $54 in 2008. The 1:1 ratio could quite possibly push the STC/REC value up above the $35 mark of early 2011, and even the $46 rate of mid 2009.
To be clear, the STC scheme is not a Rebate, despite how it is being marketed to the general public by a lot of operators, therefore there is no "end of rebate", as they are simply the REC's (Renewable Energy Certificates) that existed before, during & after the $8,000 Rebate.
I therefore suggest that any company telling you the "Rebate is ending" is in the business of selling deception to generate sales.
The STC Multiplier generated the "1.5kW" marketing run, in that 1.5kW's was the best bang-for-buck sized PV system. Companies set up their whole marketing strategies on selling generic 1.5kW systems as a "one size fits all" package.
Stories of customers inquiring for larger systems, being told "we don't do systems bigger than 1.5kW's" were common, or getting duped into a "3kW upgradeable inverter", only to find that they get 2x 1.5kW inverters, and only one has anything connected to it, the second inverter is just bolted to the wall. All disclosed in the fine print of course.
Settling on the original 1:1 ratio will mean there is no longer a magic size, so you will likely see the 1.5kW adverts dissolve. This is because your systems will generate a linear REC value in line with their size.
Looking at the marketing of PV systems in recent months, a quote comes to mind - "In a war to be the cheapest, the winners always go broke".
As an authorized field service company for a number of inverter manufacturers and through our presence in the community, I have come across plenty of systems installed with the cookie-cutter method.
I find typically that the original retailer has gone into administration or bankrupt, or simply absolves themselves from any responsibility towards the client's system.
Naturally, most people are not too happy with this. When I find on closer inspection that some of their systems have failed due to poor installation practices, they feel down right cheated:
~Incorrectly wired isolators (reversed polarity)
~Incorrectly rated isolators (AC instead of DC)
~Unsuitable rooftop enclosures, filling with water
~Unsealed cable entries on enclosures, filling with water
~Dangerous switchboard connections by unlicensed installers/incompetent electricians
The list goes on.
Perhaps this is to be expected with cheaper systems? After all, paying less for a system leaves less money to afford quality components, qualified experienced electricians & installers.
It certainly seems to impact on warranty claims when the company is no longer trading, and the sub-contractor/installer has no interest.
If you had to chose which part of your system to leave out in order to reduce the price, which part would you chose?
Faulty installation work is not covered by inverter manufacturers, so repairs to the system are met by the customer.
One of the advantages of PPS systems however, is that our installation workmanship warranty doesn't run out, for the life of the system. We look after our customers & are determined to deliver quality workmanship.
I like John Hughes's quote - "Chose your dealer before you chose your car".