Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Solar Still Worth the Investment; There's Never Been a Better Time to Install an Energy-Efficient Power System

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Solar Still Worth the Investment; There's Never Been a Better Time to Install an Energy-Efficient Power System

Article excerpt

Byline: Nick Lake, Managing Director of Nickel Energy.

THE Federal Government is still offering cash incentives to help reduce the financial costs of going solar, so why pay for electricity when you can create it?

Over the past year there have been changes to the government programs offered which has made the incentives and rebates programs confusing for consumers to understand and know what they are entitled to.

The NSW Government introduced a Solar Bonus Scheme to help provide a financial incentive to consumers who installed solar by offering 60c gross feed-in tariff. This scheme is now closed to new applicants. Customers who applied to join the Solar Bonus Scheme by midnight, April 28, 2011 are able to proceed with their connection and receive a 20c scheme payment. The NSW Government is expected to announce their new solar feed-in tariff scheme for exported power in May 2012. In the meantime, new customers will get the benefit of solar power reducing their bills.

The Federal Government is still offering a financial incentive for consumers who install solar. This program is called Solar Credits whereby the government issues Renewable Energy Certificate (REC), now known as Small Scale Technology Certificate (STC). Think of a REC as currency where one megawatt hour of power equals one REC. Meaning the more productive the solar system is deemed to be, the more RECs the consumers get. Mr Lake explained that this is simply a credit that comes off your purchase price and the consumer only has to pay the balance rather than waiting for payment from the government.

A common question we get from customers is what is the difference between net and gross metering.

Both net and gross metering measure the amount of solar electricity you export to the grid. Under net metering, generated electricity is used to supply your own energy requirements first and any excess energy generated that is not used in the home is exported to the grid. …

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