solar panels

What is an STC?

Small-scale technology certificates, or STCs, are a tradeable 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.

This number 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,

where one STC equals one megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity generated or displaced.

The number of certificates you can claim may vary depending on your geographic location, what you’re installing, whether your installation is eligible for Solar Credits, and/or the size and capacity of the installed system. For example, a 1.5kW solar panel system in Melbourne might be eligible for a minimum 21 STCs, while a solar water heater in Hobart might be eligible for a minimum of 20 STCs.

Solar Credits is a mechanism which increases the number of STCs that can be created for eligible installations of small-scale solar panel (photovoltaic – PV), wind, and hydro systems.

You can calculate the number of STCs claimable by a system by using the calculators on the Clean Energy Regulator website:

STCs are created in the online REC Registry for correctly installed eligible solar water heaters, heat pumps, and small-scale solar panels, wind, and hydro systems.

What does an STC look like?

An STC exists only as an entry in the REC Registry database.  It is not a paper certificate.

This is how an STC appears in the REC Registry:

Screenshot of the REC Registry showing an example of an STC.


Why do they exist?


Date last updated: 15 Sep 2014