An introduction to the FAQs page can go here.
FAQsPrint this page
Q: 1 What is an STC?A:
Small-scale technology certificates, or STCs, are a tradable commodity attached to eligible installations of renewable energy systems (including solar panels, solar water heaters and heat pumps).
Under the Federal Government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), when you install an eligible system, you may claim a set number of these STCs.
Q: 2 How do they allocate a number of STCs to systems?A:
The number of STCs is based on the amount of electricity in megawatt hours (MWh):
- - generated by your small-scale solar panel, wind or hydro system over the course of its lifetime of up to 15 years; or
- - displaced by your solar water heater or heat pump over the course of its lifetime of up to 10 years.
Q: 3 What is an STC worth?A:
The financial value of an STC is dependent on the supply of and demand for STCs. As a result this value can be variable from day to day. Price is held when complete and correct claims are received at our office. Please contact us for an update on current pricing.
Q: 4 Do I need to register with Greenbank Environmental to claim STC payment?A:
If you are claiming the STC payment as the system/home owner you do not need to register with Greenbank, simply ensure form is completed in full and provide your bank account information in the payment details section for payment via direct deposit.
Installers, suppliers and builders wishing to trade regularly are required to complete an account application form in order to establish a trading account. Please phone our office and we can provide the appropriate forms.
Q: 5 How many STCs does my system create?A:
The amount of STCs a system is eligible to create is determined by The Clean Energy Regulator (CER). System size, type and location can influence the number of eligible certificates. To calculate your STCs visit: http://green-bank.com.au/calculator
Q: 6 What is the difference between 5 & 15 year deeming?A:
The deeming period is an estimate of the years the system will create renewable energy. The maximum deeming period is 15 years after which no further STCs can be created. Five year deeming creates in batches. There is a creation for the first 5 years after installation and then at subsequent 5 year intervals. (Deeming periods are not applicable for solar water heating/heat pumps).
Q: 7 How long do I have to claim payment for my STCs?A:
STCs can only be created after a system is completely installed. Time limits apply for the creation of STCs based on the installation date. Solar Water Heater/Heat Pump STCs must be created within 12 months of the install date. For all photovoltaic systems installed on or after 6 October 2007, certificates can only be created within 12 months of the installation date. For wind, solar (photovoltaic) and hydro systems installed before 6 October 2007 choosing 5 year deeming, the STCs can be created at any time after the installation date.
Q: 8 Do STCs incur GST?A:
The STC price is quoted excluding GST. Systems installed for business use and owned by a business registered for GST is able to receive the trading price plus GST. Systems installed for domestic use are not eligible to receive GST. If you are claiming your payment as owned by a business that is registered for GST, you must also provide a tax invoice billed to Greenbank for your STC payment PLUS GST.
Q: 9 How and when will I receive payment?A:
Greenbank make payment back to the home owner in 14 – 21 days after receiving complete and correct paperwork and supporting documentation. Payment is deposited directly into the bank account nominated on the STC Assignment Form. Failure to provide bank details will mean your payment will be made by cheque, less an administration fee.
Any missing information or documentation will delay your payment.
Installers and suppliers can register a trading account with Greenbank for payment terms of 3-5 business days if offering their customer a point of sale discount for STCs.
Q: 10 Are STCs part of the Carbon Trading Scheme?A:
No, STCs are not relevant to the Carbon trading Scheme. STCs and VEECs encourage the uptake of renewable energy and removal of non-energy efficient products, whereas carbon trading is a tax on pollution.
Q: 11 What is the serial number?A:
When installing a solar water heater/heat pump we require the tank serial number in order to create your STCs. The serial number is located on the tank and is unique for each system. This will sometimes be in a barcode format. We strongly recommend you take a photograph of the tank serial number before installation as this can be requested in the event of an audit.
When installing a photovoltaic system we require each panel serial number. The panel number is unique for each solar panel installed. These are generally located on the panel themselves. If you are having difficulty finding your panel numbers they may be available from your installer or supplier, DO NOT climb on your roof to try and locate them. Please ensure your installer has a record of ALL of your panel serial numbers BEFORE they are installed. Photographs of the panel serial numbers are highly recommended in case an audit is requested
Q: 12 My system model does not appear on the registered list with Clean Energy Regulator?A:
The complete system model code is required in order to create STCs for solar water heaters/heat pumps. This may not always be listed on the system or your paperwork. Your installer/supplier/manufacturer should be able to provide you with the complete system model that is needed to create STCs. Incomplete and incorrect system models can delay processing and your payment.
Q: 13 Can I create STCs by adding additional panels to an existing photovoltaic system?A:
Yes, STCs can be created for the additional kW capacity that has been added to the existing system. To create the additional STCs we need details as to where the new panels have been installed, for example: 2 panels installed to the east of existing array. There is a space on the STC Assignment Form for this information to be provided (page 4, section 5). You must also provide the existing inverter brand and model for all upgrade claims.
Q: 14 Why is my form under audit?A:
The Clean Energy Regulator verify all information provided to them before creating STCs. Claims will generally require an audit to be completed if a tank serial number is duplicated, another agent has already created STCs for the claim or STCs already exist at an address from previous or multiple systems. Audits can generally be resolved by providing pictures of the installation and serial numbers in question and some cases require Statutory Declarations. Greenbank recommends pictures to be taken at the time of install to assist if the auditing process is required
Q: 15 What are Solar Credits?A:
Solar Credits is a mechanism within the RET (Renewable Energy Target) scheme that boosts support to households, businesses and community groups that install small-scale solar PV, wind and hydroelectricity systems by multiplying the number of STCs able to be created for eligible installations. Solar credits multiply the number of RECs to be created; however it is capped at 1.5 kW. Capacity over the 1.5 kW is created at the 1:1 calculation. The solar credits program applies to off grid and grid connect wind and solar power installations only – solar hot water rebates operate under completely different schemes. Solar Credits are not available for installations after the 31st December 2012 (unless you meet the transitional requirements specified by the Clean Energy Regulator).
Q: 16 How do I claim my STCs?A:
To claim your STCs, firstly it must be within 12 months of the installation date (Greenbank require forms to be submitted at least a month before the due expiry date). The applicable Greenbank STC Assignment Form must be completed. Form can be located at: http://green-bank.com.au/stc-trading/forms/. Completed form should be sent to Greenbank with copies of your invoices for all supply & installation costs and a copy of the certificate of electrical safety/test. You must also provide a copy of your rates notice or a utilities bill in order to verify ownership and address details for processing of your payment.
Q: 17 How do I calculate my STCs?A:
STCs for PV are calculated based on the system capacity and location. STCs for hot water are calculated based on the specific system installed and the location. To calculate your eligible STCs please refer to our online calculators: http://green-bank.com.au/stc-trading/forms/. Please note that for hot water that your system model must appear exactly as listed on the calculator.
Q: 18 What is the difference between the Clearing House and the Wholesale Market?A:
STCs can be sold on the wholesale market, or lodged with the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) Clearing House. Liable parties such as power or gas companies can use the Clearing House if they cannot buy all the certificates they require in the wholesale market. If liable parties do not buy enough certificates in a year, they have to pay a penalty price for their shortfall.
The wholesale certificate market
Large buyers and sellers of certificates (STCs, LGCs, VEECs or ESCs) trade through the wholesale market with generally a minimum parcel size of 5,000 certificates. The price for a parcel of certificates is called the spot price.
The wholesale (or spot) price is for certificates already created and ready for sale. Like any other commodity, the price for certificates is determined largely by supply and demand, and this can make wholesale prices fluctuate.
The penalty price liable parties’ pay for their shortfall is effectively a ceiling (or maximum) price on the market and the spot price would only reach this level if there were high demand and no supply. There is no floor (or minimum) price.
The STC Clearing House
The STC Clearing House is effectively a queuing system for the sale of STCs.
STCs may be lodged in the Clearing House and liable parties may choose to purchase STCs from the top of the queue at (currently) a fixed price of $40 per STC. This is the most expensive way to purchase STCs and the Clearing House is generally used as a last resort. As a result, those who lodge their STCs in the Clearing House have no guarantee of when they will be paid for their certificates.
Q: 19 How do I calculate the out of pocket expense for my PV system?A:
To calculate the correct out of pocket expense for your system you must include all system & installation costs minus any discounts. If a meter cost will be incurred you must provide an amount for this (an estimate is acceptable if this charge is yet to be confirmed). Invoices/receipts must be provided to verify all values being reported.
Q: 20 Do I need to list the payment I receive for my STCs on my personal income tax return?A:
No you do not. The STC payment is essentially a discount on the cost of your system therefore not classified as a form of income.
Q: 21. What is a VEEC?A:
Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs) are electronic certificates created in accordance with the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Act 2007 (VEET Act). VEECs are to encourage the uptake of energy efficient technology and play in important role in achieving the Victorian government’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from households
Q: 22. Is my system eligible for VEECs?A:
VEECs can only be created from prescribed activities undertaken on or after 1 January 2009 and before 1 January 2030. An old system, capable of working, must be decommissioned and a new, registered product installed. For the complete list of activities and registered products visit:
Q: 23. How many VEECs am I eligible to create?A:
The Essential Services Commission regulates the creation of VEECs and has calculators available on their website to assist in determining the number of eligible VEECs
Q: 24. What is the value of a VEEC?A:
The financial value of a VEEC is dependent on the supply of and demand for VEECs. As a result this value can be variable from day to day as a VEEC is a tradable commodity. Price is held when complete and correct claims are received at our office. Our daily price is available at:
Q: 25. How do I claim payment for my VEECs?A:
The Greenbank VEEC Assignment form must be completed. Forms can be downloaded at http://green-bank.com.au/energy-efficiency/forms/. All information requested on the form must be provided as it is required by the ESC for the creation of VEECs. Supporting documentation must be provided with the form to complete your claim. A copy of the plumbing certificate of compliance and a copy of the invoice from the installer/supplier must be provided with the VEEC form. Claims cannot be processed without copies of both supporting documents.
If the system is owned by a business, GST is payable on the VEEC transaction, thus a Tax Invoice needs to be provided to Greenbank for payment to be made
Q: 26. What is decommissioning?A:
In order to be eligible for VEECs, an existing system capable of working must be decommissioned. Successful decommissioning results in the old item not being able to be successfully used again. Decommissioning may involve piercing/chiseling a hole in the tank, taking to recyclers/scrap metal and crushed etc. Disconnection of the old unit is not decommissioning as it could potentially be reconnected elsewhere. Evidence of decommissioning must be provided. This may be a picture of the old system or a receipt from the recyclers/scrap metal yard. We recommend the plumber including the method of decommissioning on the plumber’s certificate of compliance.
Q: 27. How and when will I receive payment for my VEEC claim?A:
You will receive payment into you nominated bank account or by cheque in 5-10 business days.